It's been a whole decade since the film adaptation of Konami's classic horror game Silent Hill hit theaters and that terrifying image of Alessa at the stake is still etched into my mind.
I was only 10 when the movie was released and it was the first real horror film I ever watched (despite being terrified of Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! for about three years prior). I was completely in awe of the film's intrepid emotion, creepy aesthetic and biblical symbolism — for an 11-year-old, that's like, seriously deep.
A decade later, I thought I'd check in with how the cast have been doing since surviving the terrors in the town of Silent Hill, and in honor of its tenth birthday I've also got 10 pretty interesting facts I bet you didn't know about the movie. Is Silent Hill a real place? And what does little Sharon look like now? Read on to find out.
Did You Know?
1. It took director Christophe Gans five years to convince Konami to let him adapt the game
Believe it or not, Konami was super reluctant at first to give Gans the rights to make the film. His wish was finally granted after he sent the Japanese gaming giant a video of an interview describing how much Silent Hill meant to him. Along with the interview he sent scenes that he had filmed using his own money, cut up, and overlaid with music from the games.
2. The Dark Nurses were actually moving backwards
Many of the creatures in the film were played by dancers to ensure they had the flexibility required to create the disturbing movements. However, the strange stumbling movements of the Dark Nurses when they first come alive was created by filming them walking backwards, and then running the film in reverse. Watch the effect in action below.
3. There really is a Silent Hill
The movie was based on the actual town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. In researching the different elements of Silent Hill, screenwriter (and former inmate) Roger Avary came across the almost abandoned town with a 40-year-old coal fire burning underneath it. Centralia planted the seed for what developed into the cinematic version of the town of Silent Hill.
4. There weren't supposed to be any men in the movie
In the original script, there were only female characters in the story, but after submitting this version, it was returned to Gans with a memo saying: "There are no men!" Sean Bean's character, who was only originally set to appear at the beginning and end of the film, had his role expanded and the character Thomas Gucci was added into the story. Following these provisions, the script was approved.
5. The writers feared for Jodelle Ferland's mental health
Due to the nature of the movie and the fact that Jodelle Ferland was only 10 years old at the time of filming, Avary actually apologized to her parents for any signs of mental trauma she may experience as a result of playing Sharon and Alessa.
6. The script uses actual lines from the Bible
The prayers recited by Christabella and the citizens of Silent Hill within the church in their effort to keep Alessa's dark presence at bay are genuine lines from Revelation, a book in the New Testament.
7. There's a major connection to Stephen King's Carrie
The character of Alessa from the video game pays homage to (and is likely inspired by) Stephen King's novel Carrie, and a poster of the Carrie movie from 1976 can be seen in the original game. Coincidentally, Jodelle Ferland appeared as little Carrie White in the 2002 TV remake of Carrie.
8. Pyramid Head's costume was seriously inconvenient
The helmet actor Roberto Campanella wore for the Pyramid Head costume weighed approximately 12 pounds on its own, and due to the triangular grates on each side, he could't see in front or to the side — only his feet and anything directly below him was visible. As if that didn't sound intense enough, the actor also had to wear 15-inch heels to bring his height to almost seven feet. Sounds like a real pain the ass! Speaking of asses —
9. And also kind of embarrassing
In the behind-the-scenes feature for the film, the actresses explained that the Pyramid Head outfit had no covering on the back, meaning that actor Roberto Campanella's butt cheeks were completely exposed. This was actually done intentionally, although the reason why has never been explained.
10. Cybil dreamt of becoming a mother
According to actress Laurie Holden, Cybil always wanted children but due to her lifestyle she was unable to have any. This could either refer to her busy and dangerous line of work preventing her from adequately raising a child, or it could also allude to the possibility of Cybil being gay.
Watch the original trailer for Silent Hill below.
Where Are They Now?
Radha Mitchell - Rose Da Silva
Shortly after appearing in Silent Hill, Mitchell appeared in independent horror film Rogue and comedy Henry Poole Is Here, opposite Luke Wilson and Chinese epic The Children of Huang Shi opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The Australian actress also had a minor role in Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and its sequel London Has Fallen (2016) as well as the leading role of Marta Walraven on short-lived ABC drama, The Red Widow (2013), which was cancelled after its first season.
Sean Bean - Christopher Da Silva
Bean, as most of us know, has been pretty busy since Silent Hill. As well as starring in the sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012), he has also had movies roles in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010), Black Death (2010), Jupiter Ascending (2015), and The Martian (2015). His most notable appearance, of course, was as Ned Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones which, although short-lived, was one of the most memorable performances of the series. The British actor also starred as Martin Odum in TNT's crime drama, Legends, from 2014-2015.
Jodelle Ferland - Sharon Da Silva/Alessa Gillespie
You may not have realized but you've probably seen Ferland in something since her breakout role in Silent Hill. She went on to play Bree Tanner in Twilight: Eclipse (2010) and also appeared as Patience Buckner in critically acclaimed horror-comedy The Cabin in the Woods (2012). Her TV roles have included Melanie Merchant in Supernatural (2006), Haley Macklin in Girl Fight (2011), and Alexis Baxter in Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012). She currently stars as Five (or Das) in SyFy's Dark Matter.
Laurie Holden - Cybil Bennett
Most of us recognize Holden from her stint as Andrea in The Walking Dead (2010-2013), but she is also known for her portrayals of Amanda Dumfries in The Mist (2007), Olivia Murray in The Shield (2008) and Adele Pinchelow, the main antagonist in Jim Carrey's Dumb and Dumber To (2014). She also appeared in the documentary film The Abolitionists (2014) as part of Operation Underground Railroad, a volunteer organization that aims to hunt down and arrest child sex traffickers. Their operation in Cartagena, Colombia resulted in the arrest of 12 offenders the rescue of 55 victims.
Alice Krige - Christabella
A couple of years after Silent Hill was released, Krige took on the leading role of Sannie Laing, Sandra's mother in South-African biopic Skin (2008). She had roles in a number of British dramas including Midsomer Murders (2009), Walking the Dead (2011) and Spooks (2011). Her most recent movie appearance was in the role of Eir in Thor: The Dark World (2013).
Deborah Kara Unger - Dahlia Gillespie
Unger has appeared in a string of movies since her role as Alessa's mother in Silent Hill, perhaps most notably as Carol Lynn Johnson in thriller film 88 Minutes (2007) and Sarah in pilgrimage drama The Way (2010). She was a series regular as Major Grace Pedersen in ABC's Combat Hospital (2011) before reprising her role as Dahlia in the Silent Hill sequel alongside Sean Bean.