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Film focus

Mark Peters

 

All Hallows' Eve is almost upon us once again; kids will be plied with silly amounts of sugar and E numbers, while us "grown-ups" frighten the bejesus out of each other by indulging in dubious costume fantasies.

Although the tradition of huddling around a campfire and telling ghost stories may be a little difficult to continue in this day and age, especially for those living on the 25th floor of a Kowloon tower block, we still manage to get our hearts pounding with the "joy" of watching horror movies. Almost guaranteed box-office takings at Halloween for any film of this genre have led to a multitude of scary movies, of vastly varying quality, over the years, and finding a half decent one is a quest as hellish as a Sunday trip to Ikea.

Silent Hill: Revelation is the sequel to the 2006 video-game adaptation Silent Hill, a visually stunning movie with some proper make-you-jump moments but an incomprehensible, migraine-inducing plot, and not much else.

Revelation stars Aussie newcomer and, if Wikipedia is to be believed, Hong Kong International School alumna Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby) as Heather, a glum high-school loner pursued by forces of darkness. On the run with her adoptive father (Sean Bean; The Lord of the Rings), the two have had to move from town to town, changing identities, ever since Heather's mother rescued her from the demonic ghost town of Silent Hill but, in the process, became trapped there herself.

When nightmarish cult The Order kidnaps her father, Heather turns to a new friend (or is he?), Vincent (Kit Harington; Game of Thrones), to help her rescue Pops from the mysterious place of grotesque demons that she's been dreaming about.

Writer and director Michael Bassett has packed the clunky script full of meaningless mythology and insisted on explaining the inexplicable (and frankly boring) history of the town - and, amazingly, it's even more convoluted than the original. There is more fatuous dialogue than your average episode of (insert favourite soap opera here) and the frights are few and far between. And despite some exploding pop-tarts, the scares are no more chilling than a Marilyn Manson video.

For a franchise with such uninspiring beginnings, Revelation has a cast of surprisingly notable quality - Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Deborah Kara Unger (Crash) - although most of them appear to have dialled in their brief appearances with little thought other than of collecting their pay cheques.

There's certainly not much horror to be found here - other than the dread-inducing prospect of a third trip to Silent Hill.

 

Silent Hill: Revelation is due to air on Fox Movies Premium at 9pm on Saturday.

 

 

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