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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Indeed. And when you consider all the real life cases of exorcisms on mentally handicapped or sickly children that end up killing them, it hits fairly close to home. I admit I find Christabella and her church scarier than most people probably would, because my family had to move from my childhood town because the local church kept harassing my parents to exorcise me for my mental and physical illnesses.

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Subway Guard
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Was the church Catholic? If it was, then they flat-out ignored the strict rules set by the Catholic church dealing with exorcisms, which includes that the person cannot be deemed to be possessed until a physical and mental evaluation by qualified professionals has been performed on them to rule out illness of any kind. And even then, it's still damned difficult to get an actual official 'diagnosis' of being possessed, since you have to profain the name of God (and not be someone who did it all the time before anyway), speak in tongues you couldn't possibly know, exhibit supernatural abilities, etc.


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Just Passing Through
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Christabella thinks she's completely in the moral right. Why should she hide her motivations? Dahlia, on the other hand, is basically knowingly evil for the sake of it because she wants to kill everyone.


Yes, she does think she's in the moral right. But there's no tension or suspense regarding her character because it's so obvious what she is. Whereas Dahlia is babbling about nonsense at first, seems to have an understanding of what's going on, and misdirects Harry and the player to believe that Alessa is the true evil of the town. It's not inherently frightening in itself, but in combination with all the other surreal goings-on in Silent Hill, it simply compounds the mystery and further puts the player on edge.

Dahlia and Christabella aren't "new," "improved" or "unique": however, at least Dahlia was written in such a way that you couldn't immediately decipher her motives. You see her and, at first, wonder if she was a seemingly-crazy occultist who everybody ignored and pitied at their own peril, or if she may have had involvement in what has happened to the town. It isn't until the end of the game where she drops the act.

Christabella, meanwhile, has a congregation screaming of witches the moment Cybil and Rose walk through the door, prays and recites scripture of those thrown into the lake of fire, and offers faith as being the only truth. It's simply too easy to figure out her shtick, and "Silent Hill" shouldn't be easy to figure out.


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Historical Society Historian
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Was the church Catholic?


I'm not sure, I was less than five years old. I don't think it was though, because I was raised Protestant.

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And even then, it's still damned difficult to get an actual official 'diagnosis' of being possessed, since you have to profain the name of God (and not be someone who did it all the time before anyway), speak in tongues you couldn't possibly know, exhibit supernatural abilities, etc.


Well, I am a hermaphrodite; that might've been why.

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Yes, she does think she's in the moral right. But there's no tension or suspense regarding her character because it's so obvious what she is. Whereas Dahlia is babbling about nonsense at first, seems to have an understanding of what's going on, and misdirects Harry and the player to believe that Alessa is the true evil of the town. It's not inherently frightening in itself, but in combination with all the other surreal goings-on in Silent Hill, it simply compounds the mystery and further puts the player on edge.


I'm not disagreeing, here. I'm just saying that Christabella's character is perfectly justified in her behavior and characterization. The failure of tension or suspense isn't the fault of her being a derp derp fundamentalist, but of the rest of the script and atmosphere. Ditto with Dahlia and why she was so impacting.

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Dahlia and Christabella aren't "new," "improved" or "unique": however, at least Dahlia was written in such a way that you couldn't immediately decipher her motives. You see her and, at first, wonder if she was a seemingly-crazy occultist who everybody ignored and pitied at their own peril, or if she may have had involvement in what has happened to the town. It isn't until the end of the game where she drops the act.


My ability to talk here is weakened since I guessed what Dahlia was up to (as in "Evil", not so much the exact specifics), because I read a lot of Stephen King and instantly picked up on the fact that Alessa was a typical tortured psychic girl.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Why does there need to be suspense for a character's 'evil' motivations to be revealed? There's nothing more cliche than OMG THEY WERE THE VILLAIN ALL ALONG!!!!

Besides, the way Dahlia was in SH1 even before she was 'revealed' as the villain, they might as well have dressed her in black cyborg stuff, given her an iron lung sound and played darth vader's theme when they introduced her.

