Starring Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington. Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett. STC. 94 min. Opens Oct. 26.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D should be retitled Welcome to My Boring Nightmare. The second film to be based on the horror video game is one long, dimly lit, blood-speckled yawn. Not even the overacting prowess of Malcolm McDowell and Carrie-Anne Moss—both doing crazy-ass cameos—can save it from slipping into the gory doldrums by the half-way mark. Where the first Silent Hill movie, released in 2006, was at least laughably bad, this lumbering sequel doesn’t even merit a few giggles.
The plot, inspired by the Silent Hill 3 game, picks up six years after the first flick. Sharon, that movie’s troubled little girl, is now a teenager renamed Heather (Adelaide Clemens), but she’s still having nightmares about Silent Hill—a West Virginia ghost town perpetually wrapped in fog and occupied by a religious cult. Heather can’t remember what happened to her there as a child, and her devoted father (Sean Bean) has been deliberately keeping her in the dark about it. But after he’s kidnapped, Heather is lured back to the town to rescue him and, in the process, discovers her real identity and why the cult is so hell-bent on destroying her.
Writer-director Michael J. Bassett (Deathwatch) attempts a minimum of character development in the early, non-Silent Hill scenes. But even then, he toggles relentlessly back and forth between “reality” and a creepy alternate dimension that Heather keeps slipping into beyond her control. By the time she gets to Silent Hill, where this “Otherworld” predominates, it no longer has much impact. The few entertaining moments involve the Otherworld’s hideous creatures, designed by Patrick Tatopoulos, which look like Pan’s Labyrinth rejects crossed with clothing-store dummies. But they’re more whimsical than scary, while the 3D effects are half-hearted at best. This is one horror movie you won’t lose sleep over.