I can't imagine diving into this grim and gruesome franchise without having at least a hint of the back story. Then again, seeing the earlier ones isn't that much help.
Newcomers Malcolm McDowell and Carrie-Anne Moss join Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean in the newest "Silent Hill," which has a godawful script filled with references to "The Order" and "The Brethren." Or was it "The Asylum"?
Mitchell appears in flashbacks, helping her husband (Bean) and daughter (now played by Adelaide Clemens) escape West Virginia.
Daughter Heather, who used to go by Sharon and assorted other names, is on the move. Dad takes her from city to city, dodging the beasts without faces. But they always catch up.
This time, a private eye has sped up the process. Heather has barely had time to get to know her new high school classmates when the monsters of her visions and nightmares show up. She knows she must return to Silent Hill. Even though Mom always warned her, "Don't go to Silent Hill."
Clemens decided to play this girl as somebody who has seen it all but still can manage the odd shriek of fear. She's not convincing. With a name like "Adelaide," you know she's Australian. Perhaps that explains the Canadian accent.
Best line? The teens talk Silent Hill history and one reveals to the other that it was built on -- guess what? "Everybody knows, NEVER build on an ancient Indian burial ground!" Indeed. Everybody does.
Director Michael Bassett's vision of Hell here isn't appreciably different from the one he served up in "Solomon Kane." But a few more movies like these two, a fellow could get pigeon-holed. Put this much effort into bringing your idea of Hell to the screen, film fans will start calling you Satan. And not in a good way.