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 Post subject: One thing I would change - Dark Silent Hill

I think my main complaint about the Silent Hill movie is that the 'dark' Silent Hill segments still weren't dark enough. I know that the fog and darkness was partly a nod to processing overhead on the original Playstation, but being only able to see what was on a quarter of the screen made the whole experience that much more claustrophobic.

I realize that something that intentionally makes the game a bit more challenging wouldn't have necessarily made a good film, but I think he could have at least made a little more of a stab at it by doing things like having the film dim to black around the edges.

I think this mistake impacted two particular scenes. First, the classic Silent Hill 'introduction' with the Gray Children/Mumblers. Gans fell into the trap of saying, "with CG we can show the sprawling Hell of Silent Hill!" But what makes the experience of that sequence so great is how it gets progressively more and more claustrophobic, until you're cornered in a little space and overrun by an enemy that as a player you can only see in silouette. I think some of the shots in the buildup to that sequence were too wide-angle, and letting Rose 'escape' broke the success of the original sequence.

The second scene I'm thinking of was the nurses. To put it very simply, they were too well lit. It would have helped the creepyness of them if we couldn't see them as well. Further, it would have been more intimidating to not be able to see past them. Instead of a 5x5 group of nurses filling up a 15 foot section of hallway, we suddenly have the possibility that this hallway is filled with a potentially much larger number. Finally, the whole statement 'They're attracted to the light, but you won't be able to see with out it' (which was true about the game) is rendered meaningless when Rose turns off the light and it's no darker than it was with the light on!

All-encompassing darkness also contributes one other factor in the game, eventually you're not sure if the world even exists 10 feet to your left, and sometimes, it doesn't! That's a significant impact in the game, and it's a bit lost in the movie.

I think one scene that does actually manage to give an impression of an all-encompassing darkness though is the scene on the church stairs. In that sequence, it seems like there was more of an attempt made to restrict what you could see, and I think it was much more successful in making the dark Silent Hill ominous. Maybe I'm not remembering it correctly, but it seemed like what you could make out was much more restricted and obscured by darkness.


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Hope House Careworker
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Missing since: 01 Apr 2005
Notes left: 699
I agree with the whole mumbler wide-shot, but it did make you think "...shit there's a lot of those bastards" and then it lets you see the 'foggy version' later, which wouldnt have been as understandable to non-SH fans without a wideshot.

It they increased the darkness, though, you just wouldnt be able to see, and people would complain. Alien Vs Predator, for example, is usually dubbed as either to close-up, or too dark.
People just dont want to see pitch blackness on screen.
It works fine in a game, where its you fighting the monsters.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 18 Mar 2006
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Last seen at: England
the darekst bit had to be the bit outsied the church or in the school bathroom


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 Post subject:

I had no problem with the wide shots in the foggy Silent Hill. It was really the dark Silent Hill that I thought was lacking in its psychological impact. I think tightening up the darkness at the edges of the screen could have helped make it seem more dark without much impact on the core of the screen.

Along the same lines, I think some of the more successful creature introductions in Silent Hill games are the ones where you really initially only see the monster in silouhette. I think that could have helped the nurses and grey children significantly. I think with the bit about the nurses being drawn to the light and Rose needing to turn it off to get past them, I think a solution where she sets the light down to draw them one way would have been a better way of handling that. Lets them light the scene, the light is still 'left behind', and any threat Rose faces could come from any stragglers that she has to get past.


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 Post subject:

I'm pretty sure when Gans was going through the editting process they experimented with the darkness and probably found that adding some light was better.

I think the visuals were stunning none the less.


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 Post subject:

I think the poor script was a far bigger problem.


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 Post subject:

thegronc wrote:
I think the poor script was a far bigger problem.


I never really had any problems with the script, particularly because the speakers were complete nutjobs 70% of the time. Some of the exposition was a bit "well duh" inducing but nothing was utterly terrible.


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Hope House Careworker
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Missing since: 01 Apr 2005
Notes left: 699
Yeah I didnt really find any problem with the script.
I mean, what would you have them say? There isnt anything else they could've said.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 21 Apr 2006
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drakan90 wrote:
There isnt anything else they could've said.


