Movie Review: “Silent Hill”

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Let’s start with the running time: 2 hours and 5 minutes. Totally out of control. No horror movie should be longer than an Oscar winner for best picture unless it’s, like, “The Exorcist.” It should max out around 83 minutes – 85, tops – especially when it’s not even good enough to be shown to critics before opening day. Having said that, the story of a mother (Radha Mitchell) who brings her sick daughter (Jodelle Ferland) to a West Virginia ghost town with hopes of curing her does have some genuinely frightening imagery. It all seems rather drug-induced, though: paranoid delusionary visions of being covered in enormous, crawling bugs; gnarled, burning children staggering about menacingly; a muscular giant in a dark hood who tries to stab you with an oversized kitchen knife. It’s some pretty disturbing stuff. But then the film turns just plain silly as the creepy townsfolk go on a literal witch hunt for anyone who seems different. Their cries of “Heresy! Burn her!” call to mind a high-school production of “The Crucible.” Rated: R for strong horror violence and gore, disturbing images and some language. Runnign time: 125 minutes. Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.

– Christy Lemire, AP movie critic

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