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Christophe Gans
Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
Roger Avary

Rose goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 125 min.
Price: $27.99
Release Date: 7/9/2019

• Audio Commentary with Cinematographer Dan Laustsen
• Interview with Director Christophe Gans
• Interview with Actor Jodelle Ferland
• Interview with Actor Roberto Campanella
• Interview with Makeup Artist Paul Jones
• “Paths of Darkness” Documentary
• 2 Vintage Featurettes
• 2 Galleries
• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Silent Hill: Collector's Edition [Blu-Ray] (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 4, 2019)

Based on the popular horror-oriented video game, 2006’s Silent Hill takes us to Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell). Her terminally ill adopted daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) suffers from nightmares about a place called “Silent Hill”.

Against the objections of husband Christopher (Sean Bean), Rose attempts to take her to this town as part of a treatment. However, they get into a car crash along the way.

After this event, Sharon disappears. Rose heads to Silent Hill and encounters a bizarre, haunted location with a terrifying secret.

Here’s where I comment once again about how movies based on video games struggle to find an audience. I admit I don’t even remember anything about Silent Hill’s theatrical run in spring 2006.

As such, I felt surprised to learn Hill didn’t actually bomb. With a US gross of nearly $47 million, it failed to find a big audience, but that seemed like a decent total for an “R”-rated horror flick.

In reality, it’s a miracle this mess made 50 cents. Incoherent and pointless, Hill provides a total dud.

The first half of the film seems almost wholly plot-free, and the dialogue doesn’t fare much better. During the initial hour, we hear endless utterances of “Sharon” – sometimes assertive, sometimes questioning, but that name will haunt your own nightmares, as you’ll hear it over and over again.

Once we get to the movie’s second half, Hill attempts to grow a narrative, but it fizzles. The story points we learn seem inane and unconvincing, so they do little to redeem the meandering moody opening hour.

To some degree, Hill feels “allowed” to get away with a loose story since so much of it pursues a nightmare scenario. One could easily interpret the entire enterprise as a dream, so it doesn’t necessarily need to adhere to traditional narrative elements.

Perhaps a more involving visual storyteller could create a setting creative enough to overcome the general absence of plot, but Christophe Gans failed to become that filmmaker. He stocks Hill with a mix of creepy components but none manage to get under the viewer’s skin.

Hill really does pack a surprisingly small punch. Even as a moody visual tale, it could still throw out unnerving elements that impact the audience.

Nope. Instead, the movie just feels gratuitously ugly, and none of the “scary” circumstances manage to disturb or unsettle.

The film’s elongated running time doesn’t help. No, a 90-minute Hill wouldn’t be a good film either, but at 125 minutes, the final product turns into an endurance test. A movie this substance-free needs to be short and sweet, not long and ponderous.

If forced to say something good about Hill, I’d come up short. I guess it’s a professional-looking project and that counts for something – but not enough to make it a productive way to spend two hours.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus A

Silent Hill appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a good representation of the source.

Sharpness mostly looked fine. Some shots came across as a bit soft and ill defined, but those instances didn’t occur with any great frequency. Overall delineation appeared positive.

I saw no issues related to jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Hill featured a fairly stylized palette, with grays and chilly blues dominant. I felt the disc reproduced them as intended.

Black levels were deep and dark, and low-light sequences followed along the same lines. Shadow detail seemed smooth and demonstrated good clarity. Overall, the image came across well.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Hill seemed somewhat limited in scope, as the majority of the movie focused on atmosphere. Music used the various speakers in the broadest way, as the score opened up across the various channels.

Effects occasionally packed a punch, as some louder moments cropped up sporadically. Because most of the movie favored creepy ambience, these didn’t occur often, but they added involvement on occasion.

Audio quality appeared fine. Speech always sounded clear and easily intelligible, and I noticed no problems with brittleness or other issues.

