Silent Hill: Dying Inside #3 and #4
October 12, 2009
The fear of blood tends to create fear for the flesh. The fear of coherence tends to create this mess.
(Open on 90s Kid sitting on the futon. He looks offscreen, then towards the camera)
90s Kid: Dude! Did something happen to you after we got separated in that bitchin' long hallway?
Linkara: (looking at him) 90s Kid?
90s Kid: Hey, dude, remember when we went back in time to when Image Comics first started, and when I tried to hug Rob Liefeld, I totally cubed it?
Linkara: I don't understand. Aren't you 90s Kid?
(The title for "Silent Hill: Dying Inside" is shown, followed by a montage, similar to other continuations of previous episodes of AT4W. It begins with a closeup of a bookshelf full of comic books, with the camera panning over the shot slowly. After that, it shows a panel of the "Silent Hill" comic, where someone says "Aw... someone faw down." Then Linkara stares at himself in the mirror. He runs his hand over his face, then stretches his arms, yawning. Then 90s Kid is seen, his face covering the camera)
90s Kid: Whoa! Are you taping me, man? I'm on TV! That is totally gnarly!
(The Ninja-Style Dancer is seen standing by the entrance to Silent Hill, holding up a sign reading "I HEARD THIS AREA USED TO BE A SACRED PLACE." He then removes this sign to reveal another: "I CAN SEE WHY." And then a third sign: "GO NINJA GO NINJA GO!" He then drops this sign and starts dancing. Then another panel of the comic is shown, showing narration text: "Clown. Raymond J. Foch. My Boyfriend. Army brat. Mensa Club IQ. Had a braingasm watching Stephen King's 'It.' Thinks the world should be run by evil clowns (I keep telling him it already is)." Cut to the Ninja-Style Dancer dancing some more, then to Linkara talking to 90s Kid.)
Linkara: Anyway, I'm glad you're alive.
90s Kid: "Anyway"?! What do you mean "anyway"?!
Linkara: (recoiling) Okay, I'm not glad you're alive, then! Geez, asshole!
(More panels of the comic are shown, followed by the Ninja-Style Dancer holding up a sign reading "LOST?" and then "OH, I GET IT. THE FOG IS THE SMOKE MONSTER." Cut to Harvey Finevoice, looking offscreen)
Harvey: ...just like that stupid bear. He had it comin', too! (looks into camera) There, I'm done. Now where's my paycheck?
(Pollo is seen)
Pollo: I don't know. Maybe I do.
Linkara: What's a little robot like you doing here anyway?
Pollo: Uh, are you blind or something?
(Cut back to Harvey)
Harvey: (putting his cigarette to the side of his head) Just put a tommygun to the head and... (pulls cigarette away quickly) POW! (becomes angry) That's what'll happen to you if I don't get my paycheck!
(Cut to the Ninja-Style Dancer, whose back is to the camera, but he spins around to face it. Then more shots of the "Silent Hill" comics are shown, before cutting again to 90s Kid and Linkara)
90s Kid: Dude, did you find Pollo?
Linkara: Yeah, he told me to get lost.
90s Kid: (desperately) We got to find him!
90s Kid: The entire subplot depends on it!
(Now 90s Kid is seated on the futon again)
90s Kid: It doesn't matter who I am, man. I'm here for you, Linkara. (reaches his hand out) See? (Linkara reaches out to take his hand) I'm real. (but then, as Linkara reaches out, 90s Kid pulls his hand back abruptly) Psyche! (laughs) I'm not real! Dude, you should totally see the look on your face! (Linkara pulls his magic gun on 90s Kid) You actually thought I was real! (laughs some more, but then sees the gun aimed at him; he throws up his hands) Whoa, dude, not cool.
(The montage ends with an editor's note: "Hope you enjoyed that-- it's the only thing Silent Hill-related thing!" Then the opening titles for the show are displayed, followed by the title card for this episode, set to "End of Small Sanctuary", from the game series; cut to Linkara seated on his futon, but the room is all foggy)
Linkara: Oh, hey, everybody, and welcome back to our three-part look at "Silent Hill: Dying Inside". For those just joining us, let me recap what you missed...
(Shots of the last video are shown)
Linkara (v/o): Troy Abernathy is a jerk and dead, Christabella is a ghost and annoying, and this has basically nothing to do with the Silent Hill we know and love.
