You know, because of the heavily psychological themes in Silent Hill, the idea that it looks different to each individual…nothing has scared me more in the ENTIRE series than that ONE line from Vincent.
That was the moment I went, “oh, SHIT.”
It calls to mind so many different ideas.
What does Silent Hill look like to him?
What does Silent Hill ACTUALLY look like?
What are we actually fighting?
What if we’re killing PEOPLE?
What if the monsters aren’t real, and we’re going around slaughtering real people? Maybe even other people trapped in Silent Hill just like us? What if they attack us because WE look like the monsters to them?
What if we’re the real monster.
I fucking LOVE this series, so goddamn much.
I’ve got a theory in Silent Hill 2 most strongly about this. In the Woodside apartments in the beginning of the game after the monster (which you presumably kill) around the corner when entering the room just before Pyramid Head’s very first appearance through the bars what was an empty chair now has a gentleman slumped over dead and bloody in front of a static television.
Later on Laura is cryptically confused about James seeing monsters and being in danger and seems breezily unconcerned with being outside alone when James expresses concern. I’ve always theorized that Silent Hill is both a place and a punishment for those who have committed grievous wrongs, and this plane of their ‘hell’ overlaps with its reality, the place seen by those ‘innocent’ of such punishment like Laura. So basically I’ve always thought James and Laura exist in the same place, but it’s kind of like they’re wearing different glasses prescriptions. James’ experience is entirely different from Laura’s (and more dangerous) because Silent Hill senses he must be punished for his crime. Laura’s only a little girl living in the town where she grew up, and hasn’t sinned enough for the town’s punishment.
Do I think for James those monsters are actually people? I do. But I think they coexist with James’ warped vision of them. I do think the town implements ‘punishments’ (the Pyramid Head is clearly judgment, plus James’ sexual repression, but he obviously is there to slam the gavel down ultimately) so I think PH is strictly a monster, but I’ve always definitely thought some of the so called monsters he sees are HIS visual and are people.