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Cosplay isn’t always pretty. Sometimes cosplayers use their skills to recreate grotesque characters, as evidenced by these stunning Silent Hill costumes by Vox and Ash. Combining their knowledge of costume design, stage makeup, prop construction and more, these are by far the most faithful – and as a result disturbing – Silent Hill costumes I’ve seen to date. Enjoy the interview and gallery below!
Who: The CharactersVox: “The nurses have changed physically over the games, but their purpose has stayed the same; to kill you. This variant of the nurse is based off of Silent Hill: Home Coming, and the Silent Hill movie. (Since that game’s nurses were heavily based off the movie’s nurses.)”Ash: “Pyramid Head is an immortal boss from Silent Hill 2 and the Silent Hill movie (I don’t include homecoming because the creature that might as well be called Pyramid Head is actually called the Boogeyman). Pyramid Head exists solely to torture the main character and can only die through suicide. Some people see him as a kind off a demi-god, some as the personification of the relational frustrations of James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2. I see him as very simply one of the scariest creatures I have ever seen this side of Cthulhu. He is huge, never speaks and has a sword big enough to make Sephiroth blush, and is truly twisted to boot.Why: The DecisionVox: “Well, I was fond of horror video games and movies and I loved making costumes. Halloween was always my favorite holiday. When I met AshGroovy, he shared the same love of all that is horrifying, and naturally, as nerds, we worked together to create these costumes. We wanted to go to a convention and to make a cosplay together using theatrical makeup (something else that is a hobby of ours.) So, we chose from his favorite video game series – Silent Hill. The nurses are scary as hell, yet pretty sexy. What’s not to like?”Ash: “I love Pyramid Head and Silent Hill. The games are downright disturbing with Silent Hill 2 being a game that would literally ruin me for hours after playing. One of the major bosses in Silent Hill 2 is Pyramid Head and from the first time I saw him doing ‘something’ to a pair of mannequin legs, I knew I was in for a ride. He scares the hell out of me, and I knew I wanted to cosplay him. I was originally going to do the Silent Hill 2 variant, but I realized that the movie creature would truly be a challenge.” What: The ProcessVox: “It took a few months to gather/research materials and about one month of hardcore working on it every day for a few hours to build them. We used basic materials that you will see in most cosplays, but we did use a lot of latex, vinyl, and foam. AshGroovy also had a camera and LED screen in his helmet, so I’m guessing that isn’t something of the ‘norm’ for cosplay. I am very proud of him for constructing that helmet to the degree he did, in the time limit he did it in. In the end I think on everything, we spend about $500. Some materials we had at home already, so I’m just estimating. Ash’s helmet was the most expensive thing. For my nurse, the most difficult task was probably keeping my hair up in the mask. My hair is very long and is mid-thigh, so hiding all that hair is a real pain. The second most difficult thing is probably the makeup application. It can take a few hours, so that isn’t always fun.”Ash: “The costume was the culmination of a lot of work. The planning alone took a while because I really wanted to get the helmet correct. I used a scale rule and a protractor literally pushed onto my computer screen with images from the movie to get the dimensions and the angles correct. I drew up blueprints and even studied the pattern of dots on the side of the helmet. I tried to be as accurate as possible so I was basically as blind as the actor was in the film (at first at least). I tried series of holes but nothing gave me a good enough view. I eventually installed a pinhole camera into the helmet and installed a screen so I could see. The helmet itself is made on a base of foam board with elements made out of sculpty, foam, plumbing parts, wood dowel, conduit… the list goes on. The smock is hand sewn and airbrushed with details. The boots are normal boots attached to a framework of wood support (no I am not that tall). All and all the construction phase along took over a month of working every day. The latex scars on my body were mapped out and are individually created on the spot every single time the costume is put on. The makeup alone for Vox and I to get ready takes just shy of three hours. The costume was expensive in time and materials, so if a person wants to do it well, and this is probably true of all Silent Hill creatures, be prepared to invest a lot of time and money.”Where and When: The DebutVox: “We debuted out costumes at Anime-Central 2009. We were very surprised at the positive turn out on how many people liked our costumes and a little taken aback by it. They were very difficult to walk around in, especially for Ash. He was wearing 15–inch boots he constructed himself and they were heavy, so he was very tired by the end of the day…and stairs were his mortal enemy. We wanted a picture from a Cosplay photo booth when a photographer named Judy Stephens asked us if we could do a photoshoot. We happily obliged, and she led us to the side of the hotel along a drop off dock for trucks. We spent about 15 minutes out there, trying to take some photos before we got rained on. She was a wonderful photographer, shooting us at all kinds of angles. We saw the photos a few days later and they were beautiful. I was very impressed and recommend her to any cosplayer who wants seriously good shots taken of them.”Ash: “…ditto, and if you need to get away from Pyramid Head, just go for the stairs.”Links: The CosplayerVox on DeviantArtAsh on DeviantArtJudith Stephens PhotographyThe Gallery
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