Two Films

and I dove back into our Netflix habit this weekend, and watched a couple of films: An American Haunting and Silent Hill.

An American Haunting was a disappointment, for the most part. It had some good moments, but was overall ruined by two things: one, coming up with an explanation (which I won’t go into here), and two, an absolutely unneccessary and tacked-on frame story set in the modern day which ties into the explanation. Boo. I had high hopes for this one , too — I’m very familiar with the accounts which it was based on — but, as is the case with most of these things, the true story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee is far more interesting than the film ended up being. Too bad.

Silent Hill, on the other hand, is the first film based on a video game that I’ve seen that did not suck like an economy-priced hooker during Fleet Week. I expected it to be a minor diversion at best — a CGI schlock-fest, based on a video game I’ve never played, but good for an evening with nothing else to watch. Talk about exceeding expectations! Not only was this NOT a suck film, but it was actually genuinely disturbing and very, very cool. My estimation of the film grew even more when I took a look at the extra features and discovered that the creatures and special effects that I had thought were CG were actually physical effects and dancers in prosthetic costumes. Damn. If you haven’t had a chance, rent this. It’s worth it. I’ll probably have to check out the games now. If they’re anywhere near as creepy, I’ll end up a fan.

3 Replies to “Two Films”

  1. Re: Silent Hill. The games are even more creepy. The second in the series is considered the most creepy and I can vouch for that; if you’re going to check out the games check out that one (number 4 has a different play concept which is still awesome but not in the same vein as the others). The movie was a very good translation of the horror aspect of the series. Having played the games, the movie was a different experience for me because they took a lot of the shots from the games and mirrored them in the cinematography. The music is also just damed creepy and disturbing in all the games, and I could pick out particular scores in the movie.

  2. I haven’t seen Silent Hill yet (it’s in my NetFlix queue!), but I COMPLETELY agree with your assessment of An American Haunting. It had its moments, and Donald Sutherland wasn’t completely bad, but the number of problems that riddled that film outweigh most of of the film’s better points. I had high hopes for the movie, and was REALLY pulling for the director since he’s the man behind the first Dungeons & Dragons film (which, also, wasn’t all that great).

    The wraparound story was ridiculous, and the explanation for “what really happened” was awful and off-putting.

  3. Just watched Silent Hill this weekend too. That was actually pretty creepy. I can see how the White Wolf crew got their nWoD Spirit World schtick from it. Neat, much better than I expected. Really nice visual effects, too. I dug the end, too.

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