Hollywood Gothique
The Archive

Silent Hill first impression

Went to see SILENT HILL last night at Mann’s excellent National Theatre in Westwood – one of the few remaining single-screen movie houses in the Los Angeles area (or anywhere for that matter). It’s a bit theatre with a big screen – excellent for showing crowd-pleasing blockbuster epics (how well I remember enjoying the press screening of GLADIATOR there!).

But it’s hardly the right place for a tiny little horror movie apparently designed to appeal almost solely to a handful of videogame fanatics. The hundres of seats were occupied by at most a couple dozen people when we walked in, and I couldn’t resist the joke I always use under such circumstances, shouting out, “It’s a hit!” – much to the ironic amusement of those in attendance.

Perhaps another couple dozen people managed to filter in before showtime started, and this is in a college town on opening night – an area filled with young movie-goers looking for something to do on a date, now that class is over for a couple days.

I actually enjoyed parts of the movie, but it just wasn’t big enough to fill the theatre (I’m speaking metaphorically of the film itself, not of the audience attendance). The production designe and photography were great, and many of the monster were genuinely creepy, but there wasn’t nearly enough story to fill the two-hour plus running time. If you’re a fan of the game, or just someone willing to sit that long for occasional flashes of brilliance, this might be worth your time. Otherwise, beware.