Tanya Allen

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Silent Hill Review


Very Good
I have not played the video game upon which this film is based, and I assume that that's not a prerequisite. If the game is anywhere as creepy and odd as this movie, perhaps I should. The plot concerns a typical family with atypical problems, their young daughter Sharon (played by the J-horror-haired Jodelle Ferland) is a sleepwalker and it seems as though her somnambulistic journeys take her further and further from the safety of home (in the opening minutes of the movie we see her standing atop a particularly dangerous cliff face). Her parents Rose (Radha Mitchell) and the dour Christopher (Sean Bean) are at odds over what to do. Christopher opts for medication, while Rose decides to follow Sharon's lead. When she's dreaming, Sharon mentions a town called Silent Hill. Rose decides she'd better bring Sharon to the town and find out just what all the fuss is about. Turns out, Silent Hill is off limits - the place is a ghost town after a disastrous fire. And the fire still burns under its decaying crust.

A car accident, a nosy cop on a motorcycle (Deborah Kara Unger), and Sharon's escaping into the deserted town that rains ash, all collide in a chain reaction that leads Rose into a literal heart of darkness. Silent Hill, the town, inhabits a peculiar limbo - it is quite literally cut off from the rest of the world - where air raid sirens (surely some of the creepiest sound effects you're ever likely to hear in a film) precede the coming of a dark tide that washes over the ghost town with surprising regularity. With the arrival of the eldritch dark, the walls literally shred away, revealing an industrial hellscape that lies somewhere beneath the reality of the decaying town, populated by human-faced, screaming insects, twisted lava infants, and something called "Pyramid Head," that has an incredibly unwieldy helmet and one of the largest swords in cinema history. It's a brutal, dark, and hideous place and the highlight of the film.

Continue reading: Silent Hill Review

Regeneration Review


Weak
And I thought it would be difficult to take all the thrill out of a war movie. Regeneration manages to do exactly that by putting the setting at the end of World War I -- not in the action, but in a mental hospital, where a couple of British poets are being treated for shell shock. Poets. Shell shock. This is not excitement -- and I'm a writer for a living! (The film is based on a true story about a genuinely crazy poet.)

Continue reading: Regeneration Review

Tail Lights Fade Review


OK
Well, it turns out it's a mad, mad, mad, mad Canada in this Cannonball Run/Smokey and the Bandit clone for the late 1990s. This time out, four twentysomethings are heading across the Great White North in order to clear out a barn full of pot before the cops find it, not to mention other nefarious types, backstabbing, and doublecrossing.

Continue reading: Tail Lights Fade Review

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Silent Hill Movie Review

Silent Hill Movie Review

I have not played the video game upon which this film is based, and I...

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