Having rewatched the Blu-Ray commentary, I found a few more tidbits.
* Gans says Dark Alessa's appearance is specifically based on the little girls in Kill, Baby... Kill! and Toby Dammit. Surprisingly, both of the girls are blonde. These are the two girls:
Interestingly, this is an image from Toby Dammit:
* The chase scene in the school is directly based on a scene in Kill, Baby... Kill! This is the scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP53GrJde54
* Two very interesting quotes from Gans about the Otherworld and how it works comes from the scenes in the school.
Here we see the first encounter between Radha Mitchell andâ€¦ the Alessa character, whoâ€™s the double, the original, of her daughter, and therefore the brains behind the mystery of Silent Hill. In fact, weâ€™re in her head. Sheâ€™s drawing what we can see happening. The idea is that she wildly scribbles a drawing in the same way as she tortures the dÃ©cor. Itâ€™s a massacre with crayons. So the idea, at this point, is that we not only see the dÃ©cor, but its architect too. And the architect, as it happens, is this little girl.
Here weâ€™re getting to the core of the definition of the town Silent Hill, which is that itâ€™s a tormented, tortured place. The reality of this little town has been, in a way, tortured by a child. Like a little girl using a lighter to melt her doll. Well, the character of Alessa has done the same to the entire town, held a flame to it, in a way. The whole film displays the signs of this torment. What I like about this idea is that the body of the town isnâ€™t so much symbolized by its inhabitants, as by its architecture. Itâ€™s the idea that the town has a real living body, that this body is the buildings, the alleyways and so on, and that these places can be tortured just like a body of flesh and bone can be. Itâ€™s an idea thatâ€™s found, obviously, in modern art, an idea thatâ€™s been worked on a lot, that the appearances around us can be, in a way, damaged and torn to shreds by the artist. And to me, Alessa â€“ and this is something I felt deeply when playing the game â€“ is an artist, a tormented artist, who, in a way, imposes her torture on reality. Not just on the people living in this town, but also on its entire environment.
He also describes the town's shift as being similar to a person being skinned, which suggests that there may have been some symbolism in Anna's manner of death.
* Gans believes that Pyramid Head resembles a penitent from the time of the Spanish Inquisition. This ties in with the Goya painting, "A Procession of Flagellants", which hangs in the Grand Hotel. The painting features Spanish penitents flaying themselves, wearing tan skirts and conical hats. Given the painting and Gans's statement about PH resembling a penitent, it would seem that Alessa created PH from the painting, and that he acts as both an incarnation of male violence and a symbol of religious intolerance.