Silent Hill Downpour Plot Themes Analysis

Herein, the plot themes of Silent Hill: Downpour will be explored via what has been learnt from the preview trailers.Interestingly, many of the aesthetic themes that appear to occur in the game are old Shakespearean-time devices such as crows symbolizing death and bad weather an ill omen. It is important to note that this guide is speculative and may contain spoilers.

Note that this guide is speculation and also that it may contain spoilers.

Revenge

Revenge is the main plot theme of Silent Hill Downpour, and is linked heavily to the idea of judgement. Almost all of the characters in the game are seeking vengeance in some way or another. Murphy is potentially seeking vengeance for his dead son, Anne is seeking vengeance for her father, even Sewell is seeking revenge against Frank Coleridge for speaking out in some way. This leads Anne to give the most important quote of the game:

“My father was a good man. He didn’t believe in revenge. But I do.”

Intersetingly this is also the reason for the prison-based theme, as there are two potential purposes of prison. The ‘good’ purpose, which is to separate dangerous people from society, and the vengeful purpose, which is to punish them for having done ills. These two different purposes are represented respectively by Frank, who treats prisoners with dignity, and Sewell, who seeks to further their punishment.

Water and Weather

Rain, Water and weather are important themes for Downpour and relates directly to the fact that Murphy Pendleton’s son drowned. However, it also relates indirectly to the plot in a whole series of interesting ways. Firstly, the cycles of water and weather represent the cycles of revenge of many of the characters. For example Murphy’s storm, the death of his son, causes him to kill Napier and also cause a series of events that lead to Anne Cunningham’s father dying, which is her storm. This is most likely why, in earlier versions of the game, the void was actually a storm and suggests that the void represents the consuming desire for revenge. As weather makes the world of Silent Hill: Downpour more dangerous it suggests that storms apply a pressure and desire for revenge that can be resisted. As a result, you can flee from the ‘monsters’ in a storm or even avoid killing them after incapacitating them. This symbolizes avoiding seeking vengeance. The good ending shows a sunshower after the storm, with the rain essentially washing away these problems.

Imprisonation

silent hill downpour otherworld Staircase silent hill downpour otherworld shift

Imprisonation appears to be a strong theme of Downpour, with much of the plot being focused around it. Furthermore, the otherworld of this particular game seems to feature claustrophobia and entrapment, with cages often surrounding the areas. The siren of this particular game, a reoccuring motif in the series, is also very likely to be a prison siren.

Red and Blue

silent hill downpour red anomaly silent hill downpour blue forest

The colors red and blue seem to play a strong role in the plot of the game. The nightmare world has a reddish, bloody hue associated with it which seems to enshroud some of the more bizarre creatures and a very particular red visual effect occurs whenever Murphy is hit. Perhaps an indication of a bloody past or even the colors associated with police lights?

Crows

silent hill downpour crows

An interesting new aesthetic theme that seems to be appearing is the crow, particularly flocks of crows and the odd lone crow. Their sounds can also be heard in many of the trailers. The traditional use of the crow was to symbolize impending death, so perhaps they also have some eerie connotation in this game. Maybe there will be a reference or two to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Crows?

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