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.
It took director Christophe Gans five years to obtain the rights to make the film. He was given the rights after he sent Konami a video of an interview describing how much Silent Hill meant to him. Along with the interview, he sent scenes that he filmed on his own dollar cut up and overlayed with music from the games.
Around 100 different copies of Rose's outfit were made. This started out with soft summery colors, and as the movie progressed, this became grayer and eventually blood red. The change in the outfits were so subtle that this was barely noticeable.
Roberto Campanella, when playing Pyramid Head, wore 15-inch heels to make him close to seven feet tall.
Many of the creatures in the film were played by dancers so they could be flexible enough to create the required disturbing movements.
Centralia, Pennsylvania was the inspiration for the movie adaptation of the game Silent Hill. In researching the different elements of Silent Hill, screenwriter Roger Avary came across the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, an 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.
In the beginning of the film, when Rose is running frantically trying to find Sharon, she runs through a tunnel. On the tunnel walls is graffiti spelling out the name "Cheryl." Cheryl is the original name of Sharon's character from the video game.
Apart from "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash, every piece of music is directly from the game series.
To add to the accumulated filth caused by her character's journey through Silent Hill, Radha Mitchell did not wash her hair through the entire filming.
It is notable that Dahlia is immune to the dangers of the Fog World and the Otherworld. This is because Dahlia is the mother of Alessa, who controls these worlds, and is still loved by her, or as Rose says, "Mother is God in the eyes of a child."
Due to the nature of the Silent Hill film and the fact that Jodelle Ferland was only 10 years old at the time of filming, writer Roger Avary apologized to her parents should she have had any signs of mental trauma.
Radha Mitchell was so impressed by 10-year-old actress Jodelle Ferland's handling of three different characters (Sharon Da Silva, Alessa Gillespie and Dark Alessa) that she decided that Jodelle was her new favorite actress.
Silent Hill's college visited by Rose is called Midwich. Midwich is the fictional town of Village of the Damned (1960) and John Carpenter's 1995 remake, both based on the original novel "The Midwich Cuckoos" written by John Wyndham and published in 1957.
One of the stores visible in the movie version of Silent Hill is called "M.T. Rooms" - An inside joke referring to the fact that in both the film and the games, most of the structures are mere facades with nothing behind them (Empty Rooms).
Radha Mitchell (Rose) got punched in the face by one of the "Dark Nurses" during filming the scene in the basement of the hospital.
Dancer/choreographer Roberto Campanella not only played as creatures Pyramid Head, the tortured Janitor, and Colin (the janitor from 30 years ago), he was also movement coordinator for all of the creatures and oversaw how they performed the movements for their respective characters (i.e. Grey Child, Dark Nurses and Armless Man).
In the original script for the film, Rose was supposed to take Sharon to a faith healer since Sharon was terminally ill and beyond medical help. They would just end up in Silent Hill by chance.
In the witch burning picture in the church, crew members for the movie were painted as spectators watching the burning.
Filming in Brantford, Ontario, Canada lasted four days. The decaying downtown strip that was used for most of the film is a section of Colbourne Street. This was picked as such because not many modifications were needed as that area of the downtown was already in a state of decay (but has since been cleaned up considerably) and consisted mostly of abandoned buildings that could be 'dressed' easily for filming.
Roberto Campanella has stated that the helmet he wore for the Red Pyramid costume weighed approximately twelve pounds on its own. He also could not see in front of him or to the side due to the triangular grates that compose each side of Red Pyramid's helmet; therefore, Roberto could only see his feet and anything directly below him.
Alice Krige's personality as Christabella was so dominant that other actors and extras responded to her commands on the set of Silent Hill.
In the original script, there were only female characters. After submitting this, the script was returned to Christophe Gans with a memo saying "there are no men!" Sean Bean's character, who was only supposed to appear at the beginning and the ending of the film, had his role expanded along with the character Thomas Gucci added and the script was approved.
