I fell in love with horror games almost immediately after I was introduced to my first scary movie, and I’ve been hopelessly addicted to them both ever since. It didn’t take long. At around five years-old, I had discovered my first gateway drugs — Candyman and Silent Hill 2 — and the decades that have followed mostly consists of me trying to get that fix.
Wait. By that logic, Bloody Disgusting would be my dealer. Moving on.
Now that every successful video game qualifies as a potential candidate for a movie adaptation, I can’t help but look at the games I play and wonder what the movie that’s likely to follow might be like. Anyone who’s sat through at least a few movies based on video games can attest to their being a mixed bag. Most adaptations lose too much of what made the source material appealing in the first place, while others manage to achieve moderate success.
Some video games offer enough to remain interesting even when that crucial element of interaction is removed and the player becomes the viewer. Others rely more on gameplay, so they have nothing, or not enough, to make up for that loss.
These five horror games belong to the former category. I believe they each have the potential to benefit from a movie adaptation, starting with one of the biggest surprises of 2014…
With their immediately identifiable “grunge” sound, Alice In Chains are one of the defining bands of their genre. They’re also, in my opinion, one of the most important bands from that generation. But that doesn’t mean they were always doing what we now know them for. Rather, their start was a bit more…flashy.
To put the below video in context, you have to realize that this isn’t technically Alice In Chains that you’re watching. Rather, it’s the group that was the precursor, a hair metal project by the name of, wait for it, Alice ‘N Chains. The band had a brief life touring throughout the Seattle area until they broke up and vocalist Layne Stayley (would you please look at that hair?) went on to join what eventually became the band we all know and love.
So yes, this video. It was uploaded by Alice ‘N Chains member Johnny Bacolas and it’s a goddamn gem.
Techland and WB Games have released a genuinely cool interactive video for the new open-world zombie survival game Dying Light. In Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, we’re treated to a look at the horrifying post-apocalyptic city of Harran, which has been overrun by vicious creatures who used to be human. The neat thing about this video is you can switch between two different sides of the story whenever you like by holding the ‘Z’ key.
If you’re interested in trying it out, you can find the full video on the game’s official website.
Dying Light is available now for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
When it comes to horror games, their post-release support tends to be lacking. Bad DLC is everywhere, sure, but for fans of this genre, it’s less of a mixed bag and more a bag that almost entirely consists of DLC that’s either unnecessary, unfinished, poorly realized or some combination of the three.
Let’s look at some examples, shall we?
For Resident Evil, for example. Ever since Capcom made the misguided decision to try and shoehorn a competitive element into Resident Evil 5, much of the DLC revolved around new multiplayer modes that most people had absolutely no interest in playing. That kills the multiplayer mode right there by fragmenting the audience that’s active online.
Resident Evil 5 wasn’t all bad. It also gave us Desperate Escape and Lost in Nightmares, the latter of which was surprisingly great and a welcome return to the series’ roots in survival horror.
Then there’s Capcom’s other zombie franchise: Dead Rising. Looking specifically at the latest game, which saw an impressive amount of post-release attention from the publisher in the form of five story expansions. I can’t speak for the final add-on, but I did play the other four, and they were universally terrible for reasons I’ve already gone over.
Capcom may be one of the worst offenders, but they certainly aren’t alone. We need only to look toward gaming’s other popular open-world zombie series to see another awful example of how to mishandle DLC, this time for the Techland-developed Dead Island games.
The Bloodbath Arena was a waste of time for most, mostly because there were already many other series that had implemented similar modes, ranging from Halo to Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty, among others. We have Gears of War to thank for that massively popular trend.
I won’t even go into the Ryder White expansion, because it’s really not worth reliving.
Unfortunately, it seems as if Deep Silver hasn’t learned as much as I would’ve liked, because the season pass contents of Dying Light — an otherwise great game — don’t sound like they’re going to make it worth returning to the game, if you’ve already beaten it.
Even Dead Space has struggled with this. The second game’s Severed expansion had an interesting narrative, but that wasn’t enough to make the fact that most of its paltry running-time was made up of back-tracking. Dead Space 3: Awakened was a small step up, but that, too, wasn’t as good as it could’ve been.
There are plenty of other examples out there, but I’m getting bummed out, so let’s cleanse our mental palates by recognizing a few of the games that have been considerably more successful.
Minerva’s Den managed to be more thoughtful and refreshing than BioShock 2, Left Behind managed the impressive feat of being as memorable as The Last of Us, the Left 4 Dead series DLC wasn’t perfect, but most of it was good stuff.
Horror-themed DLC shouldn’t fail as often as it does. This genre works great when it’s consumed in smaller portions, much like what episodic games are doing right now. More developers are realizing this and exploring it with their own games, like Resident Evil Revelations 2, Alan Wake, Siren: Blood Curse and Telltale’s The Walking Dead, among others.
