My impressions... okay, I think it was really stupid of the woman to take her daughter to Silent Hill, especially seeing as it was a ghost town and she knew it. But given later revelations, I think it was inevitable, and they would have been forced to go one way or another.
Beautiful imagery. The near-constant rain of ash is pretty, like snow almost. Lends an interesting root into reality that the official cover story for what happened in Silent Hill is "coal fire that won't stop," seeing as there really are places like that.
Okay, so they basically set us up to believe there's a demonic presence in the town. Cool. The assumption, of course, is some kind of "mines of Morir" thing, where they dug down into Hell or something. Nobody's fault but the demon's, right? Well... slowly they drop clues that something more is going on. There are some survivors, for one.
Eventually, we get the whole story. Religious fanatics in the town burned a child as a witch, mainly for "letting" herself get sexually molested. She survived, badly burned. Anger and fear became hatred, and her hatred became so powerful she was now the demon. (Or working with Satan, I couldn't really be sure.) But she can't get to the survivors in their church because of their blind devotion and faith. To rescue Sharon from being burned as a witch (the butch female cop having already been burned), her mother lets the demon hide inside her as she smuggles it into the church. Possibly under the demon's influence, she goads the religious leader with the truth until the woman stabs her. The demon bleeds itself out, and then we see the badly-burned girl rise out of this pit that has erupted in the floor, tendrils of barbed wire everywhere. The result is a massacre, as people are shredded into bloody goo by these barbed wires (the lucky ones, anyway). The religious leader herself gets a barbed-wire enema that goes all the way out her mouth and then she gets torn in half. By this point, I'm not remotely sympathetic to the surviving religious fanatics, so I'm cackling madly the whole time they're being brutally murdered. I may possibly be a psychopath, I should probably take a test to find out.
So, with everyone slaughtered at last except Sharon and her mother, the demon lets them leave Silent Hill. Only... I didn't quite get the ending. They get home, but from their point of view, the ash never stops falling in a grey world, while the father's POV is one of bright colors. And the door they opened is open on his side, too. Are they stuck on some alternate dimensional plane? Are they dead? WTF is going on?
Superb movie. I give it two thumbs up.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org