The Good

With it's hi-tech, cutting edge feel this film is perfect for Blu-ray disc.

The Bad

Sadly, this movie still never grabbed me like I hoped it would.

Rose takes her daughter Sharon to Silent Hill in order to help cure her of her sleep walking disorder. In her dreams Sharon sees a place called Silent Hill and after engaging in police chase to get there, Rose crashes her car and is knocked unconscious. When she wakes up Sharon is gone and Rose goes into the ash covered town to find her. This place isn't like anything she has ever seen and she soon finds herself the ire the townspeople. Creatures come after Rose, nobody seems to want to understand or help her, and the more she searches for he daughter the more she becomes entwined and lost within this town.

Eventually, Rose uncovers the secret behind this town's calamity, but where Silent Hill resides is in a mix of imagery and ideas. This movie, based on a popular video game of the same name, seems to be universally accepted by it's fans as a highly faithful recreation. This story is full of depth but it isn't simply told. Director Christophe Gans has created the kind of movie that gamers and movie loves can both enjoy. It is a very intricate mix of art of and commerce, but it all seems to work for Silent Hill.

Features

The only extras are previews

Video

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 - HD Video in 1080p resolution. When I saw Silent Hill in the movie theater, it played like a morass of images with a lot grain to them. On Blu-ray DVD, the best way to describe how this film looked was like how it did in the theater, only it seems to be more contained on an HD screen. Utilizing a lot of dark blacks, browns, and other hazy looking colors, this movie certainly seems like it was trying to achieve the look of the video game. Again, I think this might be a case where the the format is so clean and pristine, it ends up making the movie not look as good as it could because it underscores flaws that aren't flaws.

Audio

English: Dolby Digital 5.1 - English: PCM 5.1. Where Silent Hill really excels in the sound department is how it seems to engulf the viewer. This movie is very rich as an audio and video experience. I have read that some people didn't think it was right for Blu-ray, simply because the picture isn't pristine all the time and the same could be said about the audio. It seems to be most full when there are objects in the room making noises. This was all done to increase the level of foreboding regarding the creatures that are after Rose. Still, this movie plays well and it's soundtrack and audio components are nothing if not consistently creepy.

Package

The eery image of the child with no mouth is again employed on this Blu-ray cover. However, there's something about the shape and dimensions of this packaging that really don't make things very scary. I know it's weird to say but the Standard looking DVD got to me out more (Like I said, it's weird to say that). The back cover serves up more images from this movie, it offers a description and some system specs. Sadly, these Blu-ray covers continue to underwhelm me.

Final Word

Having never played this game before, I found myself lost when I saw this movie in the theater. As a result, I watched this film as a detached viewer. Getting to experience it on Blu-ray disc (and having seen the game played) as a piece of next generation technology, I can't say that I was 100% grabbed by Silent Hill this time around. I did come away from this experience with a greater appreciation for what has been achieved on screen. This movie was very dark in the theater where I first screened it. On Blu-ray, on a good TV, it honestly felt like the darkness had more of a purpose. I was able to see subtle things both in the character movements and the nuances of the little things within the story.

We are experiencing a new wave of technology with these Blu-ray discs. For the first time, consumers are being afforded home viewing experiences that rival that of what we are able to see in the theater. While Silent Hill might not be 100% my cup of tea, I can admit when I am caught up in the sheer spectacle of a film. This movie captures that spectacle, in the Blu-ray format, in a way that I really have never seen before.

Silent Hill was released April 21, 2006.