Sex and sexuality have always been present in Silent Hill, and the games have never stayed away from approaching the guilt and taboo that cultures tend to place around them. Silent Hill, as a series, is not known for its subtlety in this arena either; however, I found the gusto in which this book approaches this particular theme is a bit overzealous.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
At one point, the main character is confronted with sexual transgressions from the past, and suddenly filling a whole panel is a phallus. It’s ever-so-slightly obscured but not well enough to disguise the outline of an anatomically correct phallus. I get this book is aimed at readers of the video game, but I feel the artist tried to up the ante a bit too much and ended up pulling me out of the story.
I am no saint, and I am not afraid of any human body part, but when art becomes so jarring that it pulls the reader out of the story, it’s no longer serving the story.
Moreover, this book might bring up some trauma for people who might struggle with genitals of any sort.
The plot is a bit hard to follow, the main character desires revenge, then decides against it, has a horrifying experience, and then seems to again desire it. Her motivation seems to be a bit swingy and inconsequential.
Besides that one rather graphic panel, the art isequal parts enjoyable and disturbing, creating the surreal atmosphere Silent Hill is known for. My only criticism is I find it goes a bit too abstract, and it becomes difficult to be scared of something where we can't tell what it is.
I was hoping that Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story would pull a 180 in the second book and do something beyond being a spin-off comic. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case.
If you have played the game and want some extra story, go ahead and pick the book up, otherwise give it a pass. There are other better horror books out there.