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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed
     
         
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So, the upshot of all this is that the Silent Hill movie is like an alternate history of the Silent Hill games. "What if Alessa was found by the competing Christian witch-burning cult instead of the Order?"

Would that be an accurate description of what's going on, here?

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Kenji wrote:
So, the upshot of all this is that the Silent Hill movie is like an alternate history of the Silent Hill games. "What if Alessa was found by the competing Christian witch-burning cult instead of the Order?"

Would that be an accurate description of what's going on, here?

Unless Bassett changes something, yes.


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I think the introduction of the Order into the film's world is just icing on the cake with everything else we know will be involved. Dunno 'bout ya'll, but that's some thick and yummy icing for me.

Haters gonna hate (the Order haters, that is...)

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You guys don't seem to get what I'm saying. I'm not talking about 'what the director has said outside of the movie' or anything like that. I'm saying that the movie is vague enough that it can be interpreted, and without prior knowledge of the series the more obvious interpretation for most non-fans is more along the lines of a 'deal with a nameless evil'. What I am saying is that it will be nice if the second movie steps in and supplies clearer information to help people to interpret it.

Even with psychic powers, there's a difference between making some flowers wilt and turning an entire town into an intricate nightmare. I for one have always interpreted not just the movie but the games as well as having some bigger evil presence which Alessa acts as a vessel for, even if it's something as abstract as 'the power of evil', or as literal as 'a piece of hell'.

The wilting flowers, you act like there's never been a movie where a demon appears in small stages. The Exorcist began with strange noises in the attic, Paranormal Activity begins with quiet bumps and cold breezes before it escalates into people being dragged down hallways and bitten.

I can't see how casual audiences are supposed to accept that a little girl can have psychic powers strong enough to turn a town into hell, I think there's something more than that. A greater power underneath the town, I think Silent Hill had just as much to do with it as Alessa; they needed each other.

It's not awful dialogue to leave something open to interpretation, in fact it's always been a staple of Silent Hill. Those 'Alessa's powers' scenes were probably omitted for the very reason that it gets speculation like this going and that people like me can interpret it either way. The devil-symbolism in the dialogue and visuals just give people other things to anchor off of when interpreting it, I think the idea that a non-specific 'evil force' was channelled by Alessa is just as valid, "I have many names, right now I'm the dark part of Alessa", how much clearer could it be what that was supposed to mean? She's not just 'Alessa's anger in a person', she's the evil that men do, she is hate, personified. She's a manifestation of vengeance. Devine retribution. If Gans didn't want this he wouldn't have taken out scenes which reinforce the other explaination(s). I think it's supposed to give game fans an interpretation closer to the games, and casual audiences clues to form a more simple interpretation, hence the removal of certain scenes and the devil symbolism.

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You guys don't seem to get what I'm saying. I'm not talking about 'what the director has said outside of the movie' or anything like that. I'm saying that the movie is vague enough that it can be interpreted, and without prior knowledge of the series the more obvious interpretation for most non-fans is more along the lines of a 'deal with a nameless evil'. What I am saying is that it will be nice if the second movie steps in and supplies clearer information to help people to interpret it.

Oh, we understand what you're saying, and I've even stated repeatedly in this very thread that I agree the symbolic content was so overwhelming that it leads people to ignore or make up unsupported theories to explain the very few pieces of evidence that Alessa had powers. And as I've also said before, I agree that Bassett needs to fix that. All I did was point out that "retcon" is not the correct word for expanding on something that's already canon, and that somehow led to you claiming there's nothing in the film showing Alessa had powers before Dark Alessa arrived, which is simply untrue. Repeat as much as you like that people didn't get it, but it doesn't change that the evidence is there, and that the filmmakers did make an active effort to show people what was really going on, despite youur insistence that they did not. Not anywhere enough of an effort in the face of all the symbolism, but still an effort.

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Even with psychic powers, there's a difference between making some flowers wilt and turning an entire town into an intricate nightmare.

What is the main question behind the movie? Why is the world changing? Who's making it change? Who does Dark Alessa say has the power to "change the world"? Alessa. You're also ignoring the fact that Alessa brutally burned a nurse and cast her into an undead state, which is pretty freaking powerful, if you ask me. And again, this occurs before Dark Alessa ever shows up.
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I for one have always interpreted not just the movie but the games as well as having some bigger evil presence which Alessa acts as a vessel for, even if it's something as abstract as 'the power of evil', or as literal as 'a piece of hell'.

And you would be wrong on both counts.

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The wilting flowers, you act like there's never been a movie where a demon appears in small stages. The Exorcist began with strange noises in the attic, Paranormal Activity begins with quiet bumps and cold breezes before it escalates into people being dragged down hallways and bitten.