The version we see in theaters is the one director Christophe Gans wanted us to see. He said in an interview that the studio executives loved his version, and he was never asked to cut down his film length. Although the initial script of the film was expected to be three and a half hours, the film was never shot with that length in mind.
Christophe Gans was irritated by Radha Mitchell's approach to acting, which typically involved her needing several shots before she could get into character. In the DVD commentary, Gans states that it was especially difficult to film scenes with Radha and co-star Laurie Holden (Cybil Bennett), due to their very different acting techniques.
In the behind the scenes for the 2006 film, the actresses explained that the Pyramid Head outfit had no covering on the back, and that the actor's buttocks were exposed. This was done intentionally, although the reason why has never been explained.
In the final scene, when the congregation has gathered, a phrase written in Latin is visible around the ceiling of the main chamber. It reads, "Domine Deus Omnipotens in Cuius Manu Omnis Victoria Consistit..." Translated this is "O Lord God Almighty, in Whose Hand all Victory Rests..." This is a portion of an old English Prayer from the Pre-Conquest period. The rest may read "... and all war is destroyed, grant me that Thy hand may strengthen my heart so I may fight well and act courageously so my enemies may fall before my sight."
Alice Krige wore blue contacts during filming; this was done to match the eye color of Jodelle Ferland and Deborah Kara Unger since they are supposed to be family.
The theater in Silent Hill is playing a double feature of the Vincent Price vehicle, The Last Man on Earth (1964) and its remake The Ωmega Man (1971), starring Charlton Heston. Both of these films were based on Richard Matheson's story "I Am Legend".
Jodelle Ferland (Alessa) appeared as little Carrie White in Carrie (2002). The character of Alessa from the video game pays homage to (and is likely inspired by) Stephen King's novel "Carrie". A poster of Carrie (1976) can be seen in Silent Hill (1999).
Previously, Deborah Kara Unger had a close friendship with director Christophe Gans, whom she considered a mentor. Gans felt Deborah was perfect for the role of embattled mother Dahlia Gillespie, who appears at two different ages in the film. When he first approached Deborah for the role, he told her not to slap him, as he was sure she would be angered at being asked to portray a ragged old woman. Instead, Deborah was delighted by the character and quickly accepted the role.
The prayers recited by Christabella and the citizens of Silent Hill within the church in their effort to keep the dark side of Alessa at bay are actually lines from Revelation, a book in the New Testament of the Bible.
Series Trademark: [metal pipe] The weapons we see being used by the men with gas masks are metal pipes. The metal pipe is one of the first weapons encountered in the Silent Hill games.
In the room where Rose encounters Alessa scribbling furiously on a desk, the cult symbol from the games can be seen on the wall behind her, just before Rose runs across the catwalk.
Jodelle Ferland stated in interviews that Dark Alessa was her favorite of her three Silent Hill characters to portray.
In a nod to Silent Hill 3 (2003), the game's theme song performed by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is used in the film's ending credits. Another song from the game plays in a scene involving Rose and Sharon Da Silva in their car playing on the radio, the song also played on a car radio during a cut-scene in Silent Hill 3.
The waterfall in the beginning of this film is the Devil's punch bowl in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Christophe Gans wanted all of the film's music to come from the games, which were composed by Akira Yamaoka. However, the film's production contract required that a Canadian composer be involved. To remedy this, Danna was hired to remix Yamaoka's tracks.
Alice Krige was the last person hired for the project, just two weeks before the start of filming. She did not particularly enjoy the role, feeling that her character was too manipulative and evil.
Dahlia speaks extremely softly throughout the film and is sometimes very hard to hear. This was to show that Dahlia was not able to be strong and speak for herself.
Although Roger Avary is the only writer credited in the film, the original treatment was written by Nicolas Boukhrief and Christophe Gans, and all versions of the script were written in tandem between Gans, Avary and Boukhrief.
