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essary teenage drama and an episodic video game structure, visually it has much to offer. The 3-D effects enhance the surreal nightmarish quality – whether it’s the ash blanketing the town like snow or the afore- mentioned spider made up of mannequin parts (de- signed by effects artist Paul Jones). Really, the characters in the movie are second to the spectacle of monsters and madness. Whether or not Bassett was successful in bringing

the thrills of the Silent Hill video games to the big screen, he was certainly ambitious with his film, and thoughtful about what all of that imagery represents. Silent Hill: Revelations 3D has layers to it, and, in an exclusive interview, its creator helps us peel them back, to illustrate that this isn’t just another video game movie.

How familiar are you with the Silent Hill games? I’m a gamer of really long standing. My parents bought me the original console game that you put into com- puters and play ping-pong with. And through the early PC gaming era, before consoles were really ever around, I remember playing early horror games, like Alone in the Dark, and puzzle games like The Eleventh Hour and 7th Guest, things like that. When Silent Hill came along, it was a massive quake in the world of games because it caught your pure emotions and played on the senses, and involved you in a way that no game that I can think of had done before, and it achieved this through characters, story, atmosphere, sound design, and really pushing the cinematic bound- aries of what games could be. It was incredibly scary.

she discovers what we already know, that’s she’s really Sharon (changed from Cheryl in the video games) from the first film, the other half of Alessa, the little girl who was burned to death by the townsfolk as a heretic and returned as a vengeful spirit to curse the place. To- gether, they face the familiar horrors of Silent Hill, in- cluding the faceless nurses and hulking executioner Pyramid Head, plus several new monsters, both super- natural (e.g., the mannequin spider, and the “Brain Monster,” an asylum inmate with an exposed brain) and human, such as incarcerated mental patient Leonard (Malcolm McDowell) and cult leader Claudia Wolf (Carrie-Anne Moss). Although the movie suffers from clunky dialogue

(doled out in long exposition scenes to explain both the back story and convoluted mythology), some unnec-

In the first film, there’s an otherworldly aesthetic set down by the original game and then extrapo- lated upon by Gans. What did you want to change or add to the Silent Hill world for Revelation? Truth be told, I thought the aesthetic for the first film was fantastic. I thought it was one of the most artfully and beautifully constructed horror movies in many, many years and I thought it was very true and honest to the game – though many fans disagreed. Knowing Christophe, and knowing how dearly he loved the games, I know he worked very, very hard to maintain that aesthetic. Sort of to a fault in many ways, because I think the narrative was a little complex and con- fusing for some people, and the emotional heart of the movie was, perhaps, not as strong as it could have been, so what I

wanted to do was maintain the aesthetic as far as my own world view went. I tend towards the slightly grittier, darker sensibility, so I thought I would probably make it a little harsher, while obviously still preserving the aesthetic of the Silent Hill games.

Silent Hill is very much about monsters, and the most original creature in Revelation is the spider mannequin. Where did it come from? The monsters [in Silent Hill] are supposed to grow out of the psyches of the characters that inhabit that world. So you’re always trying to think about what does something represent to a girl, what does Pyramid Head represent? Why is the Missionary there? Why the Brain Monster, what is it doing? The mannequin monster – the thing of it is, obviously, it is a composite creature; it is made of what you see in the movie. Without giving too much away, it is made of the poor victims who have somehow been absorbed into the world of Silent Hill. ... The strange thing is, it’s the only fully digital creature in the movie; everything else is practical. Though we tried incredibly hard, and Paul Jones is one of the greatest creature builders in the world right now, there was no way on our budget and time to construct a pup- pet.

Is there a specific creature in the film that you feel best represents Revelation? There’s a pair of creatures: the new one, which I call the Missionary, but she really has no name – the fe- male representation of Claudia – and then Pyramid Head. It’s a sort of mother/father relationship – or male/female, anyway. The story of this movie is Heather’s search for her father, which is 180 degrees of the first movie, which was the parents’ search for the daughter. Pyramid represents the male side of things: a cumbersome, powerful, threatening presence. The Missionary is faster, more nimble, more deadly, more inscrutable in many ways. Those two aspects are kind of fun. I pit the two monsters against each other in the movie. In a weird way I like Dark Alessa. I mean, I think she’s a fantastic creation, and the fact that she ultimately is an aspect of our heroine, and our heroine has to fight to gain supremacy over her through nature. I think that’s the crux of the movie.

In terms of aesthetic, there seems to be a Clive Barker influence in Revelation, particularly with “The Missionary” who resembles a cenobite. Was Hellraiser an influence? I actually wasn’t looking through the Hell- raiser films for an influence, but Clive’s work is in my DNA, from growing up in the UK with him as the pre-eminent horror writer,

Familiar Faceless: Pyramidhead returns to slice ‘n’ dice, as do the nurses (opposite).

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