Effects were accurate and full, while music seemed dynamic and bold. Despite a less than active soundscape, the audio worked pretty well.

On Disc One, we find a trailer as well as an audio commentary< from cinematographer Dan Laustsen. Along with moderator Justin Beahm, Laustsen discusses his career, his work on Silent Hill, and other thoughts about the film industry and his profession.

Technically, this qualifies as a running, screen-specific discussion, as it’s clear the movie rolls while Laustsen and Beahm speak. However, Laustsen almost never refers to the on-screen action, so in reality, this becomes a long interview more than a true commentary.

In that vein, the discussion works fine, though fans of Silent Hill shouldn’t expect much content related to the film. I’d estimate the commentary covers Hill maybe 20 percent of the time – and possibly less – so we don’t find a ton of into about the movie.

Nonetheless, the track offers some good thoughts about the job of the cinematographer as well as aspects of Laustsen’s career. I’d probably prefer something more focused on the movie in question, but this remains a likable listen.

Disc Two contains the rest of the extras, and we start with a series of new interviews, the first of which comes from director Chrisophe Gans. Across three parts, we get a total of one hour, 12 minutes, 12 seconds with Gans.

In these reels, Gans discusses his career and influences, his experiences with the Silent Hill videogame and what led him to the film. He also covers the adaptation of the game,

This interview acts as a good substitute for a commentary, as Gans covers a wide array of cinematic topics. He turns this into a productive session.

Two actor chats come next, as we hear from Jodelle Ferland (26:03) and Roberto Campanella (36:34). Both discuss their lives and careers, with some emphasis on Hill.

Of the two, I prefer Ferland’s interview, mainly because she offers a good perspective about life as a child actor. Campanella brings useful notes, too, so both programs work pretty well.

For the final new interview, we get a piece with makeup effects artist Paul Jones. This two-part compilation spans 56 minutes, 18 seconds.

In the first segment, Jones discusses how he got into makeup effects and other aspects of his career, while the second concentrates on Hill. I like the split, as this allows viewers to skip info that may not interest them.

I’d recommend both segments, though, as Jones proves to be a lively, engaging subject. He gets into the material well and makes this a fun, informative interview.

From the original DVD, a documentary called Path of Darkness takes up a total of one hour, one minute, 39 seconds. Across its six parts, we hear from Gans, Ferland, Jones, Campanella, producers Don Carmody and Samuel Hadida, writer Roger Avary, executive producer Andrew Mason, production designer Carol Spier, stunt coordinator Steve Lucescu, creature effects designer Patrick Tatopoulos, costume designer Wendy Partridge, and actors Deborah Kara Unger, Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean, Michael Cota, Yvonne Ng and Alice Krige.

“Path” covers the videogame, the film’s roots and development, story/characters, cast and performances, sets, locations and production design. We also learn about stunts and action, creature design and various effects.

Expect a pretty good production overview from “Path”. It gets into many useful nuts and bolts and usually works well.

We also find two vintage featurettes: “On Set” (14:29) and “Around the Film” (4:39). Across these, we hear from Mitchell, Holden, Bean, Gans, Carmody, Mason, Hadida, Krige, Partridge, Laustsen and actors Tanya Allen and Kim Coates.

The featurettes look at cast, characters, story, performances, Gans’ approach, and visual design. A few decent notes emerge, but most of the insights repeat from earlier programs, and much of the footage falls into traditional EPK territory.

The set concludes with two Galleries. These look at “Photos” (90 images) and “Posters” (39). “Photos” concentrates on movie shots and seems fairly dull, but “Posters” includes some interesting elements, even if the designs get repetitive.

With a dark, moody tone, Silent Hill came with some potential to offer an unsettling horror movie. Unfortunately, the lack of coherent plot or compelling situations means that it winds up as a slow, boring dud. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture and audio along with a terrific compilation of supplements. Even by the low standards of movies based on video games, Silent Hill disappoints.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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