A Sentinel, a Satire, and Silent Hill
Some mainstream critics are trying to forget these Dreamz, while others are giving Weitz credit for trying to write a warm-hearted political comedy.
In Silent Hill, this week's shock-treatment horror film, Radha Mitchell (Melinda and Melinda, Man on Fire) plays a mother searching for her little girl (Jodelle Ferland). When the clues lead her to a ghost town, she encounters demonic monsters and horrific revelations.
Christians are more likely to be disturbed by Silent Hill than others, because they'll find that director Christopher Gans has included some grossly distorted portrayals of Christian faith, villainizing the church as a malevolent and manipulative force. And all audiences should be warned that the film is based on a video game that includes graphic scenes of rape and violence.
Did I mention that the movie is No. 1 at the box office?
Tom Neven (Plugged In) "More disturbing than this film … is the thought that legions of young people have long been absorbing Silent Hill's sick worldview as they try to master the various levels of four different games. Before the film's arrival, various fan sites on the Internet began buzzing with speculation about it, with some worried that … Gans would not stay true to the dark spirit of the game. One complained that a brutal rape scene involving a bound, gagged and blindfolded woman was to be excluded from the production. … I can credit the filmmakers with that small bit of restraint while simultaneously condemning them for their gangrenous portrayal of religious faith."
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Gans' journey through hell abounds with nightmarish visions worthy of Dante. But in exploring themes of faith, fanaticism and motherhood, the film, which starts out eerily intriguing, eventually descends into confusion and gore. Its perplexing ending will leave you, like the haunted hamlet, in a fog."
Mainstream critics are making plenty of noise about their dislike for Silent Hill.
More reviews of recent releases
Friends with Money: Christa Banister (Crosswalk) writes, "Presumably, what the audience is supposed to learn as a result of all these conversations we eavesdrop on at the dinner table and as the girls gossip with their significant others later on, is that middle-aged life has its challenges—with or without money. Wow, that's surprising; now did it really take 88 minutes to make that point? Ultimately, a better conclusion would've been the very non-Hollywood theme that a selfish perspective on life can't help but lead to emptiness and internal conflict."
The Notorious Bettie Page: Greg Wright (Hollywood Jesus) writes, "If Pleasantville sang the praises of unfettered sexual awakening, The Notorious Bettie Page employs a similar black-and-white-world-gone-color technique to reach quite a different conclusion: that there's bondage and blinders, and then there's moral restraint—and that there's a world of difference between the two. Pleasantville threw off the former while glibly dismissing the latter; Notorious takes both equally seriously."