Based on the third installment of Konami’s hit video-game series, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a sequel to the 2006 horror film, filled with many of the same characters, monsters and head games that fans of the franchise have come to love – and dread. However, director Michael Bassett (Deathwatch) insists, audiences won’t have to be steeped in the mythology of Silent Hill to enjoy the latest chapter.
“The whole point of this was that we created a sequel to the first movie which continues the story of young Sharon Da Silva,” he told reporters at Comic-Con International, where he was joined by star Adelaide Clemens and producer Samuel Hadida. “It’s an adaptation of game number three. It’s an adaptation of that story — that world and that ride that you go on.” But Bassett added, “if you know nothing about Silent Hill, and you’re not interested in the mythology, this story works for you because it’s basically about a strong, young heroine that has to find the truth of herself. It works, hopefully, fingers crossed, on every level.”
In Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Heather Mason (Clemens) and her father Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) have been on the run for years, always one step ahead of dangerous forces she doesn’t fully understand. Plagued by nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers on the eve of her 18th birthday that she’s not who she thinks she is. That revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her in Silent Hill forever.
Clemens said she was drawn to the role for its psychological drama and by her character’s struggle. “The franchise was just kind of this added bonus, she said. “I had all of this stimulation to play with and to be inspired by.”
“She responded to the script as a character-driven piece,” Bassett added.
“I think it was really important that I did just kind of create that character and make it completely unique in her own right,” Clemens said. “The physicality of Heather in the game, that was what I really had to focus on.”
Bassett devoted much of his attention to the physical elements of the film’s world. “We didn’t do a lot of green screen stuff at all,” he said. “We built this world as much as we possibly could, or we found an environment which we could retrofit or apply that Silent Hill aesthetic to. What we do in this movie, perhaps a little bit more than the first one, and certainly the games, is spend a bit more time in the real world. So we ground the audience in Heather’s home life and environment before we start dismantling that and sending her to first the fog world and then the other world. The peeling begins and the monsters appear. It’s a horror story but it’s a psychological journey as well.”
The crew also wanted to create a detailed 3-D experience. Revelation was shot in 3D, as opposed to a post-production conversion process used for films made with 2-D technology. “When you shoot in 3D, and I can understand why people don’t want to shoot in 3D, and do it post-conversion, shooting in 3D is slower and it’s harder,” Bassett said. “You can make it more or less, it’s like pulling focus now. As this scene changes we can psychologically draw the audience by just changing the (depth) of the 3D.”
“3D, I think, personally, goes hand-in-hand with a video game adaptation,” Clemens said. “As an actor I felt like I was there.”
Also essential to the experience was the score and sound. “It’s not Silent Hill without Akira Yamaoka,” Bassett said, referring to the composer who created the music for the game. “It became that kind of singular audio identity. And that is massively unique.”
Of the first film and the challenge of making a complementary sequel, Bassett said, “The first movie is such an artistically and creatively successful film. It’s beautiful. Everyone worked at the top of their game. … We really had a very high benchmark to try and achieve.”
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D opens Oct. 26.