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The Ending Of Silent Hill Explained

"Silent Hill" is a beloved horror video game franchise that, of course, spawned two movies, starting with 2006's "Silent Hill" starring Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, and Sean Bean. Adapting the video game for the big screen brought unsettling visuals to life with a reimagined story based on the original game, in which a man searches a monster-filled ghost town for his lost daughter. In the movie, Chris and Rose Da Silva (played by Bean and Mitchell) are worried about their adopted daughter, Sharon (played by Jodelle Ferland), who sleepwalks and has nightmares about a place called Silent Hill. 

Rose and Sharon travel to Silent Hill, West Virginia, to investigate Sharon's past and become separated after their vehicle crashes. Along with a police officer named Cybil (played by Holden), Rose awakens in a foggy, ash-filled dimension where she encounters one distorted creature after another, each hellbent on tearing her to shreds. Left behind, Chris also tries to find answers about his wife and daughter's sudden disappearance.

As Rose navigates the nightmarish town in search of her daughter, the mystery behind Sharon's past begins to unravel.

There are multiple dimensions in Silent Hill

Silent Hill has been fractured into multiple dimensions, thanks to what happened to Sharon at birth. When Rose and Sharon pass through Silent Hill's town limits, they enter a new dimension separate from the one in which they'd been living. Visually, this is highlighted by the hazy, ashen atmosphere around them. Meanwhile, the world in which they'd been living is characterized by bright sunny shots full of color. When Chris visits Silent Hill in search of his family, he encounters the real town, abandoned but monster-free, because he still exists in the real-world dimension. Rose, however, is stuck in an alternate dimension, which also has another side when darkness falls. At night, Silent Hill opens to give terrifying monsters free rein over the town. 

These fractured dimensions occurred because of a religious cult in the 1960s that bullied an illegitimate child named Alessa. Alessa's aunt, Christabella, determined the girl was a witch and, ultimately, convinced her followers to burn Alessa alive. The incident caused a fire inside their church, and although the police arrived in time to pull Alessa free, she was burnt all over and in tremendous pain — pain that allowed the devil to take possession of her in exchange for granting her revenge against the townspeople. When the devil took control of her body, he tossed out any innocence that remained inside her, resulting in Sharon as a baby. Sharon was left at a church in a neighboring town, and she was adopted by Rose and Chris. The devil, Alessa, and the cult are trapped inside the gloomy, creepy purgatory in which Rose, Sharon, and Cybil have entered. As Chris learns, the townspeople disappeared and their bodies were never found — because they are trapped in this second, timeless dimension. 

Rose and Sharon are still trapped in the alternate dimension

At the end of the movie, the devil enters Rose to gain entrance to the cult's sanctuary to finally fulfill the promise of revenge to Alessa. Earlier, Sharon was found and protected by Alessa's mother, Dahlia, but the cult locates them, intending to burn Sharon and Cybil alive to cleanse them by fire. Cybil dies, but Rose arrives before Sharon can be set ablaze, and she reveals the truth to the cultists. When Christabella stabs Rose to quieten her, the townspeople start to lose their faith, allowing the devil to exit Rose and for Alessa to enter the church to destroy all within. Rose, Sharon, and Dahlia are spared, and Rose and Sharon find their vehicle and leave Silent Hill. 

Although they leave the town, they are still trapped in the alternate dimension. When they go home, the atmosphere is still hazy, and while Chris can sense Rose and Sharon, he cannot see or hear them in the real world. It isn't until the sequel, "Silent Hill: Revelations," that it is revealed Rose freed Sharon by using a talisman, but she herself remains trapped in the alternate dimension.