Linkara: With that, let's dig into "Silent Hill: Dying Inside #3" (holds up this comic in his left hand) and "#4" (holds up this comic in his right hand).
(The cover of issue 3 is shown)
Linkara (v/o): This cover is... well, it looks kind of okay, but again, I must ask what the point is of just a pinup of somebody, especially in this bizarre, stylized look. It's a woman with ridiculous hair holding up... I don't know, a box? A camera? The plot?! Whatever it is, I don't get it. Oh, and judging from how her pants are falling off of her rather angular rear end, she's apparently not wearing any underwear.
Linkara: I don't get that. If the intent was to titillate, why is she drawn like a cubist's nightmare?
Linkara (v/o): The opening black-and-white features an overweight fellow wielding a chainsaw. Well, at least it's not an extreme closeup.
Linkara: (standing extremely close to the camera) Say, how would you like it if I opened every review like this?
Lynn: (narrating) There are bodies. Dead people everywhere.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, I'm sorry, I must have started reading "Countdown". No, it's actually Lynn's narration from her tape. She even points out the monsters that are devouring some corpse. After reviewing the tape to the end, we have this happy explanation from our new protagonist, Lauryn.
Lauryn: (narrating) About the only thing she didn't steal from Blair Witch is jamming the camera up her nose and saying, "I'm so scared."
Linkara: Well, that and the monsters eating people. I don't quite remember that from the movie.
Lauryn: The markings. They're what's important. Welcome to Hell, everyone. Time to have some fun. And make an f-load* of cash.
- NOTE: Lauryn says, "a fuckload".
Linkara (v/o): Yes, because random scribbles on walls equals profit. Oh, I'm serious here. But before we get her explanation, let's get a look into the mind of this protagonist, shall we?
Lauryn: (narrating) Two years ago I was a cheerleader.
Linkara: (as Lauryn) People kept trying to save me, and they said it would help save the world. It was weird.
Lauryn: Last year I was in math club. Headed the debate team. Now...
Linkara: (as Lauryn) Now I wear poseur goth clothing, and I don't believe in underpants.
Linkara (v/o): Lauryn explains that while the monsters and stuff may not have been real, the symbols and messages on the walls were written by someone with intense knowledge of the occult. Apparently, she recognizes them as symbols and crap only found in ancient books that are rare and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, she plans to copy as much off of the town as possible and sell it to rich idiots who think it's real. So you get that? A group of high schoolers are traveling to a haunted town with the plan of being absolute morons. In other words, we have officially abandoned all pretense that this is a Silent Hill story and have officially made it a slasher movie, complete with a spunky heroine that we're supposed to identify with or something.
Linkara: Okay, I know I was complaining about it before, but now the only thing that will quell my rage is wanton violence against these idiots. (scowls)
Linkara (v/o): By the way, the artwork has gotten ten times worse! Ben Templesmith is off of art duties for the rest of the miniseries, and now we have Aadi Salman, who I've never heard of. On a plus note, people actually look like human beings, and their proportions don't change radically from panel to panel. But now we have the problem of the bizarre painting for the coloring and the shoddy backgrounds! Where the hell are they, Silent Hill or a fourth grader's painting of his house by the lake? And why is this guy trying to cop a feel on Lauryn while she's expositing? Yeah, throw the idea of sequential art completely out the window with this one, folks. One of them falls... I think, eliciting them to laugh at him? Then a fatter guy named Hogg... punches him? Why...? What...? Why is everything red?! Is this how the Kool-Aid Man sees the world? Okay, this guy decides to walk off...
(Editor's note: "I did not change the order of these panels at all.")
Linkara (v/o): ...because he doesn't think it'll work, I think...? Why the hell did he go all the way out to Silent Hill with them if he didn't like the plan?
Linkara: I am being totally honest here when I say that this is the most confusing comic I had ever read in my entire life. It feels like panels were accidentally dropped out of it, but no one ever bothered to fill in the holes!
Linkara (v/o): So Lauryn's dating this guy named Clown, and she feels the need to narrate to us about it.
Lauryn: (narrating) Mensa Club IQ. Had a braingasm watching Stephen King's "IT".
Linkara: (irritably) Ironic, I'm having a brain aneurysm while I'm reading this.
Lauryn: (narrating) He thinks the world should be run by evil clowns.
