The Silent Hill franchise is one of the most influential horror series to exist in general, transcending video games to influence movies, literature, and of course, other video games. From the ground breaking first game on the original PlayStation to the vile cancellation of P.T., the series influences can be felt in a plethora of the horror media that we consume today. Centering around the mysterious American town of Silent Hill, the series has been taking gamers on twisted and terrifying adventures since 1999. The impenetrable walls of fog, the crackling of the radio as a silhouette slinks around a shadowy corner, and the generally off putting atmosphere of the Silent Hill series has earned it its rightful place in some of the best horror games ever made.
One thing that does seem to stick out on more recent runs is the silliness of some the creatures that are featured in the series. Don't get me wrong, I love Silent Hill, I even own the crappy first movie. Looking back, the things that go bump in the night in the town of Silent Hill can sometimes be downright lame. That is definitely not to say that all of the creatures within the twisted town's confines are lame, not at all. But there are definitely some that stick out more than others as being silly, outlandish, or downright dumb. Contained on this list are twenty of the most glaring examples of the lamest creatures in the Silent Hill series. Now, lets wreck your car, look for your lost wife and/or daughter, and clip a flashlight to our jackets while we dive into overly foggy small town of Silent Hill!
First encountered in Silent Hill 3, these lummoxes are your stereotypical “fat man” monsters. Slow and powerful, they lumber towards Heather, usually stopping after a well-placed shotgun blast puts them on their backs. First encountered on a subway train, you have no choice but to waste precious shotgun shells on their blubbering mass. Sometimes, they do rock back and forth on their heels and get a little speed behind them, knocking Heather over and getting in some cheap swipes with their obese arms. Most of the time, they just serve as bullet sponges, lamely placed in a hallway or a small room in order to deplete Heather’s scant inventory of ammunition.
The general design and behavior of the Insane Cancer is why it’s so lame. It’s like the developers couldn’t make the cut on the number of creatures they needed, so they decided that adding an archetypical “tank” monster was the way to go.
The first monsters ever encountered in the Silent Hill series, Grey Children are the fat, grey dwarf like creatures that attack you with knives. They are the pint-sized monstrosities that kill a defenseless Harry before he wakes up in the diner, effectively beginning the original Silent Hill. Replaced by Mumblers in the Japanese and European version, because of their obvious similarity to real children, Grey Children have long arms and can pin Harry down in order to inflict more damage than they usually would just slashing with their awkwardly long arms.
The first experience with the Grey Children is upsetting, as you have no weapons, nowhere to go, and, since you just started the game, no idea what the hell is going on. After the initial opening conflict, they become little more than grumbling targets, as they can be dropped pretty easily with a few handgun rounds. The reason they were banned in the other versions is the reason they are inherently lame: they’re just little fat kids with knives.
Encountered in what I consider to be one of the best jump scares in a horror game, The Mannequin is met in Silent Hill 2 after picking up the flashlight. James plucks it from the chest of a store mannequin and the game resumes…as a thrashing creature comes to life on the other side of the room. If this moment didn’t make you jump and immediately flee back into the apartment building hallway, something is definitely the matter with you. I remember proceeding back into the room to see what the creature was, only to find that it was a torso with a tangle of legs protruding from it. It immediately approached me and started smacking me with its feet.
Jump scare aside, the design of the mannequin is pretty lame. Like most of the Silent Hill franchise’s creatures, it’s pretty much a repurposed human torso. If only the fear of the introduction would stay with the monster throughout the game; encountering them again is usually remedied with a couple blows from a pipe.
Dogs with an especially bad case of mange, Groaner’s are some of the most memorable enemies featured in the original Silent Hill. With their annoyingly quick nature and the impossibility of ever being able to line up a solid hit with a melee weapon, Groaners serve little more purpose than to drain your inventory of bullets. Even if you’re stocked with rounds, the fact that Groaners tend to run circles around you while trying to jump and nip means that you’ll end up wasting more than a few precious bullets on them.
Not only are they annoying to fight, but they also are pretty lame in design. Essentially, they’re just big dogs. I know that they’re derived from Alessa’s fear of dogs, but you figure that the team working on Silent Hill could have come up with something a little more original.
