In two days, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, the sequel to 2006’s Silent Hill, will hit theaters. Having been a huge fan of the game franchise since the first one was released, I was there when the first film came out. While I had a few minor issues with the film, I thought it was, and still is, the best video game-to-film adaptation ever released. Part of that was because the music of the film was Akira Yamaoka’s original cues with some simple additions here and there, courtesy of Resident Evil: Apocalypse composer Jeff Danna.
Now we have the sequel’s OST to look at. In a recent press release, Danna stated that director Michael Bassett (interview) told him, “…I need you to inject more musicality and orchestral elements into the score…” Danna once again collaborated with Yamaoka to create the aural landscape that we will be hearing in the film. But how does it fare on its own? Read on to find out.
The first thing I noticed as track after track played out were the numerous (read: a ton) samples and usages of cues from the game soundtracks, particularly the first three. It would be a very lengthy and most likely difficult task to try and figure out every single piece that was used. Still, as a huge Silent Hill music fan, it was a treat to hear them used throughout.
Over top of these samples are original compositions from Danna, many of which are beautifully crafted and feature some interesting and unique tones. Some passages sound perfectly suited for a Silent Hill film, melancholic and eerie, nostalgic and beautiful. The kind of music that can tug at the strings of your heart.
However, the problem is that, often times, the transitions between the samples and the original music can be jarring, even confusing. And then there are many times when too many samples and cues are laid over each other, making for a very busy track.
Then there is the issue that many tracks feel very schizophrenic, leaping from one emotion to the next. While I realize that, in the context of the film, this might work wonderfully for the action on the screen, I’m still left, as a listener, unsatisfied.
There are also points in the score where I was left scratching my head, wondering if I was listening to a Silent Hill OST or if Danna went back to his thought process for Resident Evil: Apocalypse. For instance, in the track “Vincent And Heather Open The Box”, there is a distorted bass line that sounds like something out of a Marilyn Manson song. This does not fit into what I think of when I think “Silent Hill”. I want creepy and nightmarish, not rocking and driving.
I wanted to go in liking this OST. After years upon years of listening to the various Silent Hill soundtracks, I’m always eager to hear more. But this isn’t what I expect from a Silent Hill soundtrack. This is, and I’m fully aware of the irony of my next statement, a Hollywood-ized bombastic take on the music that I’ve loved for so long.
The Final Word: Fascinating at some points but disjointed at far many more, the Silent Hill: Revelation 3D OST is, overall, a disappointment. Perhaps the cues work better within the context of the film but they certainly have trouble holding up on their own.
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