Like the video games in the “survival horror” Silent Hill franchise, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” continues the story of a forlorn mining town fused to coexisting universes full of occult practices. The first film adaptation, “Silent Hill,” came out in 2006; in the video game series, we’re up to part nine, released earlier this month.
Here in part two of movie-land, single dad Sean Bean (“Game of Thrones”) must protect his daughter Heather (Adelaide Clemens) after wife Rose (Radha Mitchell, seen in flashback), in part one, rescued her from Silent Hill and disappeared. All grown up, Heather is sullen and detached, partly because her father moves her around from school to school — and partly because wherever she goes, light bulbs flicker and tortured humanoids writhe before her.
When Dad is abducted, Heather teams up with fellow rebel with a cause Vincent (Kit Harington, also from “Game of Thrones”) to get him back. Before long, Heather is in Silent Hill, navigating a maze of dusty corridors, catwalks, and ventilation shafts in a ruined asylum inexplicably located beneath an amusement park. Oddly, plastic bags figure strongly in the production design; mannequin parts, merry-go-round horses, and carnival-prize rabbits are all wrapped in the blood-stained material. Was it an environmental decision — reuse, recycle, re-skewer?
Whatever the thinking, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” quickly devolves into a smorgasbord of sutured faces and blades poking the viewer in the eye. The effects drip and drown the action: Fog and cinders fill the air, shingles fly off rooftops into storms of black clouds, walls melt into what looks like ribbons of bacon.
Amid the eviscerations and mumbo jumbo about medallions and destinies, there’s a thin metaphorical undercurrent that might resonate with teen viewers. Both Heather and Vincent voice the angst of being the outcast. “By the time any one of you here finds out anything about me worth knowing, I’ll move on,” she grumps during her first day in class. “I’m lost” are the words that bind them.
But the viewer is lost, too. It would be more fun to be Sean Bean and blow away the baddies, in a game, than to watch this unoriginal dreck.Ethan Gilsdorf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.