Sad Porn vs. Disappointing Horror

Today I ended up watching two very different movies. At work I came upon what is probably the saddest porn video that I’ve ever seen. I mean, everyone has watched some type of porn and all for different reasons, but this one I had to review to make sure it didn’t violate any of the terms and conditions of the site I was assigned to. There was no passion, not even fake passion or that hyper-sexualized, fantasy driven mess that dominates most pornography.

No moans from the woman, not even really any sound at all coming from her aside from a couple grunts. The video camera is squarely on her and the man mounts her from behind. Now when I use the word “mounts”, I’m not trying to be poetic or skip around the issue. They were definitely having sex, but all I could think of while watching it was that this must be what watching someone abusing their livestock would look like. He mounts her, directs her to look at the camera and she struggles to look up. When she does manage it, I wish that she’d never looked at the camera. I’m too used to videos where the woman is thrashing around in the throes of (plausibly faked) ecstasy.

For this woman, her expression was blank and there was nothing on her face or in her eyes to suggest that she was enjoying this in any way. She did her part, docile, for a minute and a bit and then her partner dismounted to turn off the camera.

It really stuck with me. I kept expecting (and hoping) that she would get more into it and that this sad porn video would come to a close, but it didn’t until the man was finished. There was little talking except for some direction from the man, talking to her the way one would talk to a child or a dog. Just directions on how to position herself like they did in professional pornography.

I wonder why she was doing this at all.

A second video that was watched today was no less sad although for completely different reasons. I met up with some of my coworkers after our shifts were done and the office had cleared out to watch the new Silent Hill: Revelation 3D Movie. Now the second Silent Hill movie draws heavily from the third Silent Hill video game if I understand correctly and the movie was just god-awful. It had so much promise, but the closer they got to Silent Hill and the more that this crazy cult business came to light (even though you could have predicted everything), the less atmospheric the movie was.

All of those frightening moments that could have happened became jump tactics where something would be loud and lurch forward at you. All of that subtle atmosphere which surrounded Silent Hill 2 (the game) was sacrificed so that Pyramid Head could have his time in the spotlight and so that the sexy nurses could make their appearance. The monsters, while frightening were in part frightening because you couldn’t see them clearly and you had no idea what was really coming at you. In the movie, every single monster has a money shot where you can see the disgusting details clearly. It was about as frightening and atmospheric as watching one of the later Resident Evil movies. Too much action, not enough actual survival horror.

The writing also felt like it belonged in a Resident Evil movie where the characters are cliche, their lines given woodenly (but to be fair to the actors, I think it would be hard to make this kind of dross shine) and where Sean Bean just plays… the Dad (Harry Mason) and toward the end does something which completely negates the entire purpose of the movie. There was a pseudo love interest shoe-horned in for no reason whatsoever and I was actually a little embarrassed that Sean Bean had agreed to be in it. The best part in the entire movie was the appearance of Dahlia Gillespie who had a scene that was maybe three minutes long.

The finale should grab your attention and hold it, but it was the most boring part of the movie and I found myself day dreaming about my own writing instead.

The 3D was well done though. I loved the effect of the ashes falling down around the town and how they had them blowing at you (for the first twenty seconds of the movie). That was the only redeeming point of the entire film, really. It’s a pity because there is so much that can be done with a world like Silent Hill, but if you make it in the regular horror film style, it sucks all the life out of it. There was no tension between the characters, you don’t believe in Heather/Sharon/Alessa and all the characters are whittled down to these caricatures, perhaps to save time.

I guess the only saving grace of this entire film is that although it’s the second Silent Hill movie, that they skipped the story of the second game completely. They really would not have been able to do it any justice. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the first movie for what it’s worth. It wasn’t frightening to me either, but I loved the ending and that eerie feeling it left me with. It’s the only reason I went to go see the second movie in theatres, but if I’m going to be honest, I feel more than a little cheated.

It’s a horror movie that’s not frightening, a fresh take on an amazing original story which somehow can’t break free from the cliches and aside from some interesting visuals, it’s a waste of your money.

Don’t see it.

Go watch Cloud Atlas instead.