Horror video games and movies are some of the most divisive games out there: you either love them or you hate them. Some people can’t stand being scared or that sensation of dread – but we here at Shacknews love it and we want more. To that end, we thought we’d gather around and think about what movies would work well as video games, and we’ve got some great options. Any developers or publishers out there with licencing money, take some notes!
Question: What horror movie franchise deserves a video game adaptation?
Scream - Donovan Erskine, Woodsboro Horror Film Club President
One of the best aspects of the Scream movies is the mystery. As the audience, we work in real time to discover the identity of the killer(s), just as Sidney, Gale, Dewey, and the rest of the characters do the same on-screen. I feel like this would be the perfect angle to take for a Scream video game.
A Scream video game could be a whodunit/deception game that borrows ideas from Among Us, Dead By Daylight, and Friday The 13th. I imagine the gameplay revolving around a group of players in a limited space, maybe somewhere in Woodsboro, fleeing from Ghostface. The player(s) designated as the killer have to run around in the Ghostface costume, attempting to kill the other players within a time limit. Maybe they’ll have the option to take the costume off and hide it in various locations, allowing them to walk around and blend in with the innocent.
The non-killer players will work to escape the town, similar to what we see in DBD and Friday The 13th. However, they can all win automatically by accurately determining the identity of Ghostface. Imagine the shock of seeing Ghostface walk into a shack, only for one of the survivors to walk out moments later. Or, to catch someone putting on the costume, only for them to spot you and chase you down. The possibilities are endless!
All of the Scream movies have scenes where the characters sit around and speculate who the killers could be; this could serve as your “emergency meeting” portion of gameplay. The player voted out would be hauled off to jail. If both killers are voted out, the game ends. Imagine the character pool would consist of various characters from throughout the five films. I have no clue who would develop this, but now I really want it to happen.
Event Horizon - Blake Morse, Co-EIC
I’ve always been more into Sci-Fi Horror than slasher films, and Event Horizon is at the top of my list for the genre. While there was plenty of otherworldly horror elements to the film, the psychological roots of those manifestations was where the real scary stuff came from. But I think that’s how a lot of horror in space movies work. In fact, I’d say a game adaptation would most likely look akin to Alien: Isolation but with a Lovecraft tinge that made it more about keeping yourself together rather than hiding from something chasing you. Players could even have a sanity meter like we’ve seen in so many suspenseful horror games over the years. And yeah, you could even go with some hellish visions from a mirror universe if you wanted to. The possibilities are endless really and it’s such a great film. I’d love to see it live on in an extended game universe.
Fallen - Sam Chandler, More Condemned games
One thing I like about horror games is the creeping dread, the slow discovery of truth, and the realization that what once appeared to be normal is far from it. In this vein, I thoroughly enjoyed the original Condemned, whereby players take on the role of a crime scene investigator who is working on a serial killer case only to discover darker secrets. For this reason, I think a movie like Fallen could translate extremely well into a video game. The film follows a detective as he tries to stop a demon that possesses people and makes them commit murders. Give me some LA Noire interrogations, some Condemned crime scene analysis, and plenty of occult undertones and you’ve got yourself a game.
Don't Breathe - Bill Lavoy, Not a Dentist
It seems to me that Don’t Breathe would be a great movie to get a video game adaptation. Imagine the playground that sound designers would have creating levels and a gameplay loop that depended primarily on sound instead of sight. Would this be an asymmetrical multiplayer game? Would this be a single player game where the player had to quietly move through levels solving puzzles? I don’t have the answers, but I’d love to see someone take a crack at Don’t Breathe as a video game.
It Follows - TJ Denzer, Won’t do the dirty with cursed strangers
I have often thought that despite the somewhat explicit nature of the It Follows curse, it’s still one of the most unsettling and terrifying horror concepts I’ve seen in a long time. Imagine a game in which you are afflicted with the curse from the film. An entity is just constantly moving in your direction at all times. You must keep your character’s energy up, be aware of your surroundings, move far enough away to safely rest… or pass it to someone else and hope they survive so the curse doesn’t come back to you.
It would be a weird game to be sure, but I also think a properly handled It Follows game would be a tremendously intense interactive horror experience.
Creature From the Black Lagoon - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host, BOO!
What horror movie deserves a video game adaptation? This is an interesting question since there are so many horror movies as well as horror themed video games already out there. I’m not that big into horror movies but if I had to choose, I would go with an old-school movie, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. You could make it part exploration, part stealth as you try to dodge the creature at various locations from the movie. You could also have it play out like a Tycoon game, where you put the creature on display, like a zoo, and build something around him. I think the stealth aspect would work well, swimming in the water, trying not to get picked off by the creature. So if I had to pick a horror movie to get a video game, I would go with the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The Nightmare on Elm Street - Dennis White, Living rent free in your dreams
So many options! I’d love to run around as Chucky causing havoc but I’m not sure it would be enough for a full sized game. There hasn’t been a video game horror adventure for Freddy since the NES era on the other hand and I think there’s plenty of room to make an interesting single player adventure and/or multiplayer experience. With different dreamscapes, you could go the immersive FPS route where Freddy brings people into their worst nightmares without traditional weapons to fight back and you have to escape. Or they could go the multiplayer route where a group of Dream Warriors have to work together to take down Freddy in different worlds. This would give folks the opportunity for character customization or options to defend themselves from the creatures Freddy conjures up. I would love to see levels to the dream worlds escalate as time goes on in a match. There would be plenty of fun if you got to play Freddy as well and set traps for the other players. Also as a side note, I have to say that my dream scenario if all franchises were on the table would be a horror movie fighting game by Netherrealm Studios. Give me Jason vs LeatherFace, Leprechaun vs Chucky, Samara vs Pinhead, etc. It would be beautifully gory!
V/H/S - Morgan Shaver, Thinks V/H/S/2 is the best one
I think there’s a lot of potential with the V/H/S series when it comes to a video game adaptation as the films feature several different found footage stories each, with the stories all featuring a unique assortment of creepy scenarios.
Essentially, there’s a lot of content to work with, and plenty of room to create new content along similar lines. The game could even do something like having the player go through each tape, get pulled into those scenarios themselves, and have to figure out how to survive each encounter.
The encounters could all be different as well when it comes to gameplay, with each having different objectives whether that be to survive, hide, fight, solve puzzles, collect clues, and so on and so forth. Adding that while not all of the V/H/S films are great, they’re still all worth checking out if you’re a horror fan.
I guess we’re all keen for more horror games based on film and TV. There is so much great content and source material out there for developers to draw upon. What horror franchise would you like to see adapted into a video game? Let us know in the Chatty thread below!
Sam Chandler posted a new article, Shack Chat: What horror movie franchise deserves a video game adaptation?