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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film is too violent for children. The storyline takes the form of a nightmare, so connections between scenes and events are sometimes hard to follow. The town is ostensibly located over an ongoing coalmine fire, and the general mythos has to do with a cult that accuses and burns witches in order to maintain the group's "purity." Characters burn, stab, shoot, and throw rocks at each other; the film includes a couple of vehicle crashes, frequent scenes where the mother and/or her daughter scream in terror. Men in miners' gear appear to threaten Rose, mainly because they look scary in goggles and overalls. Various monsters are misshapen and zombie-like human-types, able to shape-shift in bad-dreamy fashion. The monsters attack with swords, the cop shoots until she's out of ammo and then submits to a dire beating. Characters are burned to death, with skin melting, bubbling, and charring.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SILENT HILL follows the nightmarish story of Rose (Radha Mitchell), whose daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) is a longtime sleepwalker pulled by a mysterious force. Rose takes Sharon to Silent Hill, a coal mining town that appears to be haunting the girl. On the way, they encounter motorcycle cop Cybil (Laurie Holden), who follows Rose and Sharon to Silent Hill. Once there, they confront many misshapen, nightmarish creatures. At last Rose finds the head mistress in town, Christabella (Alice Krige). A self-identified witch-burner, she decides that Rose, Sharon, and anyone else from out of town needs to be burned at the stake. Hordes of folks recite and grab at Rose and Cybil as Christabella chants "We fight the demon," and "We drew a line in the sand." All the while, Rose keeps telling Sharon, "It'll be okay, baby." But it won't.
Is it any good?
Silent Hill is creepy and mostly incoherent. At times the film cuts away to Rose's husband Chris, who's doing his own investigating, in archives and with the help of a police inspector, Gucci (Kim Coates), who has found the wife's Jeep. Gucci tells some spastic story about the town's coal fire, the "hellish" day in 1974, when "people were dying and disappearing." It sounds creepy, but doesn't quite explain how come they're reappearing in the present.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: April 21, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: August 22, 2006
- Cast: Laurie Holden, Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean
- Director: Christophe Gans
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 127 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong horror violence and gore, disturbing images, and some language.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.