Linkara: (dumbfounded) What?!
Lauryn: (narrating) He thinks the world should be run by evil clowns.
Lauryn: (narrating) He thinks the world should be run by evil clowns.
Linkara: (barely believing what he's reading) Mensa level IQ, and he wants the world to be run by evil clowns. Or, it's just that Lauryn's an idiot and doesn't know what she's talking about, which isn't outside the realm of possibility, from what I've seen.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Victim Number One, the guy who walked off, has gone into the town, for some reason. I thought he was leaving. And he... What?! He sees blue fire? He's tripped? What the hell am I looking at?! So, yeah, he runs into Christabella, who happens to have some monsters with her that kill him. At least, I think they kill him; we just see him make a pose like somebody just gave him a wedgie, and then... splop. All of a sudden, we're... inside of a bowling ball... I don't know, everything's black, and Lauryn's at a desk. And oh, look! It's Troy! And he's a ghost now! Oookay...
Troy: I know this must seem disorienting.
Linkara: Seem nothing; this is a friggin' mess that's actually making me dizzy just looking at it!
Linkara (v/o): Also, we learn that Lauryn blames herself for her sister's murder. Wow, character development that comes completely out of nowhere and is just there for more exposition. Remember when Silent Hill was about being alone in a dark, scary town that seemed to hate you in a passive-aggressive fashion? More on that in a bit.
Troy: Lauryn, my analysis is that you believe this life, this reality, is all there is.
Linkara: (as Troy, wearing glasses) Of course, no one can be told what the Matrix is.
Linkara (v/o): Troy tries to convince Lauryn that there's more to the town than meets the eye, and he does so by uncovering his jacket like a flasher to unveil tons of tentacles.
Troy: Here. Let me show you what I really am...
Linkara: (as Troy, shucking his coat) Yes, Lauryn, my chest hairs have become huge, sentient creatures.
Linkara (v/o): And then, suddenly, Lauryn is back. Okay, what the hell was that?! And then she's grabbed by another of the guys and she just... kinda... falls asleep...? I have never known so little about what's going on in a comic! Where the hell are they?! What are they doing?! Why should I care?! In fact, I don't care. At all! Anyway, the guy who grabbed her was Clown's brother Payne. And yeah, Payne is a nickname and not his real name, and it's spelled with a Y and an E.
(Because Poor Literacy is... KEWL)
Linkara (v/o): Lauryn realizes that she can barely remember even coming to the town and is starting to realize that maybe something's not quite right.
Payne: Listen... When are you gonna tell him?
Lauryn: Clown? Your brother?
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, that's how we learn that Clown and Payne are brothers. Brilliant scripting there, writer. And what is this horrible secret that she's not telling her boyfriend? I honestly don't know. I think the implication is that they slept together, but really, I just do not know.
Linkara: That's gotta be a record for how many times I've said "I don't know" in a review.
Linkara (v/o): Clown turns on some country music.
Clown: A little country to help with the mood.
Linkara: Yeah, because nothing enhances the experience of wandering around a filthy, polluted, abandoned town than listening to "Achy Breaky Heart".
Linkara (v/o): The group looks up... What, are they in a building? When the hell did that happen? ...and see a bunch of mannequin monsters descending. Good Lord, something Silent Hill-related at last!
(Editor's note: "Love the Jason Vorhees "Chee chee chee" there, too. Fully admitting what this is.")
Linakra (v/o): Of course, considering the mannequin monster was supposed to represent the sexual frustration of James from Silent Hill 2, what the hell they're doing here now is anyone's guess. Surprisingly, breaking with horror, instead of running, Lauryn advises the group to grab cutting weapons and prepare to be attacked. Okay, point to the comic; good work actually being badass for a second. More monsters charge in, and Lauryn works to confront them her own way.
Lauryn: The book... I know this. I know this one.
Linkara: (as Lauryn, reading "The Lord of the Rings") Okay. "Frodo and the fellowship are confronted in the mines of Moria by orcs and cave trolls and..." (looks around) Crap, this isn't working!
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, long story here that I didn't mention: Lauryn got this book off of eBay – I'm dead serious here – and was going to use it to grab the correct symbols off the walls.
Linkara: So she doesn't believe in the supernatural parts of Silent Hill, but still thinks a purportedly authentic magic book is going to save her.
