A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is the sequel to 2006's Silent Hill and that both films are based on popular video games. The original dealt with the disturbing disappearance of a young girl; that character has now grown into a brave and resourceful teen. There's lots of strong fantasy/horror violence, including nightmarish imagery (characters with no faces and other creepy things) and blood and gore (particularly severed limbs and heads). Language includes a few uses of both "f--k" and "s--t," and a topless woman is shown for a few moments in one scene, though otherwise -- except for some mild teen flirting -- sex and sexual innuendo aren't really issues.
What's the story?
Some years after the events of Silent Hill, the central young girl has now grown into a teen who goes by the name of Heather (Adelaide Clemens). She and her adoptive father (Sean Bean) have kept moving, supposedly to keep away from the evil forces in Silent Hill, which are constantly searching for Heather. When her father disappears, Heather decides to ignore all warnings and return. She learns that if she finds the other half of a mystical amulet, she could have the power to change things for good. But first, she must navigate a terrifying city full of horrors -- and even if she saves the day, there's no guaranteeing that she'll survive.
Is it any good?
Writer/director Michael J. Bassett takes the helm for this sequel to 2006's Silent Hill, and though his direction is better than Christophe Gans' was, his writing is worse than Roger Avary's. SILENT HILL: REVELATION is filled with an astounding array of character and set designs, ranging from creepy stuffed bunnies at a carnival to more insidious creatures with blank faces covered in stitching. Some of Bassett's imagery seems lifted directly out of a nightmare -- or perhaps an especially ghastly museum exhibit.
Unfortunately, the writing is so weak and comes up so short that all the striking imagery amounts to practically nothing. It begins as the heroine has a nightmare wherein she's told: "You can never defeat me," followed by "don't go back to Silent Hill." Well, should she, or shouldn't she? Things don't improve from there; whenever characters speak to one another, they seem to be trying to explain the plot -- which only gets more complicated and more nonsensical -- out loud. It never becomes clear.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Silent Hill: Revelation's violence. How does its impact compare to what you've seen in other horror movies? What about in other, more realistic films?
Are the movie's images like nightmares? How so? Is the movie scary? How do those images contribute to the overall tone/feel?
What's the appeal of horror movies? Why can it be fun to be scared?
Is the main character a role model for teen girls? What are her positive qualities? Her iffier ones?
- In theaters: October 26, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: February 12, 2013
- Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kit Harington, Sean Bean
- Director: Michael J. Bassett
- Studio: Open Road Films
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence and disturbing images, some language and brief nudity
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