One of the creatures encountered by players of Silent Hill 3, the Pendulum is basically a torso prancing around on giant blade stilts. Eerie when silhouetted against the thick walls of Silent Hill’s trademark fog and infamously annoying when confronted, Pendulums are able to tear Heather apart pretty quickly. Thanks to their blade-like appendages and dizzying speed after they drop to the ground, they quickly become a nuisance. I don’t know if it’s the funny way that they walk, or the fact that they teeter back and forth like a rocking horse after Heather gives them a good smack, but they’re some of the most meh creatures in the entire Silent Hill series.
What’s even worse is when you face multiple that are already on the ground. They will mercilessly pursue you and often cheaply cut you down while you fidget with the poor controls in order to try and get a bead on them.
Just a bunch of tentacles. Encountered in the original Silent Hill in the hospital, players have to tempt the creature with a blood pack in order to obtain an item in its proximity, lest they have their own fluids drained. One of the only invulnerable enemies to appear in the Silent Hill universe, the Bloodsucker is a replaceable puzzle that does little to hinder the player. It’s understandable that the developers didn’t just want to lock the item up behind another door or put it at the end of a room full of enemies, but you figure they could do better than just put a bundle of tentacles in front of it.
Much like the Sewer Monster from Silent Hill 3, the only way to deal with the Bloodsucker is by using an item on it. Again, I suppose that it’s preferable to a locked door, it just seems like with all the disturbingly creative design choices in the world of Silent Hill that a few tentacles sticking out of a vent, or fridge, seems a little trite.
Only appearing in Silent Hill 4: The Room, Bottoms are pretty grotesque in design. They navigate on a pair of oversized human like hands, dwarfing Henry Townsend. A fleshy mass sporting a dangling human head on its undercarriage, Bottoms are unusually docile. They’ll usually only attack Henry if he gets too close; if left alone, they simply sit stationary, point at Henry, and whisper the word “Receiver” over and over. This is pretty unsettling the first time or two that it happens, but eventually, it just becomes tiresome. Exploring in the general area of Bottoms and hearing them whisper continually isn’t scary, it’s annoying.
Coupled with the fact that most can simply be bypassed by just walking by them, Bottoms quickly become little more than murmuring set pieces instead of horrifying monstrosities. When they actually do attack they can be a bit troublesome, but they’re dispatched easily enough, especially when Henry has to provoke them to attack first.
These guys are first encountered in Silent Hill 3 eating some woman in a mall clothing store. I have to admit, the first time I saw a Closer at the beginning of the game, it freaked me out. Lumbering over the protagonist and making such awful squishing noises, I was ready to take the first opportunity to hightail it out of that clothing store as soon as I could. But then, the Closer quickly transcended into the realm of lame. Heather, the young female protagonist of Silent Hill 3, shoots the first Closer she encounters in a cut scene about four times. It advances ever closer before dropping on the ground, subsequently breaking into death spasms.
That’s it? You’re going to give me this chilling introduction, have Heather flip out, and then have it go down with four handgun rounds? Lame. Plus, after you run into a few, you realize that it’s just a really tall woman wearing a very dirty dress, whose hands and head have been replaced with discarded paper towel rolls adorned with especially filthy bearded clams.
First encountered in Silent Hill 2, Lying Figures are those guys that skulk around in the fog that look like they’re wearing a straightjacket made out of their own skin. Not to be confused with the more appropriately named Straight Jackets from Silent Hill: Origins, they’re awkward gait and disturbing appearance elevated the Lying Figure to be a staple of the series from then on.
Apart from their terrifying introduction in Silent Hill 2, when James’s radio goes nuts and a Lying Figure emerges from the shadows of a tunnel, you quickly realize that they are going to be enemy fodder. Even the illusion of terror created by the first Lying Figure you encounter is quickly shattered as you clumsily beat it to death with a 2X4, meeting little to no resistance. Although they may be disturbing in design, they’re pretty lame when it comes to actually encountering them in game. Especially when one lumbers out of the fog with that awkward “I pooped my pants” walk.
Literally a giant woman’s head. Initially upsetting upon its discovery, Eileen’s head does little but serve to make you question why you’ve been playing the Silent Hill series for four entries. The enormous head of Henry’s next door neighbor in Silent Hill 4: The Room, it does little but stare at you, its eyes following you. I understand the thought behind putting this into the game; the giant, deformed head of your next door neighbor is pretty creepy to just stumble upon. Even stranger is the fact that if Eileen is following you in game, she seems to not notice that a manifestation of her giant head is watching Henry.
