We’ve been expecting you.
A child’s mysterious ailment. A desperate mother. An eerie, deserted city shrouded in mist, plagued by secrets. The mysteries are only beginning to deepen.
When young mother Rose (Radha Mitchell) — desperate to find a cure for her daughter Sharon’s bizarre illness — refuses to accept a medical recommendation of psychiatric institutionalization, she flees with Sharon and heads for Silent Hill, the town that her daughter continuously names in her sleep.
Although her husband Christopher (Sean Bean) adamantly opposes, Rose is convinced the mysterious town will hold all the answers. But as her car approaches the deserted city’s limits, a mysterious figure appears in the road, forcing Rose to swerve and crash. When she comes to, Sharon is gone, and suddenly Rose – accompanied by a determined police officer (Laurie Holden) from a nearby town — is on a desperate quest in Silent Hill to find her child.
It’s immediately clear that her destination – left alone since devastating coal fires ravaged Silent Hill — is unlike any place she’s ever been: smothered by fog, inhabited by a variety of strange, haunted beings, and periodically overcome by a living Darkness that literally transforms everything it touches. As Rose searches for her daughter, she begins to learn the history of Silent Hill – its violent, puritanical past and the origins of its accursed state — and realizes that her daughter is just part of a larger, more terrifying destiny.
About the Production
For director Christophe Gans, the appeal of making the film of Silent Hill lay in its otherworldliness, its mixture of horror, sci-fi and drama elements, all the while refusing to succumb to the rules of any one genre. “This is a classic Twilight Zone story, dealing with emotions and the supernatural,” says Gans.
“The story, embedded in different dimensions and linked by the fact that everyone is suffering, rests between the tradition of Romanesque melodrama and surrealistic science fiction. What I like is that Silent Hill is a current place, but once you are caught in it, you are condemned to wander there forever. But of course, it’s absolutely mythological; not a normal story at all.” It was while on the set of Gans’ hit film Brotherhood of the Wolf, talking with Samuel Hadida, the producer of the film – and the man behind Metropolitan FilmExport and its production arm, Davis Films – that the idea of transforming the popular video game Silent Hill into a feature film developed.
Brotherhood was the pair’s second film together after Crying Freeman and they instantly latched onto the possibilities inherent in creating a gripping tale and arresting cinematic experience around the idea of a town caught between heaven and hell, trapped by a vicious secret.
“Silent Hill is a step beyond what we have seen in cinema,” continues Hadida. “The video game is extraordinarily popular because each gamer experiences something unique when they play it. This film is going to further that experience by adding dimension and mythology to an already amazing concept. I first met Christophe when I was presenting one of my films, Evil Dead at the 1982 Festival du Film Fantastique de Paris; he was there with his short film, “Silver Slime”. Throughout our years of working together, we have been waiting to make a film that would be an homage to the horror genre. Silent Hill is that homage.
Convincing the makers of the game, Konami, to give Gans and Hadida the rights to make the movie was no small task, but Hadida knew the game’s richly visual aesthetics and spooky narrative would dovetail perfectly with Gans’ encyclopedic film knowledge. “It’s a twisted story with enormous reference to the cinema of today because the Japanese creators have taken their influences from the masters of the horror genre,” says Hadida. “Christophe, having seen almost every film ever made, is the right person to reference these genres.
Starring: Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Jodelle Ferland
Directed by: Christophe Gans
Screenplay by: Roger Avary
Release Date: April 21th, 2006
Running Time: 127 minutes
MPAARating: R for strong horror violence and gore, distrubing images, language.
Box Office: $46,982,632 (US total)
Studio: Sony Tristar Pictures