French director Christophe Gans’s adaptation of the Silent Hill computer game is visually inspired and thematically ambitious, yet ultimately uninvolving. Distressed by her adopted daughter Sharon’s sleepwalking and talk of Silent Hill, her mother Rose (Radha Mitchell) drives her there. A former West Virginia mining community now poisoned by gases from an underground fire, it is also permeated by an ancient evil and peopled with disfigured demons, including a pyramid-headed giant, armless monsters and faceless nurses. Aided by motorcycle cop Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden), Rose tries to unravel her daughter’s mysterious past. Gans’s fluid visuals make fine use of the striking set designs by Cronenberg collaborator Carol Spier and the fetishistic creature designs of Patrick Tatopoulos. Yet the nightmarish imagery, much of it reminiscent of ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and ‘Hellraiser’, is more disturbing than frightening. Scriptwriter Roger Avary’s clumsy storytelling is also problematic, with confusing shifts between the haunted town’s different time/space dimensions.