On Harry Mason, the WonderCon Footage, and Capturing the Horror of the Game
Published Monday, March 6, 2006
Silent Hill looks very good thus far, but Mr. Gans I have to ask why it is that you didn't stay true to the story and use the father, Harry Mason? In an interview you mention that the main character was changed to a woman because you believed Harry's qualities were feminine but isn't the protection and well being of a child the responsibility of every parent?
- Stuart A.
I think when Roger Avary and Nickolas Boukhrief and I started to work on the project we assumed, because we are all fans of the game, that we would start writing with Harry Mason as our lead.
It quickly became clear however Harry never acted like a masculine character. He was constantly dizzy, fainting, talking to himself, screaming and in fact was very vulnerable. We didn't want to betray the nature of the game by changing the character's feelings and motivations, so we felt it was better to change to a female protagonist and retain all those important qualities. I don't want people to think that I have been "politically correct" because we changed Harry into Rose. There is no political correctness in Silent Hill.
It's important to mention that we were conscious that allowing the Gamers to have to face a new character would help in the transition from Silent Hill the Game to Silent Hill the Movie.
The footage at WonderCon - was it intentionally super shocking, and what effect was desired?
- Christian W.
It was intentionally supershocking!
The trailer went out into the theatres a month or so ago. Of course there were many restrictions in regard to the intensity and the violence of the images that could be used. I was concerned that this trailer could be perceived as a little tame to the fans of the game. The movie is anything but tame. The movie is pretty brutal, intense and disturbing. I wanted to send a message saying the movie is going to be full of surprises. After Wondercon we could see everywhere on the web that the fans were confident that we were going to be respectful of the game and its intensity. Yes, we received the desired effect.
As a huge Silent Hill fan, I have high hopes for this film. It would seem that you really want to capture the psychological horror of the game, which is great because that's what the game is best known for. But are you putting equal effort into the gore of silent hill? It is a mature series after all and the games definitely doesn't pull punches when it really wants you to know that. Will your film reflect this element well?
- Allen W.
Allen, its true that we wanted to stay true to the idea that the horror of Silent Hill was psychological. Our key to being true to this was good casting and design.
It was very clear to me that the casting would reflect our intention to make a serious movie. Instead of casting unknown, attractive teenagers our cast was made up of strong actors from independent, auteur, high class pictures. We allowed time to cover the individual arc of each character and explore them and the games mythology at an appropriate pace.
The atmosphere, aesthetic, palette of colors, sound design and music are all very disturbing.
The aesthetic of the game and that disturbing quality is what attracted me to directing this film in the beginning. But it is impossible to create a movie of Silent Hill and not put the horror and indeed gore on the screen.