Updated: Silent Hill is Going to Kick Ass

Posted by Peter Hall - April 4th 2006 @ 6:10 pm

I’m trying to get right to the point with my post titles. I was really impressed with the trailer when it first hit (and still am), but it wasn’t until reading Fango’s piece on the film in their latest issue that I started to put a lot of faith behind it. Christophe Gans is an actual gamer! Imagine that, a game franchise being directed by an actual gamer? And not just some casual gamer, but bordering on complete fanboy. Check out this excerpt from Anthony Ferrante’s excellent article:

"A friend of mine was working at a TV channel and wanted to interview me about being a gamer, and I told him I would do it, but he would also have to shoot me separately, explaining why I wanted to make Silent Hill into a movie," recalls Gans. "So he taped me, put Japanese subtitles on it and sent it to Konami. It was basically me facing the camera for 37 minutes, explaining why I wanted to do Silent Hill. They recieved it and screened it for the whole staff, and they were amazed. At that moment, Brotherhood of the Wolf was released in Japan, and Akira Yamaoka, the creator of the game, said, ‘That guy can do Silent Hill. He’s crazy about it and he’s going to respect what we have done.’ At the time, everyone was chasing the rights – Miramax, Cruise/Wagner, etc. – but we got it because of the interview I sent. If tomorrow I wanted something else, I would do exactly the same thing."

I respect the hell out of that dedication. After I read that, any reservations I had about the film were obliterated. It also doesn’t hurt that Carol Spier (of David Cronenberg fame) is doing the Production Design and Roger Avary (of Pulp Fiction fame) put a lot into the script. Oh, and that it’s a hard R. Also, Check out the rest of the new and badass Silent Hill character posters at Sony’s official intarweb node. Now I’ve gotta go get my camera back from Mark and send a little video on over to the recently bankrupted Interplay. Or, should it be Bethesda now? Either way, if someone buys up the property rights to Fallout and it isn’t me or someone else with the same passion as Gans, I’m fairly confident it’ll send me into a rampage that’ll finalize the purchase of my one-way ticket to hell… Edit: Another great part of the article (hello, Joystiq!):

Gans is quick to point out that this isn’t your traditional creature feature. "In most monster movies, you don’t see the monster until the very end," he says. "One of the interesting things about Silent Hill is that we see the monsters. They’re not trying to hide. They’re coming at us, naked. The real evil in Silent Hill is the human beings, the people who tortured the little girl years ago. The monsters in the movie are like animals in a jungle, and you have to walk among them and escape them. It’s difficult to fight them off. Silent Hill is not an action game; it’s more like a ‘run for your life’ experience, and that’s exactly what we’ve done in the film. The emphasis on evasion rather than fighting back is what Gans feels makes the game so terrifying – and in turn, the movie as well. "In Resident Evil, when you’re afraid, you can shoot a zombie and you’re satisfied because you destroy what you fear," he notes. "In Silent Hill, you never stop being afraid. It’s a much more uncomfortable concept, because the game is about isolation and loneliness. You’re isolated not only physically, but morally. When you have to beat the shit out of a poor, screaming monster and crush him to the ground, I believe it’s morally very, very uncomfortable, and certainly not heroic."

Oh, and another relief about Gans’ approach, no bullshit CGI:

"All the monsters were on set," Gans says with pride. "That was a big thing. There are no CG creatures; they were all shot on set. Of course, we changed some of their actions in post, but it was more about filming them in reverse so they had strange movements and stuff like that. We used a choreographer to create the monsters’ movements, and every one is played by a dancer. That’s an interesting thing you will see – each creature has a different type of behavior."

And finally, for the gore hounds:

Gans also came up with a new beast to add to the existing world. "His name is the Janitor," he says. "And Akira Yamaoka thanked me for doing that. He is my personal addition to Silent Hill, and he’s a sick thing."


rss 4 comments
  1. pingback

    [...] Since Peter got his Silent Hill post linked on Joystiq, I figured I at least had to get my name on Ars Technica. Heh. [...]

  2. April 6th, 2006 | 10:52 am | #2

    Is that even possible? A movie based on a video game that doesn’t suck?

    I like the approach to CGI and all that, but I’m still extremely wary about how this one is going to turn out.

  3. April 6th, 2006 | 10:54 am | #3

    Great article. Prepare to be linked!

    Also, about your Netflix queue, I dig the Kurosawa. Hidden Fortress isn’t one of my favorites though.

  4. pingback

    [...] In anticipation of Silent Hill, I picked up Condemned: Criminal Origins this weekend. If any of you spent time in arcades during the early 90’s, you’ll remember the image above. I guess the denizens of Condemned preferred mini-golf to arcades, because they certainly didn’t adhere to Mr. Sessions’ message. In short, the enemies are fucked up. What’s worse–or better depending on how you feel about horror games–is that the enemies are all human. You wouldn’t know if just to look at them. Wait until you see the first “crawler”, and you’ll know what I mean. [...]

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