There is ZERO evidence of this, and it stands in direct contradiction to Dark Alessa's statement of "That's when I came". Movies don't work backwards, and there's no reason why Dark Alessa would lie to Rose about that, so no, there's no possible way Alessa's powers came from Dark Alessa.

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I can't see how casual audiences are supposed to accept that a little girl can have psychic powers strong enough to turn a town into hell, I think there's something more than that. A greater power underneath the town, I think Silent Hill had just as much to do with it as Alessa; they needed each other.

Except there's not one iota of evidence in either the movie or any outside sources saying such a thing. It's as much unproveable fan fiction as saying Alessa probably wears pink pajamas to bed every night.

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It's not awful dialogue to leave something open to interpretation, in fact it's always been a staple of Silent Hill. Those 'Alessa's powers' scenes were probably omitted for the very reason that it gets speculation like this going and that people like me can interpret it either way.

Or because the original cut was 3 hours long and the studio demanded they trim scenes with the female characters. Or because Gans wanted to make Alessa seem more innocent. I find it highly unlikely that he would specifically cut that for interpretation purposes, and then make it clear what the correct meaning is in basically every single interview. Not once has he ever said he intended Alessa's story to be left open for interpretation.
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The devil-symbolism in the dialogue and visuals just give people other things to anchor off of when interpreting it, I think the idea that a non-specific 'evil force' was channelled by Alessa is just as valid, "I have many names, right now I'm the dark part of Alessa", how much clearer could it be what that was supposed to mean? She's not just 'Alessa's anger in a person', she's the evil that men do, she is hate, personified. She's a manifestation of vengeance. Devine retribution.

That's not the canon definition of her, and unless Bassett pulls a huge retcon, it never will be. According to the canon interpretation, she is not an outside entity, just the angry side of an ultra-powerful psionic girl. It may come off as valid to most movie-goers due to the overabundance of metaphor, but it's not true, which was my whole point in telling you that explaining what's already canon isn't retconning anything. "I have many names" could mean about a thousand things, everything from Alessa herself having many names to Dark Alessa telling Rose the cultists have many names for her to the dark side of the psyche being comprised of many emotions, etc etc. The only thing that is certain about that statement is that Gans never meant for audiences to take it as meaning Dark Alessa is literally the devil, seeing as he's been very outspoken about the fact that the movie can't be understood if the viewer doesn't get that Alessa is split into 3 entities.
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If Gans didn't want this he wouldn't have taken out scenes which reinforce the other explaination(s). I think it's supposed to give game fans an interpretation closer to the games, and casual audiences clues to form a more simple interpretation, hence the removal of certain scenes and the devil symbolism.

Except he's specifically stated that the movie cannot be understood at all if the audience doesn't understand that Alessa exists in 3 bodies. Which means that, no, it was not intentional. He also put a crapload of symbolism of Rose being the Virgin Mary, Alessa the Christian God, and Sharon as Jesus, but I'd hope no one believes any of those people actually are what the symbolism says they are.


Last edited by JKristine35 on 30 Nov 2011, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed
     
         
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Even with psychic powers, there's a difference between making some flowers wilt and turning an entire town into an intricate nightmare.


Is there, honestly? It's a matter of scale, more than anything. And frankly, when you're performing something that blatantly ignores the laws of physics to such a degree that "Things happen because I will it", that's effectively godhood, no matter how minor; how do you put a quantitative scale on something like that?

The only real difference between killing a flower and creating a world, when you're doing so without the involvement of energy, effort, time, or any other sort of 'cost', is merely imagination.

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The wilting flowers, you act like there's never been a movie where a demon appears in small stages. The Exorcist began with strange noises in the attic, Paranormal Activity begins with quiet bumps and cold breezes before it escalates into people being dragged down hallways and bitten.


It doesn't change the fact that even Dark Alessa says that it's "Alessa's hate" doing those things, not her own personal presence.

Unless you'd like to equate the two as the same thing.

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I can't see how casual audiences are supposed to accept that a little girl can have psychic powers strong enough to turn a town into hell, I think there's something more than that.


Carrie.

Which, you know, Alessa Gillespie is based off of. Yea, it's information from outside of the films, but if people can accept Carrie, they can accept Alessa.

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A greater power underneath the town, I think Silent Hill had just as much to do with it as Alessa; they needed each other.


Nothing in the movie suggests this. Even if we concede that Dark Alessa could be interpreted as a legitimate demon, nothing suggests the town is itself special except for your impression from the games. The idea is even less supportable, by your own arguments, then Alessa having innate powers of her own.

You can't have it both ways.

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It's not awful dialogue to leave something open to interpretation, in fact it's always been a staple of Silent Hill. Those 'Alessa's powers' scenes were probably omitted for the very reason that it gets speculation like this going and that people like me can interpret it either way.


It doesn't really work when there's an objective correct answer and the director expresses disappointment in his own work that people are missing out on that interpretation. At best, you can appeal to Death of the Author, but not everyone finds that satisfying.

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I think the idea that a non-specific 'evil force' was channelled by Alessa is just as valid, "I have many names, right now I'm the dark part of Alessa", how much clearer could it be what that was supposed to mean? She's not just 'Alessa's anger in a person', she's the evil that men do, she is hate, personified. She's a manifestation of vengeance. Devine retribution. If Gans didn't want this he wouldn't have taken out scenes which reinforce the other explaination(s).


She DOES have many names. She's called the Devil, the Dark One, and all sorts of things by the cult. She plays the role of Adversary and Reaper to those who deem her as such as part of Alessa's revenge. She does this regardless of what her metaphysical nature is.

However, "Rose, your reward is the truth" plus "Right now, I'm the dark side of Alessa" makes it pretty obvious to even a casual viewer that she's revealing her true form and dropping the Satan act. My own mother, who's never even heard of Silent Hill before the movie and is a devout Christian, figured out Gans' intended interpretation. It's not THAT obscure, people are just way too damn literal-minded when the movie is very obviously symbolic.

Protip: Symbolisms and metaphors mean that when you are told something in plain text, you should probably look for an underlining meaning. Meaning that if someone says outright "I AM THE DEVIL", she probably isn't.

Also ninja'd by Kristine.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed
     
         
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I guess I'm wrong! Aura, your explanations help a lot, I appreciate it.

So basically Alessa is Carrie, and the burning is the pig's blood prank? I must admit even in my first viewing I had 'Carrie vibes' from that incredible climax sequence in the church, and Chrystabella reeked of Carrie's mother from the word go. It's just, well, imagine if Carrie didn't have those moments when she bursts the lightbulb, moves the ashtray, breaks the mirror, slams the door, all without touching them... Imagine if suddenly we found out that she had these powers after the pig blood fell on her...

I mean, it'd have been nice to have had at least one line or shot showing that they called her a witch for reasons other than just 'we didn't know who her father was', otherwise it really does appear that the powers just appear because she's so angry, and that it happens to everybody 'when someone is angry for so long that hate starts to change the world' etc...

But surely "RIGHT NOW I'm the dark part of Alessa" is a stupid line then, that implies that at other times she is other things, hence why most people would see her as a demon. I've basically been trying to say, any layman watching the movie isn't going to see it this way, and well, it is open for interpretation, whether that was intentional or not, most of the negative points in non-biased (as in from non video game publications) reviews were about the conclusion being confusing and well, I'll vouch for that, but I had seen it as a good thing because I could interpret it my way as could anybody else.

So basically, Alessa was something special from the beginning? What I had always seen was, well, in the game they wanted to give birth to a "god"/demon through her, in the film I had seen it as the same thing happening, but without the intention of the cult. Like the fundamentalists had 'woken something up'. I still prefer this interpretation.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed
     
         
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I completely agree that the movie did a horrible job showing what was really going on. In particular, it was the dumbest move ever to remove Dark Alessa's original answer to Rose about who she is ("Alessa. This whole world is Alessa."), and replace it with the "I have many names" crap. Yeah, I get Gans wanted symbolism dripping from every piece of celluloid, but that still wasn't a good idea. However, I suspect that line might not be a devil reference at all, but a metaphorical allusion to the Holy Trinity. If you're interested, I posted my theory in this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=24009


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Cool, thanks for the link! Actually works really well, the devil symbolism fits perfectly when we see Alessa as the god of her own world, "I have many names", perhaps she sees herself as Alessa's world's devil. I'm thinking Revelation could do what Paranormal Activity 2 did, to add more weight to the first by further explaining the details in it (I didn't particularly like PA2 but I liked how it, as a pre/sequel, fleshed out the first film in non-destructive ways). So essentially, it would be a retcon but more of a reinforcement of something previously vague?

In my opinion, as a stand alone film, Silent Hill's explanation is what you want it to be, devil, Alessa, demon, whatever, because it's far too vague to be considered something everybody can understand without looking it up on the internet. The sequel could make it's official explanation properly canonical though, which would be nice.

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Okay, I blame

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Also, the demon in the Exorcist began as really loud desert winds, two pissed off dogs fighting, and a big fuckoff statue.


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KiramidHead wrote:
Also, the demon in the Exorcist began as really loud desert winds, two pissed off dogs fighting, and a big fuckoff statue.

lol, well, I guess so! But then we could say it began way before the beginning of the film if we go down that route, heh...

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The word canon means "original, official", which means anything Gans says is true about the film is part of canon, whether some audience members interpreted it that way or not. So yes, it's a reinforcement of a previously not well explained plot point. It's not retconning to expand on the already-canon interpretation of Dark Alessa/ Sharon/ Alessa. I asked Bassett specifically about the Alessa trio and if he was going to change it to match the general audience misinterpretation or if he would adhere to canon, to which he replied "Gans was right". So it looks like her story will be staying the same as it was meant to be - it'll just be better explained this time around.


