Silent Hill

Pan

Most horror films fall apart in the third act. This is an indisputable fact. Think about how good Insidious was up until they point that they showed the goofy Darth Maul wannabe demon. Remember how stupid it was in The Happening when it turned out the trees were killing people? These are not outliers. A lot can hinge on the reveal of the monster (even if it’s not a monster-monster) in a horror movie. If a film can’t deliver on its antagonist, it’s going to end on a ridiculous note instead of a scary one, letting us walk out of the theater laughing in urine-free pants. So here are some monster reveals that aren’t crappy! (But they are spoilerific. Beware.)

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Sean Bean in Troy

As we all know by now, Sean Bean has a problem. Or maybe it’s not a problem, because he’s really good at it. At any rate, he dies a lot. It’s such a common occurrence that you can easily find dozens of lists of all the movies where he dies, rankings of each death and YouTube video compilations where he shuffles off his mortal coil repeatedly. A friend of mine recently described him as “a walking spoiler” because if he’s in a movie, there’s an excellent chance that he’s going to get shot, stabbed, beheaded or poisoned before it’s all over. But surely, I thought, there must be some films in his acting credits where he doesn’t have a dramatic death scene. And there are! But not many. I found a mere seven that most people would have actually heard of. Naturally, this list contains spoilers of a guy not meeting his maker.

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IntroMovieMonsters

CGI is okay, but there’s really nothing quite like sticking some poor actor in a costume and making them walk around. It’s the foundation of monster films, and something we get to see less and less of these days. Ironically enough, as costumed monsters get sparser with modern techniques, they also became way cooler thanks to those very same advances. Check out some of the most unique ones since 2000 – costumes that remind us why we love monster movies.

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Drinking Games

It’s still October, so there is still plenty of time to watch some horror movies with your favorite adult beverage. Later this week, the sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D hits theaters, and if you’re into horror movie video game adaptations, you might be looking forward to it. With the new film’s release, you might be tempted to check out the original Silent Hill from 2006, available in a variety of formats. If you do, you might be able to dull the senses from West Virginia demon coal fire by knocking back a few in the process.

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If you’re not familiar with the Silent Hill franchise, whether we’re talking the video games or the 2006 film that was inspired by them, their basic conceit is that the sleepy town of Silent Hill is connected to a hellish and freaky alternate dimension called Otherworld. This isn’t the greatest situation for the town’s inhabitants, because it means that one minute they can be walking down the street minding their own business, and the next hellfire and brimstone could be raining down on them them and they might have to do battle with any number of freaky and dangerous creatures. Six years after the original Silent Hill comes a sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. This time around, Sean Bean is back, and when he mysteriously goes missing it’s up to his now-teenaged daughter (Adelaide Clemens) to navigate the town’s nightmares and release him from the clutches of all the evil whatsits. And if that doesn’t sound horrific enough for you, this poor girl also has to deal with the stresses of trying to acclimate herself to a new high school while everything around her turns to ash and spider monsters are attacking from all angles. New high schools are the worst.

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Editor’s Note: We’ve spent a while searching for a fitting replacement for Ashe (who we still miss), but we’re elated to welcome David Christopher Bell to our team. He’ll be writing insightful lists for us every Thursday from now until we stop blackmailing him for that thing he did in Florida in 1986. Please give him a warm welcome! It’s funny. After Anthony Perkins first appeared as Norman Bates there was absolutely no going back from it. No matter what role he was put in after Norman, when audiences looked at him all they could see was the shower-interrupting taxidermologist that they feared so deeply. This proved to be a major hindrance in his career, causing him never to land any major role in the industry afterward. Now if only he had worn a mask. After all, if horror films have taught us anything it’s that no matter how effective a performance is, if you have a bunch of rubber on your face, mainstream audiences aren’t going to end up learning your name or recognizing your face. So in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, the following are some of those very names and faces that are responsible for some of the greatest movie nightmares of modern horror. People who you could walk right by on the streets and never know that they are to thank for all those times your childhood-spawned neuroses forced you to double-check under your bed.

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Silent Hill is one of the very, very, very few video game adaptations that has worked. It was a simple enough story that had the good sense to hire some talented actors, effects people, and the skill of director Christophe Gans (who also directed Brotherhood of the Wolf). Gans isn’t returning for the sequel (cleverly titled Silent Hill: Revelations), but the production has found another young vision to take on the project. Michael J. Bassett directed Deathwatch and the incredibly good Solomon Kane. Now, he’ll be heading back into horror territory with a story from the third game, featuring 18-year-old Heather Mason who starts having bad dreams and gets the urge to find her missing father. What’s the over/under that he’s been turned into a giant spider-humanoid in Silent Hill? Even odds? Thought so. I spoke with Bassett last year, and he’s about as sharp and energetic as you could hope for in a director. Essentially, the franchise now has a shot at 1) being a franchise and 2) being one of the good ones. [STYD]

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If you’re in the mood for atmospheric horror with disturbing imagery, this adaptation of the popular game is just the thing.

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