Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Silent Hill

In Roger Ebert's pan of Silent Hill, he discusses some students' reactions to the movie and the game. Apparently, a young person said to him after the show, "I guess this was like a video game that you like had to play in order to like understand the movie." Well, I have, like, played the game.

I haven't seen the movie, but the trailer seems to demonstrate an ongoing problem with video game adaptations. Many of the best video games try to seem like a movie; the movie versions, in turn, try to seem like video games. In the Silent Hill series, the stories are very complicated and character-driven. They have long, stylized, non-interactive animation sequences that often involve no action at all. Monsters are generally unrelated to the plot and their presence is barely explained, if at all. So, if you're doing a movie adaptation, why not eliminate the monsters altogether and just tell the story in a stylized way?


Blogger XWL said...

Your suggestion would probably make a better film, but that's not why Hollywood pays money to license these properties.

They pay money to get a ready made teenage audience on opening weekend, and all their research and conventional wisdom tells them they want semi-frightening, creepy, but mostly bloodless horror films that they can go out to while on dates.

Challenging psychologically motivated storytelling heavy on the atmosphere just doesn't test well.

Funny thing is, one of the most successful semi-horror films of the last 10 years was Sixth Sense which in many ways fits the rubric of more psychology less fright. But the lesson Hollywood learned instead was use mostly emotionless children, and have a twist.

Oh well.

8:55 PM  

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