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So basically Alessa is Carrie, and the burning is the pig's blood prank? I must admit even in my first viewing I had 'Carrie vibes' from that incredible climax sequence in the church, and Chrystabella reeked of Carrie's mother from the word go. It's just, well, imagine if Carrie didn't have those moments when she bursts the lightbulb, moves the ashtray, breaks the mirror, slams the door, all without touching them... Imagine if suddenly we found out that she had these powers after the pig blood fell on her...


Well, Game Alessa was based on Carrie, according to Team Silent, and Gans decided to take it to the next level because he's a Stephen King fan. Really, the original game/movie is a crossover between Carrie and The Regulators.

Also, yea, Alessa in the movie did do stuff like controlling butterflies, but those scenes got cut. I really wish they didn't, because those scenes seemed pretty damn important.

Quote:
I mean, it'd have been nice to have had at least one line or shot showing that they called her a witch for reasons other than just 'we didn't know who her father was', otherwise it really does appear that the powers just appear because she's so angry, and that it happens to everybody 'when someone is angry for so long that hate starts to change the world' etc...


Well, WE know it doesn't happen to everyone, since the world is pretty realistic and Earth-like outside of the nightmare, so I thought the obvious conclusion was that Alessa didn't realize she was special.

Which, ironically, makes her lack of "powers throughout her life" scenes kind of more fitting for it.

Quote:
But surely "RIGHT NOW I'm the dark part of Alessa" is a stupid line then, that implies that at other times she is other things, hence why most people would see her as a demon. I've basically been trying to say, any layman watching the movie isn't going to see it this way, and well, it is open for interpretation, whether that was intentional or not, most of the negative points in non-biased (as in from non video game publications) reviews were about the conclusion being confusing and well, I'll vouch for that, but I had seen it as a good thing because I could interpret it my way as could anybody else.


You're right, it's not the best word choice. But I felt that the fact that she revealed herself as Alessa's Dark Side during her confession of "The Truth" made it pretty obvious what she actually was the whole time. My mom picked up on it without any help, so it's not like you need information of the games to get it.

Quote:
So basically, Alessa was something special from the beginning? What I had always seen was, well, in the game they wanted to give birth to a "god"/demon through her, in the film I had seen it as the same thing happening, but without the intention of the cult. Like the fundamentalists had 'woken something up'. I still prefer this interpretation.


Even in the games, she was always special. Dahlia used her psychokinetic powers to kill and harm people that were a threat to her plans, like politicians trying to crack down on the drug ring. But you know, Alessa isn't fucking evil so she didn't want to do it, and eventually refused. So Dahlia decided to put her powers to ANOTHER use.

I can't imagine it'd be much different in the movie. Alessa has powers and is responsible for the existence of the Otherworld in both continuities, and the demons and deities she brings into the world are ambiguous but in both cases implied to be constructs of her imagination.

If anyone is a god, it's Alessa.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed

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I'm really glad to hear this and I wouldn't mind if they did retcon a few things from the first film to be honest.


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AuraTwilight wrote:
If anyone is a god, it's Alessa.

This is one way I always took it. The deity/god/supreme entity couldn't have done too much without Alessa (or some other powerful vessel) in the games, at least. Though, for some reason, I always took Alessa as being more than a vessel, and more of a vital pinnacle in this scheme.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed

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I'm not against having a new Cult in the film series, as long as they have a VERY good reason to explain why they are all trapped in the Fog World. I mean, from looking at the photos, most of the people in the Cult don't look over forty. By the time SH:R rolls around, if they've been trapped in the Fog World since Alessa's story began, they would've been in there for around forty years... even the youngest of them would be very old.


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I'm not sure if you're talking about the Order or the Brethren. If it's the former, there's no evidence any member of that cult has ever even seen Alessa's world, yet alone become trapped in it. If it's the Brethren you're referring to, they all died at the end of the first film, and will likely only apppear in flashbacks.


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 Post subject: Re: The Order Is Confirmed

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JKristine35 wrote:
I'm not sure if you're talking about the Order or the Brethren. If it's the former, there's no evidence any member of that cult has ever even seen Alessa's world, yet alone become trapped in it. If it's the Brethren you're referring to, they all died at the end of the first film, and will likely only apppear in flashbacks.


I'm talking about the Order. I'm just wondering how they will explain their presence in Alessa's world.


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There's no evidence the Order is associated with Alessa's world at all, or that any of them have ever been in it. It's entirely possible that the first time they see it is when Heather arrives in Silent Hill and starts triggering the alternate reality to appear.


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