That was part of the problem, I think. I did have big issues with the script, most especially the cultist dialogue. Otherwise I thought it wasn't too shabby, but that could have used a serious second look.

I enjoyed the dark bits well enough, though I'll agree that the church steps was definitely the most oppressive feeling darkness. Thought that was done particularly well.

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 Post subject:

drakan90 wrote:
Yeah I didnt really find any problem with the script.
I mean, what would you have them say? There isnt anything else they could've said.


No, but there's plenty they shouldn't have said at all, like "Look at me, I'm burning. ", or "She's a WITCH! ", "Burn the Witch!!!", and so forth. I thought the conversation between Rose and Christopher at the start of the movie sounded totally cliche and tired - not the sorts of things you'd have two distraught parents of a traumatised child talking about in a panic, they sounded bored. And thank heavens they cast Alice Krige!!: she's probably the only actress capable of bringing plausibility to Christabella's dialogue, any other actress would have looked like a fool having to rant on the way she did. It sounded sometimes like emo MySpace goths.


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 Post subject:

Mary Sunderland wrote:
drakan90 wrote:
Yeah I didnt really find any problem with the script.
I mean, what would you have them say? There isnt anything else they could've said.


No, but there's plenty they shouldn't have said at all, like "Look at me, I'm burning. ", or "She's a WITCH! ", "Burn the Witch!!!", and so forth. I thought the conversation between Rose and Christopher at the start of the movie sounded totally cliche and tired - not the sorts of things you'd have two distraught parents of a traumatised child talking about in a panic, they sounded bored. And thank heavens they cast Alice Krige!!: she's probably the only actress capable of bringing plausibility to Christabella's dialogue, any other actress would have looked like a fool having to rant on the way she did. It sounded sometimes like emo MySpace goths.


You would have prefered "She is the scion of Samael, burn her before she births the god Vatiel unto us!!!!"


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 06 Jan 2004
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If Rose had "died" like Harry in SH1 the audience would not have accepted it. I didn't see a problem with the alleyway but I agree with you on the hospital. It should have been darker. Talking about the silouhettes, the Lying Figures were great for that.

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 Post subject:

Edit: double post.


Last edited by Anonymous on 22 Apr 2006, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:

Raiftel wrote:
You would have prefered "She is the scion of Samael, burn her before she births the god Vatiel unto us!!!!"


I think what I'd most like to have seen would have been "And Valtiel Spake Unto The People And Lo, Her Lovely Soul Was Born Corrupt Unto The Roses and The Darkness On A Pillar Of Blood, With Pain And Suffering And The Deep Dark Poison Of The Power Of Evil, And There Was Weeping With The People, For The Love And Dark Suffering Was Theirs Forevermore. Cast Her From Us Into Hell! ".

What?? Shut up, Christabella dear, it's 2006.


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 Post subject:

Mary Sunderland wrote:
Raiftel wrote:
You would have prefered "She is the scion of Samael, burn her before she births the god Vatiel unto us!!!!"


I think what I'd most like to have seen would have been "And Valtiel Spake Unto The People And Lo, Her Lovely Soul Was Born Corrupt Unto The Roses and The Darkness On A Pillar Of Blood, With Pain And Suffering And The Deep Dark Poison Of The Power Of Evil, And There Was Weeping With The People, For The Love And Dark Suffering Was Theirs Forevermore. Cast Her From Us Into Hell! ".

What?? Shut up, Christabella dear, it's 2006.


But Christabella was a fundamentalist Christian, so to speak. They had descended from the witch hunters so such poetry, while beautiful, would make little sense in the context. In fact if did say that she'd probably be tied to a ladder too. The cult is essentially a little isolated community of christians circe 18th century. Like the amish...but evil...er..


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 Post subject:

I know, I was making a joke about the overly florid speech!


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 Post subject:

Sorry, just got in from a party so my brain isn't working on full steam.

I honestly thought Christabella's dialogue was acceptable if you imagined her as a fire and brimstone style fundemental priest. She grandstands in a very biblical way and she honestly believes she is fighting the darkness. I could have done without the bull horns hand gesture...

And at times the witch dialouge was like something out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"She's made of wood?"

"Good, and how do we tell if she's a witch"

"Build a bridge out of her?"


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 Post subject:

Hee hee, I said exactly the same thing!!


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