Linkara (v/o): Lauryn gets taken by some of the monsters, but the group finds some lighter fluid and douses the monsters in it before tossing a cigarette butt at it, burning the monsters. However, Christabella arrives and blocks them from escaping with a new contingent of monsters. Lauryn's narration returns...
Lauryn: (narrating) When I dream, I dream it's me they're doing it to, not my sister. I used to think, "At least it's over for her. I'm still dying inside."
Linkara: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a title, finally! (beat) Aaaaand what did those two first issues have to do with anything?
Linkara (v/o): Christabella says that she wants the book, something about answers and questions and games and on and on and... OH, FOR THE LOVE OF CRAP, KID, COULD YOU JUST SHUT UP?! WHACK, BASEBALL BAT TO THE HEAD!
Linkara: It's Mickey Mantle! He's come back to save us!
Linkara (v/o): Actually, it's Lynn! ...Holding the book... without a bat in hand... at all... Huh. And looking at the credits, I spot "editorial assistance", but no actual editor listed. What a shocker. Actually, here's a real shocker for you: Christabella is Lauryn's sister!
(A dramatic sting is heard as Linkara opens his mouth in shock, then becomes frustrated)
Linkara: And now that I have your attention, THIS REVELATION COMES TOO FREAKING LATE!
Linkara (v/o): For crying out loud, this is just stupid!
(As Linkara speaks over the next little bit, question marks appear all over the screen)
Linkara (v/o): What, did Christabella play with occult magic as a little kid? What the hell is she doing here? Yeah, next issue, we get an explanation for how she died, but it makes no sense that she's here like this and swearing up a storm! What was the deal with Lynn? Why did she take Troy's soul? Did Lauryn really get that stupid book off of eBay?! And if she did, how did she know it would actually work against Christabella?!
(Cut to a clip of Batman Forever)
Bruce Wayne: It just raises too many questions.
(Cut to footage of the Silent Hill games)
Linkara (v/o): But hey, let's forget that idiotic plot point to talk some more about why Silent Hill is such a great horror concept. Part of the horror of it is the absolute isolation, the feeling that you're alone in a town that, if it's not actively trying to screw you over, it's indifferent and heartless and basically would just as soon step on you as look at you. That is the horror of the town, the desperate, terrifying sense that you are utterly, completely, inescapably alone.
Linkara: So what does this comic do? Why, introduce a foul-mouthed slasher villain to not only speak for the town, but to pick off the many – "many" being the key word here – foul-mouthed idiot teenagers that the story didn't exactly make us give a damn about in the first place!
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, screw haunting stories, complex characterization, and moody atmosphere! What Silent Hill needed was Christabella, the one-eyed, super-deformed Bratz doll, and the interchangeable personalities of Clown, who believes that evil clowns should run the world; Payne, who exists solely to create false tension and a love triangle that will never be resolved; and Hogg, who is fat and runs around with a chainsaw for most of the story. Oh, and the bit players who never get names.
Linkara: Yeah, I want to call it quits right here, but obviously, this fog around here means that ain't happening soon, (holds up the fourth Silent Hill comic) so let's just dive back in, shall we?
(Cut to a closeup of the cover of the fourth comic)
Linkara (v/o): Okay, Issue 4's cover is... Ugh! Lauryn! Underwear, please! Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but maybe those pants would be more comfortable. Also, belts are your friends! They will keep your pants up so your naughty bits do not get ogled by your canon fodder– I mean, friends. (the comic proper begins) So Lauryn... At least, I think it's Lauryn. Seriously, was there no one at IDW that day who knew how to just ink and color with splashing paint everywhere and hoping God would sort it out? Anyway, Lauryn casts a spell to try to make Christabella vanish, and it doesn't work. Why? Uh... I don't know, the script said so? Because the Kool-Aid Man is red? Who knows? She orders her army of minions to take her, but nondescript guy in leather steps forward to protect her. And then somewhere a random pencil drawing gets stabbed by another pencil drawing! Then, back to nondescript guy who was thrown off of a ledge.
Linkara: Trying to follow this comic is like being trapped inside a poorly-copied MC Escher painting.