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Subway Guard
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I didn't even know Protestants performed exorcisms. :? From what I can find, Protestant rules on possession and exorcisms are pretty much the same as Catholic ones, though what might define a possession is a little more spread out. But they still require mental and physical exams to rule out natural causes before one can be seen as being possessed. Seeing as being a hermaphrodite is a biological thing, not a demonic one, these people had to have been ignoring their own rules. Gotta love backwards yokels who use religion as a weapon against what they don't understand.


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Historical Society Historian
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Yea, well, that's my point. It's similar to how Christabella and her church burned Alessa for being born out of wedlock. People get downright insane with religion sometimes, which is why the movie scares me.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Subway Guard
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Yeah, I see what your point was. I was just pointing out that official church law bars what they were trying to do to you. Unfortunately, people will find any way to put down someone who they deem as 'different'. Kind of like what Rose said: 'Burn anything you're afraid of, burn anything you can't control.'


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Yea, well, that's my point. It's similar to how Christabella and her church burned Alessa for being born out of wedlock. People get downright insane with religion sometimes, which is why the movie scares me.


Aura and me are on the same wavelength, methinks. This movie is really thrilling and interesting and deep to me for the reasons stated here, so I refuse to accept anybody calling it a 'bad' movie, especially then trying to back it up with reviews (which are only opinions in themselves), as opposed to just saying the don't like it.


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I find it more interesting because of the incredible amount of symbolism it carries: there are so many things that are symbolic, everything from the monsters to Dark Alessa symbolizing the devil, Sharon symbolizing God, the shift from fog to darkness symbolizing Alessa's burning, etc. I sympathized strongly with Alessa because of her abuse at the hands of her fellow classmates, it reminds me of how I was outcast in school because I had Aspergers, so I was 'weird'. Even the teachers backed up the students, saying I was the cause of the problem because I lacked normal social skills. :x


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Historical Society Historian
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Wow, that's fucking awful...but then, considering your age, Asperger's was still fairly "new", right? (I'd of never guessed you had it; your social skills seem excellent).

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Just Passing Through
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DistantJ wrote:
Why does there need to be suspense for a character's 'evil' motivations to be revealed? There's nothing more cliche than OMG THEY WERE THE VILLAIN ALL ALONG!!!!

Besides, the way Dahlia was in SH1 even before she was 'revealed' as the villain, they might as well have dressed her in black cyborg stuff, given her an iron lung sound and played darth vader's theme when they introduced her.


She wasn't that obviously evil, nor that obviously innocent. You're misconstruing what I'm trying to say, which is that her motivations and character are clouded enough to make her an effective character. She's undoubtedly bizarre and involved with the occult, but the game points towards Alessa quite heavily as a villainous character simply because the information pertaining to her, along with the nature of her appearances and the nature of the town, is vague and threatening. When Harry encounters her at the theme park, for instance, she knocks him flat on his ass.

AuraTwilight wrote:
The failure of tension or suspense isn't the fault of her being a derp derp fundamentalist, but of the rest of the script and atmosphere. Ditto with Dahlia and why she was so impacting.


The combination of script and atmosphere is entirely correct. But a fundamentalist like Christabella is entirely open about her beliefs, and because we know her intentions, she, at least to me, ceases to be threatening. We know her true nature almost immediately, and I prefer mystery and the unexplained simply because people fear the unknown out of instinct. It's why I find movies like "Picnic at Hanging Rock" to be utterly terrifying.

Sorry if I sound like I'm reiterating what I've already said before.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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I can't see how Dahlia in the game is an 'effective character'... She shows up once and tells you to find something... Then gets all cryptic with her information, and then shows up again and explains the whole plot of the game through dialogue.

AuraTwilight wrote:
Wow, that's fucking awful...but then, considering your age, Asperger's was still fairly "new", right? (I'd of never guessed you had it; your social skills seem excellent).


