The majority of video games that have been adapted into poorly received films are undeniable. But what if we worked the other way around? What if we adapted movies into games, working with surefire concepts that could draw in gamers who are already devoted fans of cult classics and successful blockbusters?
We’re jumping into hypothetical land, and the horror genre, with our list of the 10 horror movies that should be games. Warning, there are a few movie spoilers on this list, but nothing too, too revealing.
The Purge seems like an obvious choice for this list. The concept behind the Purge films is that, in order to combat prison overcrowding and violence in general, the US allows an annual 12 hour time period in which crime is entirely legal.
Some go on a rampage, others fend for their survival, and everyone in the audience likely considered what they would do if they were put into that dire situation. Now imagine that concept tossed into an open world MMORPG.
With sophisticated game mechanics, it could allow players to get into all sorts of trouble and depravity, to the point where we wouldn’t be surprised to see it get banned in several countries if it were to ever get made and be released.
There could even be a difficulty setting in which you can join servers that run for a full 12 hours, making the game an intense marathon of sorts. There could even be a battle royale mode that would alert you as to how many people are still left alive on your server if that’s how you want to play the game.
IT is ripe with potential; Pennywise the Clown can take the shape of your worst fears and nightmares, meaning there is an endless stream of possibilities as to the kinds of horrors, you could come face to face within this title.
It would likely function best as a non-linear horror title, even one that borrowed mechanics from the likes of Until Dawn, where we play as members of the iconic Losers club in both their childhood and adult years.
But unlike Until Dawn, you’d be faced with boss battles, most of which involve simply surviving or evading Pennywise, up until you reach specific boss battles, like the face-off with the spider creature at the end of the most recent IT film, where defeating it is inevitable.
Adding a more twisted dynamic to the game to raise the stakes could be fun as well; the decisions you make will determine if members of the Losers club get killed off, making the game that much harder if by the time you reach adulthood, most of your friends are dead.
There aren’t a ton of video games out there that center on werewolves. This is one of the reasons why an adaptation of the 1981 film The Howling would be great; not only is it arguably one of the best werewolf films out there, but its locale could make for a contain online title ripe with the potential.
Imagine this- similar to the game Friday the 13th or Dead by Daylight, you get to choose a character with a specific playstyle who gets sent to this secluded psychiatric resort called the Colony. Each server has one individual who is the werewolf, a character who runs around and hunts the other players, transforming them one by one into werewolves.
When you’re bitten, you get to hunt the remaining survivors too, but be wary; survivors can get their mitts on silver bullets and corrosive acid, the former killing you off and the latter severely hindering your gameplay for a handful of seconds, allowing players to escape your grasp.
This 2008 home invasion film could be adapting into a simple concept video game chock-full of quality scares. The movie depicts a married couple fighting for their lives amidst a break-in of three masked murderers who take advantage of their isolated vacation home.
Imagine playing a first-person title where you are defenseless, much like many of the popular survival horror games out there nowadays, but instead of ghouls or monsters or other supernatural threats, your predators are humans, and you need to figure out a way to either escape or hunt the hunters. In addition to that, your actions can’t compromise the life of your partner, putting you in a precarious situation.
Sure, you might be able to break out and survive, but that means your husband or wife gets offed in the process when you burst through a window and make a run for it. Consider the house a sandbox, similar to the recent Hitman titles where anything can be a weapon or a distraction, and there are multiple ways to get out alive. Or die.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
We’re cheating a little bit on this number and giving you a television show rather than a movie! Although once upon a time, it was a movie first, but let’s just ignore that. The world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a beloved one.
The show, a nostalgic trip back into the 90s and early 2000s nowadays, followed a teenage vampire slayer attempting to save the world all while trying to maintain a regular life in high school, and later, college. It’s all about never quite fitting in and coming of age, mixed with demons, vampires and a bunch of other terrifying supernatural concoctions.
With the upcoming revival show in the works, it would be amazing to see an open-world RPG emerge, in which you play a vampire slayer (or Buffy, we’d be so down for Buffy), who is forced to tackle a plethora of sinister supernatural threats crawling their way out of the Hellmouth, all while maintaining the façade of a high school student. Kind of like the persona games, but relying on the lore of the series created by Joss Whedon.
Train to Busan
Train to Busan is a fantastic Korean horror film that takes place on the train during a sudden zombie apocalypse break out. The story begins with us following an absentee father and his young daughter, the former taking the latter to see her mother in Busan for her birthday.
As the train departs, a woman who has been bitten by a zombie board the train, and eventually infects other passengers. As the film progresses, we see a group of civilians, including the father-daughter duo, struggling to survive the narrow confines of the train and make it to Busan, where it’s presumed to be a safe haven from the spread of the zombie virus.
So why would this make a great video game? A large part of the film requires the characters onboard to use stealth tactics to avoid getting mauled to death by hoards of zombies.
It’s partially a survival horror, mixed with some melee battles, where several characters, in order to get to a different part of the train, need to beat down on the zombies to get through. And the train does stop at two locations where the characters get bombarded by zombie hoards yet again, making it for a dynamic journey.
A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place got rave reviews when it came out for successfully creating a world in which dialogue was not heavily relied upon, and sound design amplified the tension in a mesmerizing way.
The creatures in the film were rarely seen, with the focus being on a family trying to survive in a world where making the slightest sound could result in your immediate death. Now imagine the potential a story like that could have as a stealth survival horror video game.
From searching for supplies to defending your home, there is a ton of material in a quiet place that could be used to construct a scary as hell open-world video game.
John Carpenter’s The Thing is an amazing film. Using practical special effects, it takes elements of cosmic horror and manifests them into gruesome and guttural creatures that can’t be defined but are the stuff of nightmare fuel.
Much of the tension in the film is caused by a lack of trust between characters. Who has been infected by The Thing? Who is trying to manipulate whom? And what must you do in order to survive? Rather than the game being an open world, using the action-consequence mechanics of games like Until Dawn could prove successful in a horror survival title like this, with dire mistakes in judgment leading to you, or your companions, being killed off.
Mix in a solid dose of paranoia and misdirection and we could have a really good psychological horror on our hands with this. It’s actually worth noting that there was a semi-successful game adaptation by Computer Artworks for The Thing that was released in 2002 that worked as a direct sequel to the events of the movie, but the capabilities of technology nowadays could make for a much more immersive title.
We imagine a concept like Cube would translate really well into an indie horror game. The 1997 film follows a group of strangers who wake up in a maze of absurd rooms, some of which are booby-trapped, others that are entirely safe. There a few ways Cube would work as a game.
The first is as a horror puzzle game, like Portal but deadlier and scarier. The second, and arguably more intriguing is a game in which you and three other players wake up inside of this prison-esque environment, all starting at different parts of the map, and eventually work your way into finding one another.
Each of you has a different skillset, making some rooms easier to navigate than others. And to make it even more difficult, psychological elements the likes of the paranoia we see in games like Amnesia could really make for conflict amongst teammates; ultimately, you can choose to save yourself or help save the others, adding further tension to the dynamic between players. Cube would also make a great escape room in real life. Just saying.
If you’ve seen Ready Player One, this number likely already crossed your mind. A video game version of Stephen King’s The Shining, combined with the aesthetic of the film directed by Stanley Kubrick, could make for one of the most horrific video game experiences of all time.
Someone call up Hideo Kojima and get him to direct this! We imagine a Shinning game playing out like psychological horror, in the same vein as PT but throughout the expanse of an empty hotel.