The other day, we told you about watching new footage from Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D, the sequel to Silent Hill, which many people seem to consider the best video-game adaptation ever filmed. And now you can watch a bit of that footage for yourself — here's a piece of the scene where Kit Harrington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) is strapped to a table and menaced by knife-wielding nurses.
And yes, when Heather (Adelaide Clemens) asks about her father, she's referring to Harry Mason — played by Sean Bean, who also played the role in the first movie. So this is a Game of Thrones reunion. At the press conference for Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D, we asked how that came to pass. And writer-director Michael J. Bassett told us:
I didn't know at the time. Kit came in to audition for me, and Game of Thrones hadn't been shown yet. Nobody knew who he was. He came in as a talented young actor, for the role. And he was fantastic in the room. He was one of the first guys I met. I knew it was going to be him... And then Game of Thrones came out, and suddenly we've got Jon Snow. I said to Kit, "Sean Bean's in the movie. Dude, that's weird." It's actually quite a small industry — everybody knows everybody else. And I said to Sean, "Oh, are you doing season two of Game of Thrones?" And he went, "Nope." [Does funny imitation of Sean Bean's deep voice.] And now I know why."
Bassett promises that you won't need to know anything about the first movie to enjoy this one — but it does continue the story of Sharon Da Silva, who becomes Heather Mason for reasons that are explained in the movie. And this is an adaptation of the third Silent Hill game. But Bassett says his number one goal was to make a strong movie that stands on its own and requires no prior knowledge. "If you know nothing about Silent Hill and you're not interested in the mythlogy and you've never played the games, this story works for you, because it's basically about a strong young heroine who has to learn the truth of herself. So it works, hopefully — fingers crossed — on every level."
And yes, this film is all practical effects. Says Bassett: "We didn't do a lot of greenscreen stuff at all. We built the world as much as we possibly could, or we found an environment which we could retrofit or apply that Silent Hill aesthetic to." They actually had a ton of props and set dressings from the first movie in storage, and they unloaded truck after truck to help give the movie a lot of the touchstones of the first movie, like the board of Silent Hill and all the displays from the town. There are also creatures from the first movie in this one, along with some new creatures.
Adds Bassett: "Technically, I like people in costumes on the set. I like the real aesthetic. I like to see it and cover it in gel and KY and make it slimy. I like the physical hands-on approach. We did some CG enhancement, because you can do that these days. You can rub out join-marks on the skin. But the intention was always to create a real world, and to put the monsters as far as we could... in front of the actors." And in the game, the monsters exist because they represent something in the minds of the characters, so Bassett came up with a justification for why Heather is seeing all of these particular monsters.
And yes, this film was shot in 3-D (not post-converted.) And Bassett says this makes the rain of ashes look amazing. "3-D really works when things are slow, and the drifting of the ash... you just watch it on screen and you're a little bit hypnotized by it." The other thing about 3-D, says Bassett is, "you can make it more or less 3-D. It's like pulling focus now. You can say, 'As this scene changes, we can psychologically just draw the audience in a little bit by just changing the parallax of the 3-D, the inter-ocular.' And nobody's played with that, and we did that a little bit in this."
Also, Bassett promised you'll hear the iconic music of Akira Yamaoka — "It's not Silent Hill without Akira." Yamaoka did both music and sound design for the games, and it was "massively unique" and "a singular audio identity." The first movie "took that and ran with it. There was no way I was doing Silent Hill without Akira being involved, and he has been." Not only did Akira help with reworking his old themes, but he also contributed some new stuff as well. "It's all there, and it's a really, really good score."
Bassett is the first to admit that almost all video game adaptations, apart from the first Silent Hill, have been "disastrously poor." As a gamer, "there's nothing that I've gone, 'Wow, they really nailed it.'" But at the same time, he approached this as a piece of storytelling first and foremost — not as a game adaptation or a sequel. "To make a video game adaptation work, it's got to not be a video game adaptation — it's just got to be a good movie that tells a good story. And I think that's possibly the mistake that other people are making. But listen, it's hard to make any movie, let alone a good movie."
Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D comes out on October 26.