Horror Movies That Should Become Video Games
written by: Daniel S. Liuzzi
With the recent release of Friday the 13th The Game, fans who are familiar with the slasher franchise or newly branded fans participating in a trial by fire introduction to the film series that like the main antagonist Jason Voorhees, will not die. The game, developed by IllFonic and Gun Media, is a multiplayer game where one player plays as Jason while seven other players play the unlucky teens that are being stalked by the masked behemoth. With the game’s strong success, thanks in part by staying true to the lore of the Friday the 13th films (good and bad) one may ask, what other horror movies should be made into a video game next? Some fans may say some of the better known box office/cult hits like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the list can go on and on! So I gave it some thought and thought about some horror films I feel would have the strongest potential of becoming epic bestselling games that will make the fans say, “The game is better than the movie.” So with that here are my picks for horror movies that should become video games.
The 1987 directorial debut of Clive Barker. The film is set around a mysterious puzzle box called Lemarchand's box which when solved summons the Cenobites, creatures once human now living in a dimension full of pain and pleasure that would make anyone into S&M rethink their lifestyle! The film also debuts one of the most iconic characters in Horror films, Pinhead. There have been talks in the past about making a video game based on the Hellraiser franchise but to the disappointment of many, there’s been no sign of a game. My idea of a game based on the film would be a 3rd person survival horror game. The main story of the game could be anything really but in my idea it would be a detective story where a private investigator locates parts of the puzzle box while looking for a serial killer and as the game progresses the sanity of the main character lowers and you encounter visions of hellish creatures that you have to fight while the Cenobites try to interfere with your investigation.
28 Days Later
The 2002 British (Zombie) Apocalypse movie starring Cillian Murphy who plays one of many survivors in London trying to find hope and safety after a “Rage” virus was released turning people who are infected into murderous mobs of blood-puking long distance runners. I put zombie in parenthesis because the debate still rages (no pun intended) on whether or not the infected in this film are really what some would call “Zombies”. The film spawned a sequel, 28 Weeks Later in which an online flash game was made as part of the film’s promotion. My idea for the video game version of this film may follow more along the events after 28 Weeks Later. This story would make the perfect first person shooter. The game’s mechanics would resemble that of the zombie fps, Dying Light. In the game not only can you find guns and ammo but weapons that you can make out of your surroundings and you can choose whether you play by yourself and face the horrors of London by yourself or invite a friend or two and try to survive together.
The 1982 film that scared audiences not only with the story on screen but with the lore surrounding behind the scene horrors as well. The story follows a family that’s being tormented by many spirits in their newly built home which turned out to be built over a cemetery resulting in a chain of horrific events where sinister spirits try to harm the family. My idea for this game would be a first person survival horror game like Alien Isolation but without the need to be stealthy. My idea of the game would revolve around you playing as a paranormal investigator investigating an abandoned apartment building that was built on the site of where the house from the film once stood before being flushed down the spectral toilet. You’re armed with experimental ghost hunting equipment and your job is to find proof of the haunting but as you find more proof, the ghosts become more dangerous as the story progresses.
The Amityville Horror
The 1979 film based on the highly controversial claim made by the Lutz family who claimed their house was so haunted that they left in the middle of the night after staying for only 28 days. There was a remake of the film in 2005 staring Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds. My video game idea for this film is just like my idea for Poltergeist, a first person survival horror. Again I think the story revolving around this would be the player is a paranormal investigator who bought the house with the soul purpose to have all ghost hunting rights on a paranormal “goldmine” but you quickly discover that you got more than bargained for. The game’s “Levels” like the movie can be based on what day and date this particular chapter is taking place. Just like my Poltergeist idea, the more evidence you collect with your equipment, the scarier things will become.
