Sunday, April 23, 2006

Do Gamers Have No Taste?

I saw Silent Hill
this weekend. I didn't hate it.

And yet, looking at two big review compilation sites, the movie is a pile of garbage.

Metacritic is the more interesting review site, because the critic metascore is 29%, while the User score is 8.8/10. I'm betting the Users that actually cared to comment were at least slightly familiar with the game.

The movie made me want to play the game again, which is a slight dig at the film and yet a thumbs-up as well. There was a faithfulness to the translation that did go a bit too far at times -- notably in the intrusive, overwhelming, often out-of-place soundtrack.

The dialogue was laughable, sometimes literally -- but sparse.

The story itself did all the right things, though it wasn't always backed by the best directorial choices. The little girl in the lead wasn't versatile enough for her role. There was a bit of overdone melodrama. The end makes the mistake of laying out "the big secret" all nice and neat, which tends to make people feel like the first hour and a half was a waste (show, don't tell . . . do they teach that in film school?).

I was surprised by some of the gruesome special effects -- gore movies with wide release are often toned way down. I'm wondering if we'll get any treats in a director's cut.

Again, it wasn't bad, but still highly flawed. I can't really think of any videogame-based movie that's felt more like an actual movie. Even with the obligatory cheesy setup for a sequel.

Still, I can't recommend it to anyone (1) not fond of the games and (2) not willing to forgive uneven plotting/mood.

But if you like good bad-horror-films, then you could find some things to enjoy.

No comments: