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May 3, 2013
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
26/10/2012 (USA)6/3/2013Village RoadshowMichael J Bassett
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Adelaide Clemens

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Carrie-Anne Moss has a small, but critical, role in Silent Hill Revelations.

Based on the Silent Hill 3 video game we were very keen to check out Silent Hill: Revelations 3D on Blu-Ray. After all we are a gaming site, and Konami's franchise is one of the biggest in the industry. While the first film disappointed somewhat we still had hope that this sequel would up the ante and deliver the goods. So let's see what we've got then...

Heather Mason (played by Australia's own Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean from The Lord of the Rings) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. On the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her to Silent Hill and deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.

It's fair to say that this film is messed up, and we mean that in several ways. First of all there are scenes and imagery here that are, well, downright freaky, bizarre, terrifying and grotesque. Creature design by Paul Jones is obviously heavily inspired by the video games, but they really look quite spectacular in the film - just wait until your see the spider-like creature carrying his own head!

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Adelaide Clemens is pretty good as Heather.
Unfortunately the film is also "messed up" in a bad way to. It's a near incomprehensible, incoherent mess with characters you barely know or care for, a plot that is paper thin at most and makes the original film look like a masterpiece. What makes this sadder is the brilliant cast. Australian born Adelaide Clemens, who has more than a passing resemblance to Michelle Williams, does a pretty good job in her first leading role in a film and we'll be keen to see her upcoming roles in The Great Gatsby and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Supporting her in this film are Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix Trilogy), Malcolm Mcdowell (A Clockwork Orange), Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill and Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones). Besides Kit and Sean, each of these actors has little more then a cameo role of a few minutes which is somewhat disappointing given their star power. Then again, this is a $US20 million film with a runtime of only 87 minutes (well, 94 minutes if you include 7 minutes of credits).

It's a shame too that some of the best 3D in the film actually takes place during the credits sequence with some wonderful fly around sequences while the 3D in the film is somewhat limited by the dark, claustrophobic nature of many of the films sequences. Still, you'll find some moments when things jump out at you or the extra depth just adds that little extra to some scenes.

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Creatures are as twisted as the video games.
Sadly Silent Hill: Revelations is a pretty poor film, very poor in fact, and it will do little to please fans of the original film, or the video game franchise. It's not a complete mess - we've seen worse films - but it's towards the weaker end of the scale and a rental at best.

While the film itself is a bit of a mess the same can't be said for the video transfer which is pretty gorgeous. Whether you watch the film in 2D or 3D there will be moments which will impress. The 3D effect is certainly evident in places, but doesn't poke your eyes out so to speak. There are a lot of dark scenes throughout the film however the transfer handles these quite well indeed with only a small amount of black crush, contrast or compression issues evident. Encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 coded (in the 2D version) at the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio there is little to complain about here.

While the DVD release is given a rather average Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix at 448kbps the Blu-Ray is given a glorious lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is an absolute cracker. Sound in this films is as haunting and dramatic as any other feature film we've heard and while the music is largely forgettable, much like the video games, it's the haunting audio effects that will have you on the edge of your seat, or jumping off it at times.

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Many would know the male actor - it's Kit Harington who plays Jon Snow from The Game Of Thrones TV series!
As far as I can tell the American release of Silent Hill: Revelation, on Blu-Ray is pretty devoid of extras so it's nice to see us getting a decent showing on our disc. Here we go...

Audio Commentary: This audio commentary is a solo effort with writer and director Michael J Bassett and it's not a bad effort although he does, at times, flounder a little bit by describing the scenes. Fortunately he does also go into considerable detail about the films production including using the RED cameras and filming in 3D, working with the actors, creature design, editing the film (and indeed there's mention that perhaps the film was cut a little too much), and ensuring continuity with the previous film and video games. Interestingly this audio commentary was recorded after the films release he talks about the poor critical reception it received and how he may have changed things if he had his time over.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (11:44/HD): Here we have a series of nine, well, deleted and extended scenes some of which could have been added back into the film to add a little more depth.

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The executioner is one hell of an enemy!
Silent Hill At Universal Hollywood Horror Nights Featurette (4:43/HD): This is a look at bringing the game and film franchise to Hollywood Horror Nights (essentially a theme park experience) but includes interviews with cast and crew from the film with a couple of interesting snippets.

Video Introduction by Director Michael J Bassett (0:48/HD): Pretty much a pointless extra with the director introducing the disc, which, unless we're mental, didn't play when the disc loaded so what's the point.

The Darkness Revealed - Making of Silent Hill Revelation (46:10/HD): This is a pretty decent "Making of" documentary which looks at the creation of the film, to the casting, filming and post production. Sure we've seen better elsewhere, but this was surprisingly deep and definitely worth a look - hell, this held my interest better than the feature film itself.

A Look Inside Silent Hill Revelation 3D (3:04/HD): An EPK styled promo featurette for the film.

Silent Hill: Revelations was a disappointing film, given a fantastic transfer and some decent extras. Perhaps with some extra love and care this could have been decent, but as it is, it's really only for big fans of the original film and few others.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.