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Sunday Scaries: Is There Hope for a Horror Video Game Adaptation?

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, we’re combining horror with the world of video games, like this weekend’s release of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. That flick doesn’t seemed to have cracked the code. So, maybe we’ll finally be able to do so?

For decades now, Hollywood has been trying to adapt video games into movies. They’ve almost exclusively failed, but one avenue that they seem to be keen on is adapting horror games. These films have included franchises like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, as well as other attempts like Alone in the Dark, Doom, The House of the Dead, and more. A motley crew, to be sure. Interestingly, earlier this year, Werewolves Within might have been the most successful try, mainly by not leaning into the horror aspects of it all. Is it something that just can’t be done? Or, have the Powers that Be just not been selecting the right source material?

IFC Films

Ironically, both the Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises could have been the perfect vehicles. The former, however, quickly pivoted hard to the action side of it all, while engaging in its own lunacy, backstory-wise. They sort of work, but not as horror, that’s for sure. The latter, however, had two flawed but promising installments that had plenty of unsettling images, but awful plots. That franchise delves so effectively into psychological horror too, it felt like a real missed opportunity.

The main issue is that no one seems to be remembering what made the games work, instead trying to just place them over a generic movie idea. You can even see how the games themselves change when a vision is involved, like when Guillermo del Toro was pairing withe Hideo Kojima to make the Silent Hill game Silent Hills, only seen as the P.T. trailer that became such a cult favorite. Imagine that sort of thing as a film? Then, things start to get exciting.

P.T.

Game franchises that could potentially be successfully adapted include Alan Wake, Dead Space, Outlast, and System Shock. It will just take someone actually remembering that the films need to do different things to work than games did. A combination of atmosphere and storytelling will rope someone in, even without the interactivity aspect. Time will tell if anyone ever gets these right, but one thing is for sure…they’re going to keep trying. So, cross your fingers and perhaps even give Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City a shot this weekend? It won’t kill you…or will it?!

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next weekend!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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