|Doing Video Games Justice
||[Apr. 23rd, 2006|11:37 pm]
Eric Lee Cline
Let this be a lesson to all people who would make movies based on video games. Learn the lesson of Silent Hill, also known as how to do it right.
1. Maintain the tone of the game: Silent Hill did this wonderfully, making the movie as dark and claustrophobic as the game, with the same overlying themes of a town that flipped back and forth between ghost town and Hell.
2. Don't Hollywood it up: There were no gratuitous action sequences. Rose didn't Ripley through the end of the movie. Sometimes the wrong people die.
3. Treat the source material with respect: Though this is an original story, it uses most of the elements and some of the characters of the first Silent Hill, and one notable character from the second.
4. Retain the elements that people enjoyed about the game: This movie uses music from Silent Hill, it retains familiar settings, to the degree that I'm not sure how they managed to get some of them so exact. Familiar monsters, as well, from the hideous zombie nurses and ash children to good ol' Pyramid Head.
5. Remember that there's a story to be told and a movie here: Seriously, get someone who cares about the source material, has a good story to work from, and make it work in a different media.
6. Don't break the rating of the game. Silent Hill is Hard R. It wouldn't have worked any other way. Too many other movies forget this... Mortal Kombat PG-13? A dark and dystopian Super Mario Bros.?
Video game movies suffer from the same problems as Book movies... they suffer from adaptation, and almost none of them are as good as the source material. I just want to take a moment to sit back and recognize that finally, now and forever, we have a truly excellent video game movie, a standard to which others can be held.