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This is a sanctuary.
~ Christbella about The Church, home to The Brethren cult.

The Church is a local church building that is a location in the Silent Hill film, and it is dedicated to the worship of a fanatical cult group known as The Brethren that resides within the town of Silent Hill. Initially, neither the Otherworld nor the Fog World can penetrate into the church; however a portal is opened into the Otherworld at the end of the movie when an act of retribution is done. Another possibility is that the church was built by the cult themselves before it had seceded from Christianity.

The Brethren's chief priestess Christabella uses the church as a way to hide from the darkness, and it is considered a "safe" haven from the ravages of the alternate dimensions.

The church is situated on a hill with a large graveyard studded with Christian crosses in front of it, suggesting the church did not always belong to the cultists alone as the film's director Christophe Gans did not want them to be associated with any one religion and the cultists appear to worship a female deity.

The church is implied to be one of the most important buildings within the town of Silent Hill, West Virginia, due to the grip the Brethren cult holds on the said burg and its citizens. The map of the town shows that the church is located directly in the center of the town.

Design

The interiors of the cult's Church.

The church is a 2-story building topped with the symbol of the Brethren themselves and an air-raid siren that sounds as the Darkness approaches.

An ornate set of wooden doors opens onto the first floor, which has a long row of candle-lit pews leading up to a circular area with a large painting of the cult's symbol. Several miners’ outfits hang from the ceiling and are used by the cultists when leaving too far from the church to explore the town. A giant painting of a woman being burned alive with the words Domine Deus Omnipotens In Cuius Manu Omnis Victoria dominates the far wall and reaches from the second floor down the bottom of the first.

The second floor consists of a small balcony area with an abandoned organ and two balconies. Christabella confronts Rose Da Silva there in regards to her faith, demanding to know if she believes in God.

Overview

As the Dark World falls outside the church, a Brethren cultist named Anna is killed by a pyramid-headed monster on the church steps when she stop in another attempt to stone Dahlia Gillespie to death with another piece of the churchyard stair steps, causing Rose Da Silva and Cybil Bennett to flee into the safety of the church without her.

The church members, led by Anna's mother Eleanor, attack the 2 women, backing off only after Cybil fires her gun into the air. Christabella then appears and comforts the grieving Eleanor over the loss of her only daughter, before leading the congregation in prayer. Several cultists (most likely the highest ranked) kneel on specific parts of their religious symbol on the floor, and they pray for the disappearance of the Darkness, which fades away after a few minutes. It appears the cultists think that their faith has made the Darkness recede, but it is most likely Alessa Gillespie simply no longer needed it now that Anna was dead and Rose was safely in the church. Rose comments that she believes Alessa led her to the church on purpose, stating that "I'm supposed to be in this church".

Christabella then interrogates Rose and Cybil on how they got to the church and if they believe in God. Christabella tells them a "demon" controls the town and agrees to take them to the demon's domain. The cultists don their mining outfits and then lead Rose and Cybil out of the church.

Later, Christabella and her followers bring Sharon Da Silva, Dahlia, and Cybil Bennett back to the church with them. Cybil is tied to a ladder and is burned alive as a witch, for helping Rose in her search for Sharon. After Cybil is killed, Sharon is then tied to a ladder, and the cultists prepare to burn her as well, when Rose appears in the doorway and confronts the congregation.

Rose tells the cultists "the truth" and incenses Christabella, who stabs her with a dagger pulled from beneath her robes. As Rose's blood drips onto the floor, a portal into the Dark World is opened, and Alessa and Dark Alessa rise into the church to take revenge on the cultists for having Alessa burned alive when she was 9 years old.

Rose Da Silva kills one of the cultists while Alessa helps her and kills another cultist as she defends her child, and then unties Sharon and hides her in a corner on the balcony. As Rose implores Sharon to keep her eyes closed, Dark Alessa approaches and a reunion between the good and bad sides of Alessa's soul is implied. Rose then finds herself in a foggy version of the church, and leaves Silent Hill with Sharon/Alessa while the mad Dahlia was left alone and alive in the now empty church.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Domine Deus Omnipotens In Cuius Manu Omnis Victoria is part of a prayer, translating as Lord God Almighty, in your hand all victory rests.
  • The woman in the painting is an ancestor of Dahlia, Christabella and Alessa, possibly suggesting that a history of unnatural powers runs within the Gillespie family.
  • The different Church in the Otherworld version of Silent Hill.

    Another church is seen in Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and it seems to be located relatively close to the Brethren's church in downtown SIlent Hill due the fact that the air raid siren sound is quite loud near this church. Unlike the Brethren's church it does not have an immunity from Alessa's darkness.
    • Underneath the charred corpses outside a church in Silent Hill are signs that says "traitor" in Silent Hill: Revelation.

      On the the church's yard are bonfires filled with the charred, dead bodies of people who were "traitors" to the Brethren and the Order of Valtiel.
  • Production designer Carol Spier has stated that the bystanders' appearances in the church's painting were influenced by actual crew members.
  • The exterior of the church was based off the Masonic Centre within Hamilton in Ontario, Canada.
  • It is a common misconception that the Christian God's power is what holds Alessa and Dark Alessa out of the church, however, interviews with the actress Jodelle Ferland (Sharon Da Silva/Alessa Gillespie/Dark Alessa) and director Christophe Gans have shown that neither Alessa nor Dark Alessa is a demon or devil, making that theory invalid. It is possible that Alessa's own indoctrination by the cult may be what keeps her from gaining access to the church, or she may simply want the cult to see the truth of their crimes before she kills them.
  • Originally, 6 Pyramid Heads were supposed to rise into the church and slaughter the cultists, but this was changed to Alessa using barbed wire to gain her revenge due to time and budget constraints.
  • The church scenes were the last to be shot before the film wrapped.
  • The 4 Latin words "Castus", "Fides", "Nodus", and "Unitas" on the Brethren's symbolic emblem as seen on the floor of their church supposedly means "Faith unites knotted purity". However, the words have actual meanings seperately:
    • Castus is a Latin adjective meaning "morally pure", "guiltless", "pure", "chaste", or "pious", while puritas means "purity". Castus is also the name of one of the 2 Roman saints and martyrs.
    • Fides in Latin means "trust", "faith", or "belief". Fides is also the name of the Roman goddess of trust.
    • In Latin, nodus means "knot" while nodos means "knotted".
    • In Latin, unitas means "unity" while uniat means "unites".
  • The film's original script suggests the Brethren cult behind The Church's foundation and purpose is a religion known as Manichaeism, and Christabella openly insults Christian beliefs:
We're not Christians. We're Manichaeans. The Testaments of Matthew and the other disciples of Jesus are what led to the End of Days that we are now in. We follow the old ways. Separation of Spirit and Flesh are the doctrines by which we live. And our faith has never failed us. It keeps the Darkness of Hell at bay.
~ Christabella about the Manachiests' faith.