Linkara (v/o): So they run off and... uh... I think we cut to a subway? They mention tracks and they're fighting a monster called Insane Cancer, which first appeared in Silent Hill 3 in a subway station and... oh, who the hell cares at this point? How many people did Lauryn bring with her? When we first saw the group, it was like maybe ten people, but now there are lots and lots of people in different groups all throughout the town?! Oh, but don't worry, we don't need to concern ourselves with these characters, either, because Troy shows up and kills them with the tentacled chest hairs, telling them that he doesn't want to kill them, but it's out of his control, and he has to choose his battles.
Linkara: Good job, Troy! Your bold sacrifice to save Lynn has ensured that many more people will die at your hands. (beat) Dick.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, it turns out that Nondescript Guy wasn't dead, just his leg was injured. And it turns out he wasn't nondescript; it was Payne. Not that I could freaking tell with this artwork! I could draw a comic with stick figures that'd make more sense than this! All righty, it's at this time that Lauryn gets a hellish vision that explains to us what happened to Christabella. At some gathering or whatever... Maybe it was a PTA meeting, I don't know... Lauryn was supposed to be watching her little sister, but she spotted a boy she wanted to talk to. Two other little boys talk to Christabella and told her lies to lead her away, and Lauryn let her go. Turns out the kids were being used by child molesters to grab more kids, and they subsequently killed Christabella.
Linkara: And this all sad and horrible and might have made for a good Silent Hill plot, if not for the fact that it doesn't explain how she started cursing all the time and mu-ha-ha-ing, as if she was friggin' Doctor Doom!
Linkara (v/o): So, a few confusing and incomprehensible fight scenes later, interspersed with Lauryn's emo poetry about "taking control of your life and the horror of existence", we learn that there are two more groups of friends, one at the White House and one at the school, and they need to decide if they can save both of them or only one or even neither. But that debate is tabled after another monster attacks the car they're in. Yeah, they got a car from somewhere, which apparently had its keys in its ignition, I really don't know, but they crash the car to kill it. Clown and Payne are knocked out, and Lauryn calls for Christabella to come, who arrives with her trademark silhouetted monsters. Why is everything blue and green? Did somebody spill Listerine all over the pages?
Lauryn: Why all this? Why me?
Christabella: Because there are rules. It sucks, believe me. You get beyond the veil and everything is so effing* anal retentive.
- ANOTHER NOTE: Christabella says "fucking". Linkara is definitely trying to avoid those swears.
Linkara: (as Christabella) You say one thing about St. Peter's hair looking like a toupee, and then you never live it down.
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, apparently, Christabella needs family blood or something, but also the magic book that, again, Lauryn got off of friggin' eBay! Seriously, this comic is telling us that Christabella's evil plans could have been carried out simply if she had Internet access in the town! And so, our comic ends with a little revelation. You know the many, many friends of Lauryn's who have been killed in the town? Well, they're back now. As zombies.
Lauryn: They're mine, Christabella. I marked them all before coming here. Why do you think I brought so many? Kill any more and you're just making it easier for me.
Linkara (v/o): So... let me get this straight: you thought you might confront your hellish sister, so you brought along a large group of friends as canon fodder, so that if they got killed, you could resurrect them as zombie minions to fight off the monsters of the town. In fact, you were downright hoping they'd get killed so you'd have your army!
Linkara: Lauryn, you are the queen of unlikable, unsympathetic assholes! YOU FAIL!!
(A panel of Lauryn is shown, and the word "FAIL" pops up, to a buzzer sound)
Linkara (v/o): Narration, take it away!
Lauryn: (narrating) I came here to kill the thing that's been feeding on me.
Linkara (v/o): What, did you have a tapeworm? What are you talking about?
Lauryn: (narrating) The thing that took control away from me so many years ago. It looks like my sister. It might even be her.
Linkara: Yeah, I'm sure she was cussing all the time back when she was watching Dora the Explora.
Lauryn: (narrating) I don't care anymore. By morning, one of us will be dead and gone. I can't wait.
Linakra: (angrily holding up both comics, one in each hand) These comics suck! You know, I bashed the art for the first two, but at least they had a reasonable idea of what the hell was going on. I am completely lost here! (tosses both comics down) Tune in next week, dear viewers, for the unsatisfying, irritating, mind-numbing conclusion to this crap!
(TO BE CONTINUED)
(End credits roll)
Rin's original Title card for the previous part should have said "Volumes 1 and 2," just FYI.
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