Then there’s my favorite: Alan Wake.
With its themes of light vs. dark, it’s fitting that Alan Wake may be the shining beacon for how to use DLC to add to the experience in meaningful ways. Both The Signal and The Writer were fantastic, thoughtful and new experiences.
I think this is partly why horror-themed DLC for non-horror games works so well. The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned was a great addition to Borderlands, as was Red Dead Redemption’s standalone expansion, Undead Nightmare, and inFAMOUS did a fine job honoring my favorite holiday, Halloween, with its vampire-themed Festival of Blood expansion.
So what’s going on here? Why does the quality of the post-release support that horror games receive underwhelm so often, when this same problem doesn’t seem to be quite as severe for other genres?
It is worth mentioning that there are signs that this trend could be becoming less of a problem. Alien: Isolation has received a ton of DLC, and much of it has been rather good. There’s also The Evil Within, which is scheduled to receive the first of three planned add-ons next month with The Assignment. It looks interesting, but it’s too early to tell.
I’m not bringing this topic up because I have a solution. Outside of asking developers to put a little more thought into the post-release support they give their games, or refusing to buy the particularly bad stuff until they up their game, there’s not much we can do.
The reason I wanted to write about this is because I do think this is a legitimate problem, and as a life-long fan of the horror genre, I’d really like to see it vanquished as soon as possible so I can have a reason to return to the horror games I’ve completed because there’s a new bit of DLC that looks worth my time. And yours.
Granted, this could just be me. I don’t think it is, but it’s possible.
So I’ll leave it to you.
Capcom has issued an apology after they the publisher came under fire when some incorrect information was spotted on the Resident Evil Revelations 2 Steam page. The problem is while the console versions of the game have local co-op, that feature was omitted by the PC version, and Capcom didn’t really mention that until most of the PC folks who were interested in getting the game had already spent their money on it.
The issue has since been remedied, and Capcom is currently offering refunds for those who feel too scorned to continue playing it on PC.
See their full statement below.
Dear RE fans,
We apologize to our Resident Evil Revelations 2 PC players who purchased the game and expected to have local co-op as a feature. The feature wasn’t intended for this version and that caveat was mistakenly omitted from the product description on the Steam page earlier, and then included as soon as we were made aware. This was an unintentional error and again, we apologize for the confusion this may have caused.
We are currently looking into the matter and potential solutions and we hope to have new information to share very soon, so please stay tuned. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode released earlier this week. Its second episode is slated to arrive on March 3.
It might not have lived up to the hype established by its source material, Slender: The Eight Pages, but seveloper Blue Isles has done a fantastic job in continuing to evolve Slender: The Arrival since its release in 2013. Here we are almost exactly two years later and the dapper Slender Man is finally creeping onto the PS4 and Xbox One.
Slender: The Arrival releases on March 25 PS4 and Xbox One for $9.99.
Capcom has released a trailer that teases what’s to come next in Resident Evil Revelations 2, the first episode from which released this week, and it did not disappoint. The second episode will continue the story of Claire, Barry and their partners when it arrives starting March 3.
Talk about a drip-feed of news. It’s been a few months since we last heard from Frictional Games’ undersea survival horror game SOMA, but that (sort of) changed earlier this week when the developer released a brand new screenshot from the upcoming game, complete with a mutilated corpse and a bit of eerie mood lighting.
In a post on the studio’s blog, the creative director Thomas Grip apologized for their silence, offering a new look at the game with the screen you can feel free to pick apart pixel by pixel, in case it’s hiding secrets.
SOMA is slated to release sometime later this year for PC and PS4.
The trades have some hot news this Thursday evening, reporting that Enemy and Prisoners filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct the Blade Runner sequel for Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox.
Scott has openly stated he wouldn’t return to helm the sequel to his 1982 sci-fi masterpiece that followed a blade runner (Harrison Ford) who must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
Ford is said to be returning to the role in a film that lives in the same universe as Alien and Prometheus.
As this gets off the ground, Scott is preparing Prometheus 2, and it producing the newly announced Alien sequel with Neill Blomkamp.
The internet did their thing yesterday in flipping out when Neill Blomkamp said that he wanted his Alien movie to closely align with Ridley Scott’s 1978 Alien and James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens. It’s surprising to me that anyone expected it to live in a world in which Alien3 and Resurrection didn’t exist… ’cause, frankly, that’s just stupid.
Thankfully, Blomkamp calmed panicked fans in his latest interview, this time with AlloCine.
“My favorites are the first two movies. So I want to make a film that’s connected to Alien and Aliens. That’s my goal. I’m not trying to undo Alien3 or Alien: Resurrection, I just want it to be connected to Alien and Aliens.”
