It's been six years since the first Silent Hill adaptation arrived in theaters, and now director Michael J. Basset and stars Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington and Carrie-Anne Moss are bringing us back to the terrifying town popularized by the video game franchise. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which opens Friday, takes place following the events of the previous movie and is loosely adapted from the Silent Hill 3 video game. Therefore, there should be plenty for both fans of the games and fans of the first film to enjoy.
While at New York Comic Con, Spinoff Online participated in roundtable interviews with Basset, Clemens and Harington in anticipation of Revelation's release. It became clear early on that Basset, who took over directing duties from Silent Hill helmer Christopher Gans, is a big fan of the video games, and he tried to do his best to make this movie something that fans across the board can enjoy. Case in point: his inclusion of the iconic Pyramid Head villain.
"Everyone complains that Pyramid belongs in game two, which is where he came from. Of course, he appeared in movie one, so I can't say he doesn't exist anymore. I can't just not have this incredibly iconic monster who looked fantastic and he's the equivalent of Pinhead. He's our poster boy. So I had to make sure, for me, he made sense to the narrative of the story," Basset said, adding that Red Pyramid, as he's known in Revelation, is more than meets the eye.
It helps that Basset has cast himself the perfect lead actress. Clemens looks almost scarily like Heather, the main character in Silent Hill 3, and she said it was that resemblance that helped convince her this role was a good fit.
During our conversation, the Australian actress recounted how producer Samuel Hadida found her at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and followed her around the event trying to convince her to be in Silent Hill: Revelation.
"I'm just walking down the street and my mum was with me, and she just loved it in the snow boots, and suddenly this strange French man literally came barreling across the street -- like traffic stopped, snow goes everywhere -- and he was like [imitates a French accent], 'Hello, I want you to be in my film.' I was like, 'Seriously, dude?'" Clemens recalled.
She continued, "Then he pulled up on his BlackBerry, he pulled up a photo of Heather, and it was scary. My hair was done in the same way, I was wearing a similar thing; it was absolutely bizarre and quite creepy. But then we got to talking and he's just the most charming man and incredibly genuine, which is a rarity when you've got people coming up to you going, 'I want you in my film.'"
Although Clemens' character Heather is someone fans will recognize from the games, they won't know as much about Harington's Vincent as they might think. His character will differ from the one in Silent Hill 3, although the Game of Thrones star teased he's still someone fans will like.
"Of everyone in this movie, I think I have the character that I can't really talk about," Harington said. "There's going to be some surprises about who he is and what he is, and surprises for people who played the game because he differs. I was always told by the director, 'Maybe don't go too far to look at your character in the game because we're going to change him so that might not be helpful.' ... Put it this way: I liked him as a character and as a human being."
Unlike the previous Silent Hill film, Revelation was shot entirely in 3D. That's something that Basset seemed excited about, as he geared many of his filmmaking decisions around that element of the film.
"There's not a post-production 3D frame in this movie," he said. "There is no 2D version of this movie. There'll be a 2D projection of it. They'll have flattened the 3D and you can see it in 2D, but that's not the movie that I made. ... If you see it in 2D, that's not the movie that I made."
There is only one purely CGI creation in the film -- the mannequin monster, which can be seen in trailers -- and the rest are either all practical or a combination of practical and computer-generated effects. Basset also teased that, while there are some gimmicky 3D moments, it's mostly used to enhance the film as a whole.
Video-game adaptations have had a rocky history in Hollywood, but the first Silent Hill movie was relatively well-received by fans and did OK in theaters. With Basset both writing and directing the movie and with its Halloween weekend release date, it seems like Revelation could go the same route.
"They've got a checkered past, video games that you turn into movies,” Harington said. “I always feel that if it's got a strong enough story like I think Silent Hill does, that it will work as a video game, otherwise we wouldn't be doing this movie. Adapting to please everyone is nigh on impossible, so you have to just trust in what you're doing."
And don't think this is the last you'll see of the Silent Hill film franchise, either. Basset has plans to follow up Revelation with new, original movies to continue Heather's storyline.
"Is there a case to be made for making other Silent Hill movies from the game? Yeah, but there's a much better case to be made now for making original stories about Silent Hill," he said. "The games are the games, let them carry on doing their own thing, and Downpour was fun and the prisoner thing is fun, but if I want to go back to Silent Hill and make another movie, I'm going to write my original story and just use that universe."