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If you're disappointed by the official Silent Hill film adaptations, you're not the only one. But we've got your back. These eight films come very close to the classic survival horror franchise without incurring legal action from Konami. So get out those melee weapons, turn your radio on to static, and let's see what terrors we can uncover.
1) 'AM1200' (2008, dir. David Prior)
Starting off our list is a short film with a cast that includes character actors Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Dead End) and John Billingsley (Enterprise, True Blood). After robbing the company he works for, Sam Larson goes on the run, but winds up entangled in some cosmic horror involving a bizarre radio broadcast emitting from a small station out in the middle of nowhere.
The set design, mood, and themes are so evocative of Silent Hill that the game series must have been an inspiration. There is even a scene where Sam takes out a crowbar and flashlight, which seems like an intentional nod to the franchise's common use of the items. The movie is the perfect length, with enough time to tell you just what you need to know to understand the film, but keeping enough information withheld to keep you wondering. It is undoubtedly Lovecraft inspired as well.
2) 'The Void' (2016, dir. Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie)
This independent horror film has been making quite a stir lately with its practical effects and Lovecraftian plot. When Deputy Daniel Carter finds an injured man crawling on the side of the road, he takes him to the nearby hospital, which, being in the process of moving to a different location, is manned by a skeleton crew, including Carter's wife Allison, who recently had a miscarriage that still looms over their relationship. Unfortunately, the hospital is surrounded by a group of knife-wielding cultists, and people inside the hospital begin undergoing terrifying transformations.
While the plot can be silly at times, The Void takes inspiration from 80s horror films as well as body horror and cosmic horror. The inclusion of a creepy cult performing twisted rituals on unwitting victims, the existence of an Otherworld, and deals with unknowable horrors will satisfy most any Silent Hill fan. It's absolutely worth a watch, and guaranteed to get your skin crawling, stomach churning, and spine tingling.
3) 'Banshee Chapter' (2013, dir. Blair Erickson)
Yet another film on our list that also owes influence to H. P. Lovecraft, Banshee Chapter is a great selection for lovers of cosmic horror that is also grounded with real-life aspects. After the disappearance of her college friend, journalist Anne Roland goes looking for him and uncovers a bizarre conspiracy involving mind control experiments, psychedelic drugs, and an otherworldly numbers station that has strange effects on anyone who hears it.
This film could just as easily been a survival horror game. It positively oozes with dread of the unknown, and despair of mankind's smallness in the larger scheme of the universe. The characters are all well-done and really make you care about them. There are moments of pure terror and chilling uncertainty that make this a must-watch for fans of intelligent and unique horror.
4) 'Last Shift' (2014, dir. Anthony DiBlasi)
One of the most obviously Silent Hill inspired films on this list, Last Shift is about rookie police officer, Jessica, whose first assignment is to guard the empty police station, which is closing in preparation for a move to a new station. However, it isn't long before strange people appear within the building, and phantasmal events start taking place, leading Jessica to investigate the death of a cult that occurred exactly one year ago.
While the ending may disappoint some, Last Shift provides plenty of scares along the way, and offers up a decent premise to keep viewers interested. The aesthetics and themes wouldn't be out of place in a Silent Hill game.
5) 'Dead End' (2003, dir. Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa)
Somewhat lighter fare, if still very gory, compared to the rest of this list. Dead End follows a family on a road trip, when they suddenly become trapped on an endless road, pursued by a hearse, and encountering strange people along the way. Sometimes funny, often disturbing, and once again featuring the talents of Ray Wise, who is always enjoyable to watch.
While it may seem like a silly concept, the film plays it off quite well, never taking itself too seriously, but also never completely giving way to comedy. Like Silent Hill, the characters are trapped in an evil dimension, and must fend off otherworldly demons. The only way for them to escape is through reflection inward.
6) 'Lost Highway' (1997, dir. David Lynch)
A film about parallel dimensions and identity crisis gone horribly wrong, Lost Highway is the story of a musician, Fred Madison, who begins receiving mysterious video tapes, which show someone filming the inside of his house while he and his wife are sleeping. Things are further complicated when Fred disappears, and is replaced with Pete Dayton, a teenager, who becomes involved with a doppelganger of Fred's wife.
Like many Silent Hill games, Lost Highway is the story of a man with a dark past, looking to unravel the mysteries that have sprouted up around him. David Lynch's works, including Twin Peaks and Eraserhead, have had a big influence on the whole of the Silent Hill series.
7) 'Shutter Island' (2010, dir. Martin Scorsese)
Set in the 1950s, the film tells the story of U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who, along with his new partner, goes to investigate the disappearance of a patient at Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, which is isolated on Shutter Island. As Teddy explores the asylum, it's clear that things are not what they seem, and the case begins to draw up some disturbing memories from his past. He finds his sanity slowly disintegrating as he tries to find the missing patient, and how he is personally tied to what's going on in the asylum.
This film reminds me so much of Silent Hill, if it wasn't based on a novel I would have thought it was a straight rip off of the game series. However, so many themes and shots call to mind parts of the games, it's hard to believe they didn't take some inspiration from Silent Hill.
8) 'Jacob's Ladder' (1990, dir. Adrian Lyne)
Probably the biggest influence on Silent Hill 2, Jacob's Ladder is a psychological horror film about Jacob Singer, a Vietnam veteran now divorced and working in a post office. Haunted by the death of his youngest son Gabriel and pressured to ignore his family by his girlfriend Jez, Jacob begins to have what seems to be a nervous breakdown, as demons begin appearing around him and he experiences bizarre nightmare visions. Jacob rounds up his former Vietnam platoon, only to discover the same thing is happening to them.
One of the best and smartest horror films ever made, Jacob's Ladder keeps you guessing until the very last twist, which I'm betting will look a little familiar to some of you Silent Hill fans. If you want to fully understand the symbolism of the games, this film is an absolute must-watch.