I've actually known quite a few people with aspergers syndrome, and from adults you can rarely ever tell. I never really found it to hinder a person's social skills or anything, though childhood is probably different. It's something to do with empathy, as in it's not as easy to see everything from other people's eyes, sometimes a person with aspergers may end up talking for a long time about something they're into without realising somebody isn't interested or whatever, but heck, most people do that anyway. :lol: Not to downplay a condition, just that I meant I don't think it's really something one would 'spot' through social skills etc.


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Subway Guard
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Wow, that's fucking awful...but then, considering your age, Asperger's was still fairly "new", right? (I'd of never guessed you had it; your social skills seem excellent).

Thank you. :D Honestly, talking online is much easier than talking in person, since my main problem is not understanding another person's body language, or tone/ inflection of voice. And even then, I have to be very careful that I don't misconstrue something someone says. And yeah, no one had any idea what Aspergers was when I was a kid.
Quote:
She's undoubtedly bizarre and involved with the occult, but the game points towards Alessa quite heavily as a villainous character simply because the information pertaining to her, along with the nature of her appearances and the nature of the town, is vague and threatening. When Harry encounters her at the theme park, for instance, she knocks him flat on his ass.

The same thing is done in the movie. Alessa leads Rose to corpses and monsters, throws her out a window in the school, and shifts from an innocent appearance to an evil one at will. That, and the fact that Rose is trapped in very threatening worlds, makes Alessa a very likely enemy, rather than an ally. If anything, I think they tried to go the same route with Christabella as they did Dahlia. Game Dahlia lies to you, and tells you Alessa is your enemy- Christabella does the same, though she doesn't realize she's lying. Game Dahlia gives you an idea of where to find Alessa- Christabella also does the same, pointing Rose to the hospital and even taking her there.
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I've actually known quite a few people with aspergers syndrome, and from adults you can rarely ever tell. I never really found it to hinder a person's social skills or anything, though childhood is probably different. It's something to do with empathy, as in it's not as easy to see everything from other people's eyes, sometimes a person with aspergers may end up talking for a long time about something they're into without realising somebody isn't interested or whatever, but heck, most people do that anyway. :lol: Laughing Not to downplay a condition, just that I meant I don't think it's really something one would 'spot' through social skills etc.

Aspergers generally differs from person to person. Besides involving all the things you mentioned, it also tends to include an inability to understand body language or tone/ inflection of the voice. People with Aspergers have trouble understanding jokes and often say things that come out as seeming very rude just because of how they phrase it. There's also problems with making eye contact, which apparently (at least, according to my therapist) makes people feel like I'm not interested in what they're saying (which, usually I'm really not interested at all, but the eye contact problem is there even when I am). But still, it doesn't help. :lol:


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Historical Society Historian
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I'd also like to point out that the obviousness of Christabella's nature and intent might be betrayed by the trained experience of a Silent Hill fan. My mother and brother both thought the church were good guys at first.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Looking at the movie again, she seems to be quite similar to Dahlia in the game, in that she begins by appearing to help out and offer sanctuary, but there's something distinctly evil about her.

And this still isn't something which makes or breaks a movie.

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Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song, and there's always music in the air.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Dahlia was a horribly-written character as well, so I don't really see the comparison between her and Christabella as a plus. If you must know, I don't consider the storyline of Silent Hill 1 (the game) to be very good, but it was at least a fun game so I didn't let the crappy story bother me all that much.

I prefer villains who make sense. Like Claudia. Or Maria.


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Historical Society Historian
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Wait I didn't think maria was technically a villain.

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Historical Society Historian
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Dahlia was a horribly-written character as well, so I don't really see the comparison between her and Christabella as a plus.


I agree with you, but you weren't the only person on the Con side of the argument, people were using Game Dahlia as a model of what Christabella should have been, and so there's been arguing with the given premise that Dahlia is "sufficiently good."

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Wait I didn't think maria was technically a villain.


Well...she's sort of an antagonist, given that she's the greatest obstacle in James' quest, if not the only obstacle, really.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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SPRINGS02 wrote:
Wait I didn't think maria was technically a villain.


Which is why Maria was such a great villain, because she deconstructed the role of what an antagonist should be.


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