Making a good horror film is difficult. You have to engage your audience such that they accept unusual premises, and have emotional connections with the characters in the film. Then, once you’ve set everything up, you pull the rug out from under the audience, making them shriek and gasp as they’re watching pretty unpleasant stuff happen on screen.
The tingle that you feel when you’ve just had the hair on the back of your neck stand up due to a jump scare in the movie – that’s the Holy Grail of horror movies.
With Conjuring 2 about to open in theaters worldwide, I thought it would be a good idea to see which horror games could potentially become amazing movies. Without further ado, here they are.
By any benchmark, Outlast was one of the scariest, most disturbing video games of all time. Following journalist Miles Upshur as he made his way through Mount Massive Asylum, Outlast threw everything but the kitchen sink at you – creepy lights, a disturbing storyline, tons of gore and memorable characters. And then, it threw the kitchen sink at you by taking the plot into a completely nightmarish direction. This is a truly spine-chilling game that would make an amazing movie.
Who would direct – Guillermo Del Toro
Del Toro is well known for his ability to create creepy, fascinating visuals (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark). With Del Toro at the helm, Outlast could be a kinetic, fast-paced descent into madness.
Slender Man has become incredibly famous due to how enthusiastically the social media community embraced it. Thousands of YouTube videos chronicling people playing (and screaming) this game have given it the attention it deserves.
The concept of the game is fairly straight forward, but the enigmatic Slender Man makes it a truly chilling experience. You don’t have a gun; you don’t have a sword. You have a torch. And if you see him, you better RUN as fast as you can. Doesn’t that sound like a nice tagline for a movie?
Who would direct – Kim Jee-woon
If you have no idea who Kim jee-woon is, I highly suggest you watch ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’. Jee-woon proved that he is incredibly adept at creating atmospheric, creepy stories where the anticipation of dread is just as terrifying as anything else that might happen. With him at the helm, Slender Man could be a slow-burn, Blair Witch style experience that leaves you shaking by the end.
P.T (Silent Hills)
You wanna see some jump scares!? Get this game.
PT (short for Playable Teaser) was supposed to be a demo that lead into a new Silent Hill game called Silent Hills. Eventually the project fell through, but P.T still remains fresh in gamers’ minds for the fantastic, if criminally short, horror experience it was. The radio broadcasts, Kafkaesque environments and a constant feeling that something might be lurking around the next corner make this a perfect candidate for a horror game.
Who would direct – James Wan
With The Conjuring, James Wan breathed some fresh life into the horror genre. His style lends itself perfectly to the unsettling creepiness of P.T. Imagine watching the movie late at night in a sparsely crowded theater, and experiencing the jump scares from the game. *shudders*
Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
Amnesia: The Dark Descent was a memorable horror game that really should be played by a lot more people. Seriously. If you’re a horror fan, check out Amnesia.
In A Machine For Pigs, there’s one big change made to the original Amnesia that makes this a fantastic candidate for a horror movie.
What’s the big change? Grotesque pig monsters.
Now before you dismiss A Machine For Pigs as a sell-out, I’d like you to think of GROTESQUE PIG MONSTERS ON THE BIG SCREEN.
Who would direct – John Carpenter
Really, this one needs no explanation. John Carpenter is a horror legend who’s created some of the most memorable movies in the genre (The Fog, The Thing, Prince of Darkness, They Live). In addition, Carpenter is a master at building tension and misdirection, two things that make Amnesia a great horror game.
There’s something to be said for creepy, overpowered monsters that you have to run from in a horror game. But, once in a while, you’d like to have the ability to shoot their freaking faces off.
Dead Space created a memorable environment out of its premise, even if the ‘aliens in space’ thing has been done before. It featured epic set-pieces, memorable monsters and truly nightmarish levels. Now think of a horror-action film that has all of those things, on an IMAX screen. Resident Evil step aside, Dead Space is the real horror-action video game movie we need.
Who would direct – Drew Goddard
After Cabin In The Woods, Drew Goddard can step into any horror movie for my money. But, he also brings a specific set of strengths to the table. He’s great at putting epic monster action on screen, and he knows how to bring the ick-factor.
Horror movies are often typecast as havens for B-grade actors and low-budget fare. But it doesn’t need to be this way. With video games becoming more and more mainstream, it’s time we got some good horror game adaptations. Make it happen, Hollywood!
Let us know which horror games you think would make amazing movies in the comments. We would love to hear from you!