Silent Hill (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray Review
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Run time: 125 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD
I remember I sat down to play Silent Hill when the game first released on the Playstation because the mystery genre intrigued me and the game had an interesting look to it, so I started running through the abandoned town of ‘Silent Hill’ as the main player. I stopped playing very soon because, in truth, not a whole lot was happening. It was mostly an uncomfortable experience, eerily lit and hauntingly scored. I could feel an intense build-up in that foggy place but I never reached the culmination, so I gave up. OK, fine – I was scared.
Years later this film adaptation is bravely made by Christophe Gans and, even though I’d played less than ten minutes of the game, I immediately recognized the haunting visuals of the abandoned city. So ‘well done’ here is an understatement. It is superbly breathed new life into.
The plot has been glossed over slightly in a Hollywood fashion, but captures the essence of its characters and story line – which is: as a last resort, a mother takes her ill daughter to a place she often mentions in her sleep – a place near where she was adopted from. But the hope the mother has for her daughter’s recovery quickly shatters and turns into despair when the little girl vanishes in the misty mysterious old town.
I truly cannot credit the atmosphere of this film enough. Christophe Gans has successfully captured the eerie mood of Silent Hill and it is a nightmarish place – a fog-enshrouded hell that shifts between two modes: barren ashen daylight and a gruesome decaying state with fiery ember, demons and enhanced by chilling (and very sudden) sound effects. It’s strangely fascinating, surreal and above all frightening.
Movie Quality: 9/10
The print is presented in AVC 1080p with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Just like the original, I have seen this movie across many formats and countless times that I have lost count. Overall this is a very solid transfer with many little improvements from the previous Blu-ray release. Colors tend to be soft yet they fit with the atmosphere. Where this film really shines with the Blu-ray release has to do with the details. I felt like the previous Blu-ray release was missing certain details that come through very well with this print. Black levels hold up very well providing some nice blacks since this is a very dark film as it takes place throughout the night. Fans of this remake will not be disappointed the slightest considering that this film was even released on Blu-ray.
Print Quality: 9/10
The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA lossless 2.0 and 5.1 mix. Like many of their release over the last several years, Shout is offering a nice 5.1 mix. The soundfield here receives an upgraded mix that helps expand the audio in a very dynamic way. This is a very clean presentation providing a lot of panning from speaker to speaker with a lot of sound effects. While all of the chaos is going on with the Creeper taking down his victims, the dialogue is handled very well here. Dialogue is clear with no issues to report.
Print Quality: 9/10
HD Master Approved By Director Christophe Gans
NEW Audio Commentary With Cinematographer Dan Laustsen
NEW Interview With Director Christophe Gans
NEW A Tale Of Two Jodelles – An Interview With Actress Jodelle Ferland
NEW Dance Of The Pyramid – An Interview With Actor Roberto Campanella
NEW Interview With Makeup-Effects Artist Paul Jones
Path Of Darkness: The Making of Silent Hill – A Six-Part Documentary
The Making Of Silent Hill Vintage Featurette
On Set Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Photo Galleries – Still Photos And Posters
Special Features: 9/10
In the end, I think this is quality horror entertainment and probably one of the better game-to-film adaptations, abut it is much too chaotic – too many monsters and too often and too clearly to be frightening. The mood and atmosphere are what is frightening and so it should have been used even more in Silent Hill, but instead the director feels pressured to introduce creatures to satisfy mainstream audience’s need for bloody gore fest and kinetic action.
Overall Rating: 9/10