Sigourney Weaver also commented on the new film, which is to be produce by Ridley Scott.
“I always wanted to complete this story and it wasn’t really until Neill and I started talking that I said, ‘this is why we waited however many years its been.’”
The Xenomorph home planet better get ready, because Ripley is coming, and she’s pissed off.
After going through tons of poor choices (Luke Evans, Bradley Cooper, etc.), it sounds as if Relativity Studios finally has a unique choice for The Crow, which would justify years of delays.
The studio has set its sights on Jack Huston to play the lead character in the Corin Hardy- directed remake of the James O’Barr come adaptation, Deadline reports.
These talks are in the early stage, but it should be noted that landing Huston would be a huge get. This is the second coveted job Huston has been chased to do since his standout portrayal as the masked, war-scarred assassin Richard Harrow on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”.
Huston is right now playing the lead role in Ben-Hur, the massive pic inspired by the 1959 William Wyler-directed classic that starred Charlton Heston.
The remake of the 1994 Alex Proyas-directed adaptation of the James O’Barr graphic novel “The Crow” is about the murdered man who comes back for revenge has taken on its own pedigree of cool because of the emergence of its director Hardy. He made his live action feature directing debut on The Hallow (read our review), the thriller which got acquired at Sundance.
Huston is being courted for the role originated by Brandon Lee.
He’s both a hero and a complete idiot.
ARC Entertainment released its trailer for The Walking Deceased, a spoof of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” opening March 20, 2015.
“The Walking Deceased is a delightfully bloody addition to the pantheon of zombie-apocalypse spoofs. Lampooning every tried and true zombie meme. Join the Sheriff with his son, and a motley crew of survivors as they weather confrontations with zombies, meet up and then leave their tattered camp–a partially destroyed shopping mall. The group journeys to the supposed Safe Haven Ranch seeking shelter from the owners, a fascinating and diabolical older couple. Along for the ride with the still-human survivors is a lone zombie who begins to see and develop his human side when he hooks up with the brash female lead. The unexpected twists and turns and will delight those who enjoy over-the-top blood spattering while horror movie buffs will appreciate the George Romeroesque touches.“
Scott Dow directs Joey Oglesby, Dave Sheridan and Troy Ogletree.
At one point in The Lazarus Effect, Evan Peters (playing the lab’s resident stoner), does his best Dr. Frankenstein impression. “It’s alive!” he says, looking into the eyes of a dog his colleagues have managed to resurrect from the dead. Following this homage, David “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” Gelb’s new film contains elements we’ve seen before in films like Flatliners, Altered States, and Pet Sematary and patches them together into his own type of monster.
Populated with a hip cast that fully commit to their roles, Lazarus Effect follows a group of scientists who’ve discovered a serum that brings the dead back to life. Led by Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde, the team (that also includes Donald Glover and Sarah Bolger) go through various trial runs with animals. Their ultimate goal isn’t to technically resurrect the dead. They only wish to give doctors “more time” when treating coma patients whose hearts have stopped.
Gelb captures their trial experiments on pigs and dogs in disconcerting, extreme close-ups. After a few hiccups they reach a breakthrough, which opens the doors for the film’s discussion of morality and faith. Who the hell are they to raise the dead? And how dare an 80 minute horror movie starring Olivia Wilde address themes like Catholic guilt, the hereafter, and the morality of playing god!
But Gelb’s film does, which is one of reasons it’s so great. He’s got some heady ideas laid out on the screen here and the fact that he’s chosen horror as his philosophical outlet is great. The problem is that there’s so much he has to get across in 80 minutes that nothing is deeply explored.
The prime example is Olivia Wilde’s faith. Her character, Zoe suffered a traumatic experience at a young age that has crippled her with guilt ever since. Through trippy dream sequences we learn a bit about the event, but never enough that it gives the story much weight. The climax relies heavily on our investment in this event and Zoe’s troubled faith, but I never felt like the story brought me to that point where it had an effect on me. The whole final hour of horror is executed very well (with one top notch kill), though it does follow many conventional routes. For Gelb to jump from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi to this film shows immense talent. It just didn’t transcend beyond a bunch of cool visuals, which considering the themes addressed, I’m sure it was meant to.
As you probably guessed by the trailer, Zoe winds up dead at one point and the team brings her back to life with the serum. What follows is one long night of hell in which Wilde transforms into one terrifying S.O.B. She absolutely nails Zoe’s shift from scientist to force of nature. It’s a helluva performance to watch. The rest of the cast is phenomenal as well, with Glover breaking out of his comedic mold and Duplass anchoring the entire cast.
The Lazarus Effect, despite its lack of impact and rushed themes, is a great film that proves even well-worn territory can feel fresh if it’s well-executed.