After the initial shock, Eileen’s head just enters the domain of the lame. Yes, a giant head at the end of a long hallway is definitely unsettling. But then it does…nothing? How about having it chase Henry back down the hall or try to eat him? The fact that it just floats there breathing suggestively, makes it pretty lame after the initial shock quickly washes away. Plus, if the head is tasered, the eyes light up, turning it from a chilling discovery into a goofy prop.
Encountered throughout Silent Hill 3, these creatures are just lame to start with. Basically tadpole dogs covered in veins, their appearance could be considered disturbing, especially when you encounter a pack of them. However, they quickly lose their disturbing luster as soon as you fight one. Their noises and walk are definitely off putting, but as soon as they make it to Heather, they just kind of...flop against her. Seriously, they just try to whack her with their head and are easily felled with a few blows. You’ll quickly realize in the course of playing Silent Hill 3 that you will be beating up on Numb Bodies, a lot.
Instead of feeling a creeping sense of dread whenever a few of them wander into the beam of your flashlight, you’ll only feel a pang of annoyance as you easily dispatch them with whatever Heather has handy. Plus, head on they kind of look like walking buttholes.
One of the more common enemies encountered in most of the entries, Nurses are some of the most well known enemies in the Silent Hill universe. Standing in dark corners twitching uncontrollably or assaulting you head on as soon as you enter a room, the nurses of Silent Hill aren’t worried about the well being of the series’ protagonists as much as they are about beating them to death with pipes and other make shift cudgels. Sure, their spasmodic, wailing advances can send shivers down any gamer’s spine; but when you get down to it, they’re basically faceless women who need to take a bath.
I realize that a lot of the Silent Hill franchise’s creature design is based on underlying psychological problems that relate to the specific storyline and the characters that inhabit it, hence the gross and seemingly sexual nature of most. But still, a faceless woman in a tight nurses outfit quickly becomes fodder for whatever weapon you’re holding at the time, while any anxiety you may have had about them went out the window long ago.
A humongous fleshy colored banana with human teeth, the Split Worm is the first boss that you encounter in Silent Hill 3. It darts in and out of large tunnels all around Heather, who struggles to play whack-a-mole with a handgun. After you land a few shots in the exposed head of the Split Worm, which it conveniently has to open to attack you, it slumps to the ground anticlimactically, and that’s it. The design of the Split Worm, essentially a chocolate Twinkie filled with chewed bubblegum sporting a pair of oversized dentures, is lame.
The boss fight itself is lame. Most first boss fights are easier, but this one is a little ridiculous. Heather may get knocked down once or twice, but really, all you’re doing is running back and forth and emptying her handgun a few times. Again, standard fair for video games, but after the initial anxiety of the mall in Silent Hill 3, the Split Worm seems like kind of a bust.
The first few times that I ran into a Slurper in Silent Hill 3, as they popped out of vents and other small spaces to grab at Heather’s legs, they definitely made me jump a little. Then, I saw one out in the open and I could not contain my laughter. A filthy man adorned with a long, snout like mask that grabs at Heather’s legs or knocks her on her back to snack on her, the illusion was ruined as soon as I saw what the Slurper was wearing: hot pants.
This thing seriously has a pair of tiny shorts that is stalks around in. Pretty typical as far as attacks and design go, the hot pants just make them lame beyond all recognition. Actually, I don’t think lame is the right word. In moments of high tension playing Silent Hill 3, nothing can break the dark atmosphere and subsequently brighten up your day like a monstrosity that decided to wear booty shorts to work.
An uninspired Pyramid Head, the Butcher is the main antagonist of Silent Hill: Origins. I said an uninspired Pyramid Head, because The Butcher is pretty much the exact same creature in behavior and design. He stalks you with a massive cleaver as opposed to an obscenely large sword and wears a welding mask instead of a metal triangle on his head. That is the only difference. The fights with him are a boring slog; you avoid him enough to unload your guns on him and then he slinks over, defeated.
The Butcher is obviously lame because of his recycled existence. The developers couldn’t figure out a respectable antagonist monster, so they reskinned the successful one from their main series. It’s really a shame: with a fresh start on the PSP, they could have really spent some time coming up with a convincing nemesis. Instead, they took the easy, and lame, route.
