Tag Archives: silent hill

The Foxscars 2013

Never mind the Oscars. This year I’m launching my personal alternative to the Academy Awards – the FOXSCARS.

BEST UNSEEN JOURNEY: Doctor Who Magazine‘s The Watcher recently enthused about the great unseen journeys in Who but Bond and M’s desperate drive from Westminster to Scotland in Skyfall takes the biscuit. “It’s not very comfortable, is it?” says M, settling into the Aston Martin. “Are you going to complain the whole way?” counters Bond. And then the most extraordinary elision.

M Judi Dench Skyfall lodge scotland

Google Maps suggests just over 8 hours for a trip from London to Glencoe. That’s a long trip even if you knock off an hour or two for Bond’s reckless speeding, and M’s a septuagenarian who’s just spent hours cooped up in an inquiry. So this grim, relentless flight for their lives must have had at least one comfort break along the way. I picture M rushing into the service station toilets, cashmere coat tails all a-flap, calling out to James who’s in the queue at the shop “Get me a Twirl, Bond! Or if they haven’t got a Twirl, a Topic!”

BEST IRONIC SURNAME-BASED CASTING: Liz White IS The Woman In Black.

BEST GUYLINER: Lenny Kravitz’s gold lids in The Hunger Games. You would, wouldn’t you.

Kravitz as hot as anything

BEST MOUTH: If you make a film expecting your audience to spend almost the entire running time staring at your heroine’s half-lit face as she stumbles through horrors in the dark, it had better be a good one. And Silent House is a beautiful, beautiful film where extraordinary technical challenges behind the scenes [it is contrived to appear as a single 90-minute shot] are matched by Elizabeth Olsen’s brilliant expressive face. I spent ages scouring the disc to get the best screenshot of her mouth opening up in atavistic terror, and realised afterwards I’d landed on the same still as is used on all the promo materials. Well there you go.

Silent House

BEST LEGO: The telekinetic teenagers in Chronicle hone their skills with some truly awesome Lego action.

BEST BREATHING:  Kristen Stewart is already famous for acting out emotion purely through the medium of languid sighs and gasps, so it was a treat that in her first scene in Snow White And The Huntsman she immediately got to blow a candle out.

BEST MONSTER IN AN OTHERWISE TERRIBLE FILM: The spider-thing made out of mannequin parts in Silent Hill: Revelation

spider mannequin

BEST IMAGINARY MUSICAL VERSION: There’s a moment in the excellent My Brother The Devil when Fady Elsayed says to James Floyd “I’d rather have a brother that’s a bomber than a homo!” Every time I’ve seen it I’ve been willing him to say “bummer” instead of “homo”. Because then it would be the perfect opening lyric to the lead song of the musical version that’s in my head.

My Brother the Devil

BEST 3D: I didn’t think I liked 3D, but Life of Pi changed my mind, so well done everybody.

BEST OPTIMISM IN A POSTER PULL-QUOTE: Quartet

Quartet poster

BEST PUNCTUATION: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

BEST FINGERS: Not to get all spoilery, but there’s a point in Prometheus where Noomi Rapace has just gone through some of the most intense physical and mental trauma that you can imagine. And how do the ship’s crew wake her up? Five sharp raps to the face with the back of the fingers. In marigolds. Makes me laugh every time.

Prometheus fingers

BEST GRATUITOUS NUDITY: Nick Sagar suddenly being forced to strip naked in the street in Ill Manors had absolutely no plot justification or character relevance at all. Plan B, we salute you.

Nick Sagar, as fit as a butcher's dog

BEST INTER-SPECIES NECROPHILIAC FRENCH KISS: Always a hotly-contested category, but this year Cabin in the Woods just edged it.

kissing in the cabin in the woods

Advertisements

Monsters at home: The Silent Hill nurses

Oh, you’ve never played any Silent Hill, you say. Well this brilliant game series, pitched somewhere between David Lynch and the best of Japanese horror cinema provides some of the most unsettling interactive experiences you’ll ever have, outside of a spin on chatroulette. The nurses are among the series’ most recognisable recurring opponents*, and like all its horrors they exist as symbols of unresolved anxieties in the deepening stories of the protagonists. BUT THAT SOUNDS LIKE HARD WORK. So how do they relax?

WHAT DO THEY EAT The cardigan-wearing nurses from the original game, with the slug-parasites growing out of their backs, are found wandering gloomy hospital corridors, waving scalpels around. But with only a scalpel to use, they’re going to be limited to food that can be jabbed. So their staple diet is cocktail sausages, cheese and pineapple cubes, and those olives with things stuck in them.

HOW DO THEY SOCIALISE In Silent Hill 2 the nurses got sexy. Of course when I say sexy, I also mean facially disfigured, twitching succubi lashing out at you with iron bars, but still, you know, voluptuous. Fetishy. It’s a representation of the guilt and sexual frustration the main character felt during his wife’s long hospitalisation. So these nurses save their pennies for trips to the mall to get those too-tight, bloodied uniforms just right, and then hit the wine bars.

WHAT DO THEY DRINK The nurses in Silent Hill 3 are best remembered for how bloody noisy they were. All that heavy breathing, and those horrible screams. I hear a similar racket outside the flat when the windows are open on warm Saturday nights. It’s generally fuelled by Jagermeister. So if they can’t get formaldehyde, that’s what the nurses are on too.

WHAT DO THEY WATCH ON TELLY The nurses in Silent Hill: Origins seemed to have surgical masks melted onto their faces. But it would be lazy to see that and assume that they just sit around watching medical dramas. No, as figures of control and repression, they’re far more comfortable with the overbearing likes of How To Look Good Naked and The Biggest Loser. 

WHAT DO THEY DO FOR FUN In the live action Silent Hill film, the nurses were fantastically choreographed. All their jerky lurching was brought to life in as horrible and disorientating a way as us fans could have hoped for. So clearly there have been some dance classes along the way. Lambada, perhaps.

HOW DO THEY REPRODUCE In the recent Silent Hill: Homecoming, you could — unpleasantly — see a foetus growing in the nurses’ wombs when you shone a light on them. But it’s anyone guess how it got in there. This is a game series in which someone vomits up God’s foetus and someone else eats it, after all. To be honest I’d prefer to write the whole thing off as an optical illusion. I don’t want to see any more nurses. They scare me.

*Ok, obviously the most iconic Silent Hill monster is Pyramid Head. But nothing I write is going to improve on the video below, which appeared on YouTube a few years ago, and to be honest has pretty much inspired this whole Monsters At Home strand. Respect.