The classic 1958 sci-fi horror which was the feature film debut of Steve McQueen about a Pennsylvanian town terrorized by a pile of extraterrestrial slime that grows in size and changes color after consuming its victims. After the discovery that its weakness is extreme cold, the towns people freeze it and the Air Force drops it into the Antarctic, finishing with the ending card saying 'The End' that morphs into a large question mark. My video game idea for this film is a 3rd person shooter like the game Dead Space. The story would pick up in modern times where global warming threatens the security of the planet by releasing the Blob and Geologists and Soldiers fight for survival at the “Containment” site of the Blob where they have to fight small portions of the Blob and some mutant forms of the Blob that turned other survivors into Blob Zombies. The only weapons that you can use are CO2 fire extinguishers or other modified weapons that are “Cold”, speaking of Dead Space…
The 1997 sci-fi horror film starring Laurence Fishburne, the story surrounds a crew of astronauts sent to rescue the crew of the ship Event Horizon after it went missing after a presumed failed secret test of its artificial black hole-making gravity drive. The rescuers are haunted by visions as it turns out the ship is now alive after the original crew ended up in a parallel universe that must be ran by the Cenobites (see Hellraiser). The film was hit hard negatively by critics but in its defense; Paramount Pictures rushed the film’s production to cover the missed release date for James Cameron’s Titanic. My idea for this game would be very much like Dead Space, a 3rd person survival horror that seemed to have been heavily influenced (Atmospherically speaking) by Event Horizon. The game’s story can take place sometime after the events of the movie, possibly like the movie where they tried experimenting with the gravity drive on another ship or a large space station housing hundreds of people, imagine all the spookiness creeping around every corner...
The 1985 film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Herbert West – Reanimator, the film is set in the campus of famed Miskatonic University where a Medical student and fiancé to the University’s dean’s daughter, is a roommate to another med student, Herbert West, who while studying in Switzerland discovered a way to reanimate the dead who are violent zombies. A flash game by the same name can be played online where you play as Herbert West shooting at zombies that come from the ground. The game idea I have based on this film would be a bit of a mix of both the movie and the original book and instead of combat, puzzle solving would be more involved. The game would be a first person game that resembles more like the Myst game series. The player goes around solving puzzles in the archives of Miskatonic University, labs, cemetery, morgue, hospital etc. as they try to learn more about Herbert West’s experiments while at the same time trying to protect his secrets from an outside shadow organization. While the atmosphere of the game would be creepy or unsettling, the player would not be in any danger at any time…or are they?
Ju-On: The Grudge
The 2002 Japanese movie that was remade into The Grudge in the US (The Japanese version of the series is better in my honest opinion) the film follows a social worker named Rika who witnesses one of her patients being killed by a ghost, she later finds out that the house she witnessed this in is cursed and that whoever goes in the house is cursed to die at the hands of the vengeful spirit Kyako who was murdered in the house years ago. There was a game made for the Wii in 2009 but sadly despite the awesome boxart for the game, the game received very poor reviews. The idea of the game I’m thinking of would take elements of the story lines from the film and the Wii game. The chapters (levels) of the game would be separate stories following an overall central storyline, somewhere along the way the entire game will connect. I can picture the game would be a third person survival horror, I would compare the idea to the game series, Fatal Frame where your ways of combating enemies is very limited. The weapons you can use in my idea of the game would be talismans to fight ghosts of Kyako’s past victims and eventually Kyako herself!
The 2007 James Wan film received poor reviews by critics due to the predictable ending and bland acting by most of the cast. The performance of Judith Roberts as the film's antagonist Mary Shaw was one of if not the only positive part of the film. Roberts plays the evil killing ghost of a murdered ventriloquist who kills her victims by ripping their tongues out if they scream. My idea for a video game based on this film would be a first person hide and seek style game like Alien: Isolation and Amnesia. The player goes to different locations to unlock the mystery surrounding Mary Shaw’s otherworldly abilities as a ventriloquist in life. The player finds Ventriloquist dolls as collectibles that can help unlock abilities or offer more insight into the Mary’s past. When the player encounters Mary herself, the player must hide and control their breath and if they come face to face with her have to control their “Scream” level, in short, prevent yourself from screaming!
Night of the Living Dead
The 1968 MOAZM (Mother Of All Zombie Movies) directed by the Godfather of the Dead himself, George A. Romero. The film follows a young woman named Barbra who after encountering a Zombie in a cemetery, seeks shelter in a farmhouse with other survivors as they try to survive the night keeping their barricades and hopes up. My idea for a video game would be a first person shooter/puzzle game like Resident Evil 7 but here’s a twist…The game is entirely in Black and White giving players the option to even add film grain to make it feel a little more like the original. The player would not be playing any of the characters from the movie but be playing an original character whose story is occurring during the same time as the film, the player is trying to survive the night at an estate with other survivors and just like in the film, try to repair barricades and make weapons while fighting off zombies and completing objectives as the night lingers on.
Daniel had two poems published in the June 2011 issue of the Taj Mahal Review and in the past contributed to Far Horizons E-mag.
Daniel is inspired by the works of Franz Kafka, HP Lovecraft and Vince Flynn.