Dark Souls: 5 Video Games That Should Be Horror Movies

Video Games Horror Movies

Now that the scariest parts of  Silent Hill: Revelation 3D  are proving to be the grisly reviews and box-office results,  it' s a good time to look at a handful of choice video games that have much greater potential than the Konami franchise to be blockbuster horror movies. In at least two of the examples I cite below, along with the pros and cons of adapting them, the film industry apparently agrees — or did at one point — that the game titles would translate well to the big screen. Actually making the movies adaptations of the games has not worked so well.

5. BioShock

In 2009, BioShock looked like it was destined to be a movie.  Pirates of the Caribbean franchise master Gore Verbinski was slated to direct the visually stunning game in which a plane-crash survivor in 1960 finds himself in the underwater Art Deco-style city of Rapture and its mutated inhabitants to survive.   When the project ran into budget issues, Verbinski turned over the director's reins to 28 Weeks Later filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and agreed to serve as a producer.  Last May, however, Fresnadillo told Playlist he was no longer involved and that the project was on hold because Universal Studios and the game's creator couldn't agree on a budget or whether the project should have an R rating or a PG-13, which would attract a broader audience.  With the much-delayed third game of the franchise, BioShock Infinite due out in February 2013, and set, this time, in a floating sky-city called Columbia, it's time to revive this project.

Pros: BioShock is beautiful. Simply seeing the steampunk city of Rapture on the big screen would be worth the ticket. With more than 4 million copies of the game sold and a plot that a) is better than most fantasy/horror movies and b) has actually driven the argument of videogames as art, it's remarkable that it's not already a movie.

Cons: Video games inevitably lose their interactive components when they're adapted into feature films, but these elements are so integral to the telling of the story that removing them could prove problematic. Videogame tropes such as highlighted objectives and extended cut-scenes aren’t  optional extras in this case: they’re built into the plot the same way your heart is built in to you.

4. Left 4 Dead

Pros: Valve’s multiplayer masterpiece — and its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2 — are the most viciously fun co-operative games ever made. Four very different characters must team up to survive the zombie apocalypse, or at least make it a little bit further. In addition to the teamwork element, which would translate well to the big screen, Left 4 Dead has some of the best incidental writing in games. Valve understands that writing dialogue is just as important as writing code, because nobody cares if a character's hair is beautifully rendered when they can't stand to spend the time with him. Added bonus: the game treats each level as a movie, complete with loading screen posters.

Cons: Since there isn't exactly a shortage of zombie projects out there in movie land,  the writing and direction have got to be exceptional.  Done properly, the combination of white-knuckle action and well-developed characters could make zombie movies exciting again. Maybe Hollywood should give Valve a lot of money and ask it to produce a script.

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  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution should be on this list. That played like a badass cross between Blade Runner, Robocop, Albert Pyun's Nemesis, and classic film noirs.

    Bonus points for producers looking to make it on the cheap, just re-use the sets from that awful Total Recall remake.

    • SD says:

      Great call on DE:HR. I think that you could also say the original Deus Ex as well.

      I think the problem with all adaptations comes with the story. Do you try to recreate the story completely? (In which case what is the point of watching it) Or do you pick a franchise with a lot of lore and use that as a basis for a new story?

      I think Red Dead Redemption or maybe Heavy Rain could work as straight adaptations. Fallout has a lot of lore that could work for an original story.

      I am interested (if they ever happen) in the adaptations of Shadow of the Colossus and Assassin's Creed though.

      • Andrew K says:

        Agreed - Heavy Rain wanted to be a movie anyway. Red Dead could also work. But I think once you take out the interactivity of these two, you see just how unoriginal they truly are, particularly Heavy Rain.

        i would like to see a Bioshock movie, though. I had much more fun looking at it and following the story than I did actually playing it.

        A Zelda movie could work - it has a simplistic, mythical quality to it that is often lacking in the fantasy genre, usually bogged down with nerd arcana.

  • Ziggy says:

    Phantasmagoria, it was basically like a movie as it was.

  • jamesob5 says:

    Here's my picks for a Bioshock movie:
    *Jack - Sam Worthington
    *Big Daddy - Ron Perlman
    *Andrew Ryan - James Cromwell
    *Atlas - Colin Farrell
    *Frank Fontaine - Robert De Niro
    *Brigid Tenenbaum - Sigourney Weaver