silent hill 2

Genre Evangalism

science fiction

In my review, yesterday, of Interzone #251, I touched briefly upon the potential for the magazine to (properly displayed) bring new readers into the genre fold. As happens frequently, an entirely unexpected thought has snowballed in mind since I wrote it, and a result I’ve been musing heavily on how, exactly, the genre world should be looking to reach out its tentacles.

Of recent years it has become almost fashionable to be a bit “geeky”. From the emergence of Firefly from the cult to the mainstream, to Marvel’s franchise-titan rolling comics out of the nerdy corner, there seems to be a somewhat ascendent atmosphere at the moment.

Yet there are still trends of an insular nature — something which the recent Jonathan Ross fiasco (“Hugogate“) exemplifies.

Read on…

Heresy of the Week: Video games are catching up on film


Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

For all of its admittedly nascent existence, video games has been considered the lesser cousin amongst entertainment media. Next to books, film and TV it has barely even been considered in the same bracket. But with recent experimental forays into the territory of real storytelling, video games seem ready to breakout and embrace their interactive and immersive entertainment birthright.

Read on…

Anticipating Silent Hill Revelations

Yesterday, I watched the above video. It is the first I have seen of the upcoming Silent Hill film, so I was quite interested to see what it heralded.

As a bit of background, I’m a huge Silent Hill fan. For the most part, this consists of replaying the second and third games over and over, and wincing every time a new game is released. It’s a hard life, being a fan.

To me, the video games Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 are two of the best examples of horror I know. They are, to me and to a great many others, genuinely scary. Playing them as a kid, I was always scared out of my mind and it was that feeling to which I became addicted, and which led me into the horror world proper.

I still don’t know what it is about them that does it so perfectly for me. Something in the atmosphere, the pace, the way it doesn’t rush in and go for the jugular. In both, you spend a good deal of time wandering around before jumping at shadows before you even see a slaving nasty. It creates an incredibly effective sense of being lost and alone with something that doesn’t like you much, and is toying with you.

Like I said, two of the best examples of horror I know.

And then there’s the film. I don’t know what to think of it really. If it wasn’t billed as Silent Hill then it would probably have been a good horror film. But the title to me carries higher responsibilities. And whilst it wasn’t bad as horror films go, it was a bit of a mess. Particularly Sean Bean’s scenes, where he was basically tasked with twiddling his thumbs as a side plot.

But, and I’m a little wary of saying this, but the trailer for its sequel Silent Hill Revelations. Yes, Pyramid Head and the zombie nurses make their usual seemingly-obligatory incongruous appearances, but Sean Bean appears to have a bigger role. And it looks like it’s heavily based on the plot of Silent Hill 3. Which is always good.

I never underestimate the potential for Hollywood to cock up a good thing, but I’m sort of looking forward to this. After the mess when I wanted to watch a horror film last Autumn, I think I’ll take this.