because…the structure of writing a video game should be different from a movie narrative. But with this, I did try to give it the tiniest sense of game play, in that you have the real world, the fog world and the dark world, and all that progression. It’s almost like [the protagonist] finishes one, and moves on to the next. I don’t want it be so overt that it seems like I’m aping the video game style. It’s a subtle layering if you’re a gamer.
Was this movie 3-D from the get-go, and how did the 3-D affect the narrative? I was a little nervous about playing with 3-D, because I had not done it before, and I couldn’t initially think of a reason for it to be in 3-D until I thought about this “duality” aspect of the world, and the fact that Silent Hill, above and beyond most horror movies, is a fantasy horror movie. And it is about the changing of worlds around the character. And there’s really no better environment to do in 3-D than the fog world, with the ash falling everywhere, and the dark world when you have these layers that you can keep pushing, and pushing. Shooting in 3-D on the set was great because you could see how deep you wanted it to be and most of the time I tried to be really subtle with the 3-D. It’s you being drawn into the world. Occasionally I have things coming out at you, because I [enjoy] a horror movie gimmick myself. But what I wanted to do was make it an immersive world, and it was a new set of tools to do that.
Holding Back The Fears: Christopher (Sean Bean) tries to comfort his daugh- ter Heather (Adelaide Clemens), and (below) Heather (a.k.a. Sharon) returns to the otherworldly, ashein ruins of Silent Hill.
along with Stephen King, in the world at the time. Hellraiser is a seminal, influential movie, so there’s no doubt that bits and pieces of his world view are within my sub- conscious whether I like it or not.
Pyramid Head has a more active role in this film, for sure. The thing about Pyramid Head – when he comes along in the asylum and chops off the arms of all the bad guys, he’s protecting [Sharon], even though she thinks she’s being threatened. He does play a completely different role in this movie even though we think it’s the same role. And those are the kinds of layerings I’m trying to bring. And one of the great things about Silent Hill is that it is so richly layered, and I hope second viewings of the movie will reward the audience.
Silent Hill is very much about levels – not just the video game levels but the levels of Hell that exist beneath the town of Silent Hill. Both of these types of levels are strong presences in Revelation, which often has that video game structure to it. Well yeah, you’re adapting a computer game, which is, of itself, an odd thing to do
Your feature debut, Deathwatch, has two worlds existing side-by-side and in- tertwining; your second feature, Wilderness, is very much grounded in the real world; and after that you made Solomon Kane, which dives headlong into fantasy. Given the duality central to Silent Hill, Revelation seems like a perfect fit for you – were you conscious of that appeal? Oh god, what an interesting question! The appeal was that I was a fan of the games. It’s a great world to play in. The appeal was that it was a different set of filmmaking muscles to flex after Solomon Kane. I suppose now that I have four movies, it’s like the beginnings of a kind of aesthetic through-line. I like the duality world. Wilderness was a straight down-the-line slasher picture, but the other ones tend to tread into the more fantastical elements of things. I like that a lot. They’re kind of hard to bring to the screen. With Silent Hill, there aren’t many horror movies that allow you to have that fantastical element where you’re making monsters, you know? Given the op- portunity to step into Christophe Gans’ shoes and have a play in this world was just too good to miss, because those opportunities just don’t come along that often.
There are scenes at the end of the film that point directly to storylines in other Silent Hill games. Is this a franchise with many sequels? Sammy [Hadida] would like to keep doing Silent Hill movies. I mean, he loves the world. The first thing you need to know about Sammy is that he bought the game rights because his son was playing Silent Hill, and was saying when he was a young lad, “Dad, this game is so frightening,” and Sammy would watch over his shoulder and say, “This is amazing!” It was that kind of deep involve- ment that [Sammy’s son] had that compelled Sammy to play again [in the world of Silent Hill].
What’s your interest in being involved with another sequel? I have an idea for a sequel. And I think it’s time we let the games stand on their own two feet, and we start exploring the Silent Hill world independently of the games, because it’s a very rich environment. There are a few ideas I have. But there’s also a bit of me that would like to see other filmmakers playing in this world and see what they bring into it.