If I were a huge lying douchebag, I’d say that the Silent Hill games don’t scare the hell out of me. Unfortunately, I’m not and they do. I never did beat the third game, and it’s been sitting on my shelf taunting me ever since I put it down. Needless to say, the release of the movie subtly reminded me of what a pussy I am.
Silent Hill 2 was an excellent game; one of your planet Earth’s best horror games period. For some reason, though, I hit a wall in SH3 and never climbed over it. I thought about starting over from scratch earlier today and making a Day Game out of it, but I knew it wouldn’t be possible since I had a date to hang out with Rip Van Winkle that afternoon.
So after bumbling around with the first twenty minutes of the game, I got frustrated because it was too bright outside and the glare in my room made it all but impossible to play the pre-flashlight portions. I loaded up my old save and leapt over the years-old hurdle in a matter of minutes.
Now I’m knee-deep in obese subway-dwellers and split-face dogs running through the torturous moans from the floors below. No other series builds such an intense swell of dread while steering mostly clear of cheap scares like monsters crashing out of doorways and the like. I’m never more on edge than when nothing’s going on at all, because I know it could be curtains through one more doorway or down one more stairwell.
In some ways, this game is much more frightening than the second. I think it’s the plausibility of the location that drives everything home. Not that I live near any subways, or that any of the local malls look anything like the one in the game. Still, the fact that it spirals down through a hellish world and sets seed in such mundane areas is why it’s so absorbing. A foggy town is almost quaintly exotic in comparison, like a Thanksgiving trip to Williamsburg.
I haven’t seen Christophe Gans’ Silent Hill yet, but I plan to ASAP. I expect an incohesive plot full of holes and I don’t care. Add amazing visuals and what do you have? Sounds like Italian horror to me, which is perfect.