This past Sunday marked the 17-year anniversary of the release of the very first Silent Hill game onto PlayStation. And even though a couple sad excuses for Silent Hill movies have attempted to recreate the horrifying story through film, I felt that there hadn’t been any as satisfying as the game itself—until I saw the movie, Krampus, this past Christmas.
Now you might grimace when I relate the movie, Silent Hill, to the 2015 holiday horror movie, but there are some very strong examples of why Krampus was everything I wanted a Silent Hill movie to be. And if you haven’t heard anything about Krampus or what it is, you can watch the trailer below.
First, the setting. Silent Hill was originally set in an abandoned, cursed town riddled with creatures from Hell and what fell from the sky was this unstoppable flurry of snow. In Krampus, when the presence of the demon fell over the neighborhood, it was overtaken by snow, which made visibility almost impossible. In Silent Hill, you could only rely on your radio to signal when a creature was near because of the bad visibility. When watching Krampus, seeing the snow immediately made me think of Silent Hill, but I quickly shook it off thinking it was nothing.
But then, the creatures came out. I had seen the previews for Krampus and knew some of the creatures were straight out of a Nightmare On Elm Street movie, but I wasn’t expecting such a likeness to one of my favorite video game franchises of all time. The jack-in-the-box in the attic transformed into a giant, man-eating slug with a mouth that was very similar to that of 1987’s Predator. And suddenly, I was thinking about the Scarlet boss in Silent Hill: Homecoming, the china doll that had transformed into a massive, spider-like creature. The creature design in Krampus was equally as terrifying as the design in Silent Hill. And do you remember the grey children from Silent Hill? They attacked you at the beginning of the first game, and also revisited you in the school. They were small, dwarf-like creatures that came at you with knives. Well, in Krampus, the elves and dwarves that invaded the household very much reminded me of the grey children and I started to pay closer attention to the likeness to Silent Hill.
And that’s when it hit me.
In one scene in Krampus, the grandmother talks about her experience with Krampus when she was just a little girl, and she said Krampus merely existed to punish those who have misbehaved or have been nasty to others. Well, Pyramid Head first appeared in the Silent Hill franchise in Silent Hill 2. And he only existed as a manifestation of James’ guilt over killing his wife. Pyramid Head existed to punish James for his sins, very much like Krampus existed to only punish those who were naughty.
And with all of this information in mind, I suddenly saw this not as some cheesy holiday horror movie like the horrible Jack Frost (no, not the depressing one that makes you cry, but the horror version), but as what the Silent Hill movie franchise could’ve become. Krampus had everything, from the hellish minions, the frightening and powerful Pyramid Head-like creature who was sent to punish the naughty, the abandoned town setting lost in the low visibility of a snowstorm and so much gore and death.
And as a couple of young and naive teenagers stormed out of the theater five minutes before the ending, screaming, “This movie blows!”, I could only sit and relish in the fact that they didn’t get it. They didn’t understand what this movie was really about. So if you’re a fan of Silent Hill, I strongly urge you to watch Krampus on DVD. Maybe you’ll see what I saw...and maybe not. But in any case, while I may never get another Silent Hill game as long as I live, or a decent cinematic interpretation of Silent Hill, I at least have the overwhelmingly satisfying version nestled in a refreshing and welcoming horror title called Krampus.
The movie is estimated to release in April of this year.