There are some spots you never, ever want to visit. Silent Hill is definitely one of them. It's an otherworldly town on an alternate plane, full of grotesque creatures, psychotic fiends and malevolent forces. And yet, for some crazy reason, Moviefone is creeping around the eerie Toronto set of "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D," at 1.a.m.

Based on the "Silent Hill" video games and a sequel to the 2006 movie, the new installment finds 18-year-old Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) lured back to this nightmarish dimension to rescue her father, Christopher (Sean Bean). There, she encounters the priest Vincent (Kit Harington), a cult led by Claudia Wolf (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Leonard (Malcolm McDowell), and discovers a deep dark secret about her past.

Toronto's Cherry Beach Park has been transformed into Silent Hill's Lakeside Amusement Park. With no monsters in sight, director/writer Michael J. Bassett ("Nightwatch"), along with Clemens and Harington plunk down with the press to discuss their latest scarefest.

To what extent do you feel an obligation to gamers? You obviously want this film to stand on its own and appeal to an even wider audience than the first film.Bassett: It is sort of a producer's job to go in and make it as commercially accessible as possible. I think it's the director and writer's job to make a movie that makes sense to itself. I'm a fairly commercially minded filmmaker and definitely a commercially minded filmgoer. I like mainstream movies. I like art house movies, but I'm a mainstream kind of guy. I'm not trying to do anything that makes any of that difficult. I've been a gamer for years. I've always been pissed off with most of the game adaptations that I've seen as a game fan, not as a filmmaker. As a film, "Silent Hill" is fine. There's some awful ones out there and I could name a few which you could get angry about. In the same way, I suspect some "Silent Hill" purists are going to be angry about what we're doing here because you are never going to make them happy. As much as I'm going to try to, there's a point where you go "I can't do it, guys. I can't replicate the game."

Why did you decide to go with the "Silent Hill 3" video game as a reference point, instead of the more commercially and critically popular "Silent Hill 2"?Bassett: "Silent Hill 2," probably as a stand-alone episode, is the best and has some of the coolest monsters. Pyramid comes from there. The good nurses are from there as well. Roger Avery and Christophe [Gans] borrowed creatures from game 2. The thing about the creatures is they are supposed to be psychologically connected to the turmoil of the character. The moment you step out of that framework, it's not that they don't make sense, but they make a little bit less sense. You have to find a way of making them fit. The reason we went for game 3 is it is the logical extension to the story with Sharon and Heather. And I wanted to finish that story. What happens when she grows up? Then we finish that little bit of an arc and then "Silent Hill 2" can be adapted, or we can make up something entirely new. It was a narrative choice.

Can you talk a little bit about your characters and where they're coming from?Harington: Vincent in the game is a priest of The Order. He's still from The Order and he's been sent to bring Heather back. He's changed in many ways from the game.

Bassett: Kit had a hard time, because in the games, Vincent, for me, was a bit of a spare part. He was useful to make pronunciations on the belief system. Vincent exists to talk to Heather and explain an alternate point of view on it, but that's all he really does. So when I was writing the script, I thought of all the characters to do something more interesting with, Vincent was an opportunity. So Kit has a hard job because he's actually swimming very much against the expectations of the "Silent Hill 2" gamers.

Clemens: I wasn't very familiar with it ["Silent Hill"]. I'm not a gamer. This project came to me as a script. I took it on face value and approached the character in that context. From there, what's so wonderful about being part of a game franchise is that then I could research the games and get my take on that and bring that to the character.

How did the first movie inspire you?Bassett: I love the aesthetic of the first movie. I have absolutely no problem with what it looks like. I'm trying to push that into a slightly darker place, a little more gritty, a little more intense because one of the things we wanted to do with this movie was to make it a little more frightening. The first movie is creepy and strange and beautiful and works absolutely in its own right. In this one, I'd like to get a few more jumps, a few more scares. Put you on the edge of your seats a little more. That's partially because that's what I want as an audience member, but I also think we can do it because we have stronger characters in this one. Heather does more things. Rather than just running around looking and calling the name of the person missing, she actually has an objective.

Adelaide, can you talk about interacting with the monsters and creatures, and which was your favourite one?Clemens: It's been absolutely incredible. I was the thinking about one of my very first encounters with Red Pyramid. From a game point of view, it's very cool. I'm very fortunate a lot of monsters are there. They are not balls on a stick or a figment of my imagination. The prosthetics department has done such an incredible job. Red Pyramid stands 8" high and is all flesh and smells revolting. It's so detailed, so it doesn't require a lot of acting. The nurses were brought to a new level. They were amazing and the way they move... there's something about the prosthetics that I realized. A lot of them actually can't see, so the way they move... first of all, you're frightened because they don't know where they are going. Second of all, they're so awkward. The lobotomy monster scared the bejeezus out of me.

Bassett: You see the brain exposed and all the spine work is opened. It's a beautiful piece of work.

The first film was very female-centered. It was all about the power of the mother. What is the relationship between the sexes in this film, given that you have a couple of more prominent male actors?Bassett: Christophe had a fairly specific objective. I think initially he wanted an all-female movie. For me, I was more interested in the daughter saving the father, so it's a father/daughter relationship. Maybe it's because I'm a dad to girls, so I'd expect them to do that for me. For me, that was the relationship that was a progression from the first movie, just slightly different. Heather is grown up, he's protected her, and he's paid a big price for making that choice to protect her as she grew up. The payment she makes in return is going to save him. The conclusion to the rescue is to discover who she really is. It's trying to give her a big character arc, having an emotional sense to the movie that is different from the first one, but is relatable to the first one.

The first film was applauded for its visuals, partly taken from the game and partly attributed to Christophe Gans. Do you feel an obligation to surpass that now that you have this template to work from? Bassett: It's not an obligation to surpass; you just want to naturally do better. The bar has been set, so why try and go under the bar? I'm on record as liking the first film enormously. One of the reasons I'm doing this now is because I like what came before. We've made an effort to find people who were either involved in the first movie or have an aesthetic that allows us to progress that and exceed it. There are limitations of budget and all the other things which come with movies like this. There are places where you say, "I can't do that this way. I'm going to try a different way. I can't build it this big, so I'm going to go this way." You have to be creative and you have to be dexterous and a little bit adept at making the most of what you've got. There's no reason to worry at this stage we're not going to completely surpass the first movie. The aesthetic is there. The creatures are there. The movie is more frightening. The story is going to rock along. The characters are very accessible and it's in 3D. Tick tick tick...

"Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" opens in theaters on Friday, October 26.


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