Silent Hill has created quite a stir on the internet after its release. Internet travelers have polluted message boards all across the internet with praise – Silent Hill was to be the best video game adaptation into film ever made. Ever.
But let’s look at what we have to choose from. The video game “genre” of cinema was doomed from the start. Does anyone remember Super Mario Bros.? The year was 1993 and the tagline promised that the film we were to watch wasn’t indeed a game, but instead it was to be a live action thrill ride. In reality, it was a live action bore-fest. Bob Hoskins (who replaced Danny Devito) played Mario and John Leguizamo played Luigi. It was the first movie to ever be based on a video game. Unfortunately, it would not be the last.
1994 brought us two cinematic masterpieces like never before – Double Dragon and Street Fighter (sadly, Raul Julia’s last performance). Again, two wretched pieces of cinema that was less exciting than passing a bowel after eating Taco Bell.
With the arrival of 1995, auteur Paul W.S. Anderson exploded on to the scene with his adaptation of Mortal Kombat. Some video game fanatics were impressed, and the film made some decent coin (enough for a sequel entitled Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to spawn). Unfortunately for us, Anderson would keep making films – none of them worth the script pages they were written on or film they burned on. Soldier and Event Horizon come to mind, but Anderson gave the video game world another disappointment with the messy (messy in filmmaking style, not in gore) Resident Evil in 2002 (also spawned a sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse).
My personal favorite video game autuer is a fine German chap by the name of Uwe Boll. If you haven’t heard this name before, you obviously haven’t been on a film related website ever in your life. To date, he has tackled this genre three different times – each worse than the one before it. House of the Dead (2003), Alone in the Dark (2005) and BloodRayne (2005). Three films of craptacular degree. He shoots his films in the style of a straight-to-video movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme (also in Street Fighter which should have been straight-to-video).
Now we have Silent Hill. Is it the “Best Video Game Movie” ever made? Well, compared to the other ones, a piece of poop rubbed on my cheek is better. Silent Hill may very well be the best video game movie ever (thanks to director Gans, it’s the best looking one at least) but it still falls short of what one could call good. I’ve played the first game, I know how it goes. The thing that ruled about the game is that nothing was really fully explained. That kept it creepy. With this movie, screenwriter Roger Avary chose to over explain stuff that didn’t need it while not explaining the stuff that came from nowhere. And the dialogue – terrible. All in all, it’s not quite a noble effort, nor is it terrible either. It’s one of those movies that only require one viewing, though if you don’t see it once, you wouldn’t be missing anything.
I want to propose another adaptation that should be made. Bad Dudes. Two guys walking the streets fighting ninjas and such on the top of moving semi-trucks. Making a movie of that would probably rule. As long as they kept the backstory out. “Why are these really bad dudes fighting ninjas?” Who cares. Leave it alone.