A wheelchair. Seriously, just a possessed wheelchair. Appearing in essentially all the Silent Hill games, wheelchairs do their part to increase the macabre atmosphere of the games, especially the first one you encounter in the original Silent Hill, with its one wheel still spinning. Then, there’s Silent Hill 4: The Room. I don’t know why, but wheelchairs are rampant in this game. From a lone wheelchair rolling past you in a hallway to entire rooms based on them, wheelchairs were definitely on one designer's mind while he was making this installment.
It’s one thing to have a wheelchair in the environment to increase the bizarreness factor of a place like Silent Hill; it is completely another to be accosted by phantom wheelchairs that are openly out to beat you down. I still can’t contain my laughter as I watch Henry wind up to smack one, only to have another wheelchair mow him down, burning out back down the hallway. The wheelchair as an enemy is pretty lame and can only be the result of laziness on the part of the developers.
One of the bosses from the original Silent Hill, the Floatstinger is a giant moth with a stinger. Again, I feel like maybe they could have come up with something a little more terrifying than a giant moth. Like really, anything. When making a killer insect, there are millions of horrifying bugs that already exist in nature with little to no modification on the part of the creator that would have suited this need perfectly fine.
Instead, we get a moth. The only insect that can be killed with balls gets to stalk us around a dark roof. Moths are so nonthreatening that they had to add a stinger in order to give it some type of attack besides fluttering around aimlessly. It’s lucky it gets to fight you on a pitch-black roof though: if there were any lights, the fight would be over quicker than usual.
The most identifiable of all the monsters in the Silent Hill franchise and perhaps the most beloved. Essentially a tall, apron wearing, humanoid that wields an extremely large sword while wearing a metal pyramid on his head, Pyramid Head first made his appearance in Silent Hill 2. While initially quite terrifying during the player’s first encounter with him, the scare factor rapidly decreases, especially when you realize what Pyramid Head essentially is: a jacked dude with a metal pyramid on his head. Also, it could be said that his oversized sword is pretty menacing, especially when you hear the telltale metallic scraping of it dragging behind him.
But, just like the fact that he wears a giant metal pyramid on his head, his sword is also large to the point of being ridiculous. Yes, he can wield it with some efficiency, but not enough where most battles against him turn into you running back and forth and pegging him with a gun or bludgeoning him with a pipe. But seriously, who approved this guy? Obviously a good move considering his celebrity status within the series, but still, someone pitched a jacked dude wearing a metal pyramid on his head that drags a gigantic sword. And someone said “Yes, absolutely.”
I particularly remember the lameness of the Sewer Monster in all my runs of Silent Hill 3. The games teases that there is something in the sewers that is killing maintenance workers, so descending into the sewers, you anticipate this being a clue to the kind of horrible beast that you will face. Unfortunately, the disappointment with the Sewer Monster encounter is so bad it’s almost palpable. Instead of a hulking monstrosity or even something somewhat disturbing, it’s just a few tentacles. That’s literally it: a few tentacles that will kill Heather in a cut scene if she tries to cross a certain bridge while in the sewers. You don’t even get to fight the damn thing; it just pulls you under and game over.
The only way to “defeat” the sewer monster is to plug in a hair dryer and fry it by dropping it into the pool the Sewer Monster resides in. Missing an opportunity for what could have been an awesome boss fight, the developers figured you’d have a better time dropping a hair dryer into water.
I hold the ill-fated P.T. teaser in the highest regard. I think that had the game not been cancelled, it could have been one of the best horror games ever made. Even though it was limited to a teaser, it still carries a reputation and rightfully so; most other horror games in recent memory draw obvious influence from it. From Layers of Fear to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, most of the modern horror games that make us crap our pants in fright wouldn’t exist in the same capacity that they do today had it not been for a thirty minute teaser.
Due to the greed and idiocy of Konami, we’ll never truly know what P.T. could have been. But one thing I know that it would never have been, having played the teaser: scary. Yes, the game is creepy as all hell and can make you feel very uncomfortable. Especially when a dead woman whose been shot in the face and belly jumps up in your face and makes weird cooing noises. But, after that initial time, she just becomes a “how the hell do I get past her?” kind of creature, not something that genuinely inspires terror. The design is creepy, but Lisa is kind of lame because that’s all she does. She just ends your game prematurely by starring into your face really, really hard. Again, design is upsetting, execution is lame.