Director Christophe Gans repeatedly referred to Cybil as his "White Wolf", including when Laurie Holden started to cry after learning she would have to cut off most of her hair for the role.
Laurie Holden's favorite scene to film was a scene in which Cybil fights a group of fanatical cultists, even though she had to go to the hospital due to a hand injury sustained during filming.
Both director Christophe Gans and Deborah Kara Unger refer to Dahlia as "Cassandra Dahlia". This is a reference to the Greek story of Cassandra, who had the gift of foresight, but was cursed to be believed by no one (often called "Cassandra Truth). Similarly, Dahlia speaks the truth of the alternate reality and warns Rose of the decision she will eventually have to make, but her words are ignored by the cult, Rose and Cybil.
Radha Mitchell tried to change one of Jodelle Ferland's lines, which caused Jodelle to exclaim that doing so would destroy the line's Biblical symbolism.
In Portugal, this movie was released under the title "The Curse of the Hill" ("A Maldição do Vale", in Portuguese), but most game-based movies do not get their titles translated.
Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35 and high-definition video, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the ending credits.
To prepare for her role of Christabella, Alice Krige read the book "The End of Days" by Erna Paris, a book about tyranny during the Spanish Inquisition.
The film has drawn many comparisons to The Dark (2005), another horror film starring Sean Bean in the role of a father stricken with supernatural phenomena involving his daughter.
Radha Mitchell (Rose) never actually saw Yvonne Ng's face, as she was always in the "Grey Child" costume.
The family's name, "Da Silva", is the most common surname in Portuguese-speaking countries such as Portugal and Brazil. Its meaning is derived from the Latin word "silva", meaning 'forest' or 'woodland'. It is also widespread in regions of the former Portuguese Empire in America (from Galicia (Spain)), Africa and Asia, including India and Sri Lanka. Movement of people has led to the name being used in many places; "da Silva" is the fifth most common surname in the French department of Val-de-Marne, outside Paris, and it was the 19th most-common family name given to newborns between 1966 and 1990 in France.
When auditioning to Roberto Campanella as the Armless Man, Michael Cota performed with a makeshift mask and his arms behind his back.
Sony Pictures acquired United States and Latin American distribution rights for $14 million US dollars.
Daniel J. Meyers, one of the men in gas masks, once lived in Brantford, Ontario, where some of the scenes were filmed. He was on set as a sound technician and filled in as an uncredited actor.
According to actress Laurie Holden, Cybil always wanted children, but due to her lifestyle, she was unable to have any. This could be referring to her busy, dangerous line of work preventing her from adequately raising a child, or it could allude to the possibility of Cybil being lesbian.
The bus map that Rose follows to Midwich School ends at Bradbury Street. Ray Bradbury was an author well known for fantastic stories such as "Something Wicked This Way Comes", "The Martian Chronicles" and "The Illustrated Man".
Although this is not the first film that Tanya Allen appeared in, having acted in indie films and television movies prior to this film, this is her first major motion picture that had a wide theatrical release.
When Rose is arrested, the camera pans behind the Jeep showing the Ohio license plate "C3J 46E5" with a county code sticker "75" in the bottom left corner indicating Shelby County, Ohio. The license plate is a custom plate as in that standard issue plates are formatted as three letters and four numbers (AAA 0000) and was registered after 2004 because Ohio license plates changed formats in 2004.
Alice Krige guest starred in Sharpe's Honour (1994), which starred Sean Bean as Sharpe.
Anna was originally introduced to have been attacked by another Armless Man outside the hotel before Rose and Cybil arrived to help. Roberto Campanella, the movement choreographer, unfortunately wasn't available the day the scene was supposed to be shot. The crew tried to choreograph Michael Cota themselves, but after the results came out looking horrific, the scene was ultimately rewritten to Rose and Cybil finding Anna assaulting Dahlia by throwing rocks at her.