Video game film adaptations are tricky.  They’re even trickier when you have an inbuilt fan base and SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D is just that.  It’s a tricky film, based on a well-known video game, with a fiercely loyal fan base.   Director Michael J. Bassett certainly had his work cut out for him with this sequel to the critically divisive SILENT HILL film from 2006.  So does his interpretation work?

Sadly, no it does not.  What the film is missing is a lack of real depth. As a fan of the video game series I must say that the depth and pacing was extremely effective.  Remember the old “play Silent Hill in the dark and you will be terrified” legend?  Well it’s true.  I would play Silent Hill in the dark and be extremely creeped out.  If I watched SH:R 3D in the dark, I would probably be bored to tears.

The movie follows Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens), who discovers she has been living under a false identity while on the run with her father (Sean Bean).  This revelation comes to her in vivid nightmares, and after her father is kidnapped, Heather ventures into the shadowy dimension known as Silent Hill to save his life with the help of a mysterious young man named Vincent (Kit Harington).

The main problem with this movie is the script.  It’s just… bad.  Bassett, who serves as both writer and director, spent too much time using the dialogue in this film to separate it from its predecessor.  It seemed that every line of dialogue spoken by the characters was an explanation of the events from the first film.  One scene in particular that echoes this point takes place in a hotel room between Harington and Adelaide Clemens.  It felt very out of place.  In fact, it was so arbitrary that I started laughing.  I can only assume that this was not the desired effect.  As a consequence, the characters lack anything substantial.  This is a shame, because the actors within the film are top notch in their other work.

Another problem with this film is its gimmicky use of practically every horror movie cliché imaginable.  The first couple of “make you jump” scares were genuine, but the technique is so overused that I could actually predict their occurrence as the film progressed.   Michael J. Bassett is obviously a student of the horror genre, and with this being his first really big step into the mainstream, his appreciation produced a jumbled mess of cheeky misrepresentation.

With that all being said, there are a few bright spots in the film.   Visually, this film is actually quite amazing to watch.  Usually I’m not a proponent of 3D, but it was employed so ingeniously in this film that it works marvelously.  Coupled with some impressive effects, it actually made the experience rather entertaining.  One scene in particular involving a scorpion-like demon composed of mannequin parts is rather stunning.

Another plus here is the performance of Adelaide Clemens as Heather Mason.  Despite the atrocious dialogue, she appears in practically every scene in the film.  She is a remarkably gifted young actress, and she made the story contained within this film seem much less unbearable.  (Special kudos go to her excellent American accent.  As an American, I always find it amazing how easily British and Australian actors seem to do it so effortlessly.)  Kit Harington has a pivotal role in the film, but sadly his character is relegated to the unfortunate role of story mover, and any real depth was lost in the shuffle.

So all in all, SILENT HILL : REVELATION 3D is not a very good film.  If you just feel like watching something to pass the time, this is the movie for you.  If it’s compelling filmmaking you’re looking for, then you’re better off skipping this one.