5 Horror Games That’d Be Great as Horror Movies
Movies are made from games all the time, and most of the time they’re very bad. There have been some positive ones, and some that are “so bad they’re good,” but one genre that actively sees very few iterations is horror. Sure, you have your Resident Evil movies and your Silent Hill movies, but the intersection of horror games and horror movies could be so much more.
There are so many games out there with the right tone, tension, and plotlines that they could serve as excellent inspiration or building blocks for films, but they are often overlooked. Here are five Horror games that I think could be made into great Horror movies if handled the right way.
Outlast is iconic. Exploring an asylum overrun with its homicidal patients using only your night vision camera and your wits is a great game idea, but why would it be good in film? Put simply, it was inspired by films. Some well known horror films are based around the “Found Footage” concept, where you’re watching unprofessional footage taken on a family camcorder or on someone’s cell phone. Films like the Blair Witch Project, [•REC], The Visit, and many others have done incredibly well using the found footage style.
What better way for a game inspired by Found Footage to transition into film than as Found Footage itself? The game already sets up the compelling usage of a freelance investigative journalist using night vision recording equipment to set the tone, and the hospital setting makes it an excellent spot for a film of any budget. The biggest pitfall of many “Found Footage” films is the need to avoid bad dialogue. A lot of the time, these films try too hard to write casual or off-the-cuff-sounding lines that feel wrong or don’t land. Of course, this would all be assuming the game ever made it to film.
Isaac Clarke’s odyssey of space horrors is ripe for cinema. It is a story of loss, of fear, of dashed hopes, and ideological struggles. Right off the bat, you have an interesting mix of sci-fi action and horror, but it goes deeper. One of the key features of the game is its variation on a traditional HUD. Instead of showing the player information from their perspective, Dead Space uses Isaac’s Resource Integration Gear and his weapons to relay information. On top of that, you have Isaac’s hallucinations and visions brought on by the Marker aboard the ship, adding a deeper layer to what may or may not be reality.
Dead Space is unique on this list because it has been tapped for film potential before. Back in 2009, EA and director D.J Caruso had plans to make a Dead Space movie set between Dead Space and Dead Space 2, but nothing ever came to fruition. There were a few animated movies that took place before and between titles (Dead Space: Downfall and Dead Space: Aftermath), but neither were incredibly well received. If EA ever wants to revisit the Dead Space franchise, this may be the perfect way to do it.
#3–Amnesia: The Dark Descent
There isn’t a horror game out there with more name recognition than Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The game is well known thanks to its popularity with early 2010s YouTube Let’s Players, but it stands on its own merits when you remove the hype it garnered from those years. The game, while it has frightfully excellent scares and horrific entities to face, also has a plotline that goes from strange to bizarre, and it has a level of cosmic horror to it by the end that provides just enough newness to it.
As the title suggests, the majority of the story plays off of the protagonist (Daniel) and his sudden awakening in a manor house, finding his memories gone. As he gathers more memories and uncovers the truth behind who he is and where he finds himself, things take on a more eldritch vibe. This is something incredibly difficult to handle in any medium, but I think that if they can do it in a game, it could be done in a film.
Futuristic cyberpunk horror is the name of the game in SOMA, and done right it would be perfect for a film adaptation. Trapped within a derelict research station, surrounded by machines who think they’re human, only to find out YOU’RE a machine that thinks it’s human? That could be some deep psychologically scarring stuff done the right way.
For the most part, there aren’t many things that you’d need to change. The greatest challenges that a SOMA film needs to overcome are the reveals, and cinematographic nature of those reveals and the realities of them. How do you reveal the protagonist’s nature as a brain-scanned machine? How do you reveal who they are, how they got into this position? It’s something hard to get around, but there are directors out there who could manage.
#1–Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is hardly a horror game, but the deeper lore behind each character makes it prime for film adaptations. Each Killer has gone through horrible, traumatic experiences that led to their development as a violent murderer, and likewise, each Survivor has struggled throughout their lives until finding themselves in the realm of the Entity.
Dead by Daylight is more of a franchise, though, than a single film, with most of Behavior’s original Killers deserving of their own films, and even following that you can easily have a film or two following Survivors throughout the Entity’s realm. Many of the Killers, like The Trapper or The Hag, have very interesting stories that could be easily adapted to films. Being kidnapped by cannibals and twisted into a horrific cannibalistic beast, or obeying every whim of your mentally deteriorated father to the point of mass murder sound like good hooks, do they not?
Are there any games you think deserve to be on this list? Are there any games on this list that you think don’t belong? Talk about it in the comments below!