Netflix released a short little teaser for their forthcoming “Daredevil” series today. While it’s more of a motion poster, or even a bumper segment it effectively gets the point across in it’s 12 second run time. Thanks to Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is his signature shades, looking devilish with a grin, and fixing his suit, with some damn bloody knuckles. It’s certainly not much, but I’ll take it at this point.
Luckily, the small tease shows me that Cox understands the character, and the tone is heading in the right direction. Produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios, the drama also stars Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsely, Vondie Curtis Hall as Ben Urich, Toby Leonard Moore as Wesley, Wilson Fisk’s right-hand man, Ayelet Zurer as Venessa Fisk and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.
All 13 episodes will premiere April 10 on Netflix.
BOOM! Studios really knows how to handle their licensed properties. They are killing it with their titles from the works of Clive Barker, and Robocop is proving to be no exception. This is thanks to writer, Joshua Williamson. He’s able to tackle the character in a way that feels like an extension of the first film, more so than the sequels ever did. I mean he captures the true grit and insanity made possible by the premise but also finds a deeper emotional core to the character. Our own Eric Swizter has been a big fan of the series since issue one, saying “a book that doesn’t slow down or break character for a single panel. Consistent in tone and style, this may be one of the most seamless and successful continuations of a franchise I’ve ever seen. The geniuses behind this book have managed to recreate the exquisite experience of watching “Robocop” for the first time. I sincerely hope it never ends.”RoboCop #9 Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Authors: Joshua Williamson & Dennis Culver
Artist: Alejandro Aragón
Cover Artist: Carlos Magno
Synopsis: Killian is a murderous criminal in the eyes of the law but he has gained status among the people of Detroit as their brave new savior. Now they set their sights on RoboCop! Featuring the debut of co-writer Dennis Culver (Edison Rex) and new artist Alejandro Aragón of 28 Days Later!
WGN America is hanging from the cross on these gorgeous new one-sheets for the season season of “Salem”, set to return on April 5th. The one with star Janet Montgomery hanging from an upside-down cross is the best.
In “Salem” season two, the Grand Rite triggered at the end of last season is now underway and death is in the air, but the Witch War is just beginning — and Salem is at the epicenter of both. In order to bring her plan to completion, Mary Sibley must not only control Captain John Alden (Shane West, “A Walk to Remember”) and the citizens of Salem, but also those lurking in the shadows who seek the power she wields.
Starring Janet Montgomery, “Salem’s” second season kicks off Sunday, April 5 on WGN America.
Showtime has shared new images and art for “Penny Dreadful”, which begins its 10-episode run on Sunday, May 3 at 10PM ET/PT.
This season, Vanessa and Ethan form a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and Sembene (Danny Sapani), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them.
Meanwhile, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), the Creature (Rory Kinnear) and Brona (Billie Piper) are all waging battles of their own.
Patti LuPone will guest star as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our protagonists this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle.
Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate; and Johnny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.
Back in 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger directed an episode of “Tales From the Crypt” in which an old man spends his fortune replacing his old body parts with young ones, ironically giving this youngster an old body, with a young heart…and millions in cash. It was a clever gag, and science fiction, at least until now.
A surgeon says full-body transplants could become a reality in just two years, explains The Guardian.
Sergio Canavero, a doctor in Turin, Italy, has drawn up plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body and claims the procedures needed to carry out the operation are not far off, they add.
He has claimed for years that medical science has advanced to the point that a full body transplant is plausible, but the proposal has caused raised eyebrows, horror and profound disbelief in other surgeons.
“If society doesn’t want it, I won’t do it. But if people don’t want it, in the US or Europe, that doesn’t mean it won’t be done somewhere else,” he said. “I’m trying to go about this the right way, but before going to the moon, you want to make sure people will follow you.”
You can read the entire potentially life-changing article by clicking the above link.
Empire has two new images of Chris Pratt and his dino doggies in Jurassic World.
In the first trailer for Jurassic World we see Pratt riding a motorcycle with a pack of Velociraptors. Apparently, he trains them. You can see that in the Super Bowl trailer below.
The bait this time around: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Judy Greer, Katie McGrath, Andy Buckley and Lauren Lapkus star in the Jurassic Park sequel opening June 12, 2015.
A first clip has been released from David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows opening here in the States on March 13, 2015. In it, The Guest‘s Maika Monroe is tied up as a boy explains the “curse” he’s received, and has passed onto her. It’s a taste of the motivation behind this decade’s scariest horror film.
I gave it a perfect score, calling it “a classical horror masterpiece.” Mike Pereira referred to as a creepy, mesmerizing exercise in minimalist horror” when reviewed out of the TIFF last September.
“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.”
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi and Lili Sepe all star.