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With Until Dawn from Supermassive Games and SCE set to release on the PS4, it seems like a good time to go over a list of horror movies that would translate well into the world of interactive entertainment.
For those of you who don't know, Until Dawn is a survival-horror game that's a bit like Heavy Rain mixed with a point-and-click adventure game. Players explore, examine, run, hide and fight their way out of dangerous situations. The whole game is a throwback to classics slasher films from the 1980s. Borrowing such obvious inspiration from the old horror flicks, it got us thinking: why not run through some ideas of what some of the classics in the horror genre could be like re-imagined as video games for today's generation? So without further ado, here's a list of 10 classic horror movies that need game adaptations ASAP.
The CollectorWhether you like the movies The Collector and its gruesome sequel The Collection, you have to admit that the concept of trying to escape from a deranged collector who traps people in a booby trapped location has a lot of promise for a game. Some people might assume “Isn't this just another torture porn exercise like SAW?” to which I say, no. The Collector as a game would be more platform-friendly as opposed to the adventure-puzzle route that Konami took with SAW. Imagine a game where you disarm traps, dodge deadly blades and avoid being strung up using Assassin's Creed or Prince of Persia-style parkour. Puzzles could be offered aplenty, as well as the option to pick and choose what you bring with you for each level, having different inventory items help or hinder you depending on the level layout. Oh yeah, and procedurally generated traps are a must!
Child's PlayOne of the classic horror movies from the late 1980s is Child's Play, a game about a killer who possess the body of an ugly little doll named Chucky. While a game like Lucius might work as the perfect template for Child's Play, it seems like a game like this would work even better if players took on the role of a babysitter who is tormented by the demonic doll. What would be even better is if you have to product another small child from Chucky, adding an extra layer of tension and suspense to the gameplay. Players would have to watch every corner and keep an eye out on every hallway, similar to Scott Cawthon's Five Nights at Freddy's. A flashlight and baby monitors would be the only tools available to defend yourself. Jump-scares galore and limited mechanics would make this ripe for YouTube virility.
Friday The 13thOne of the classic slasher flicks that really kicked off the teen horror genre is none other than Friday The 13th, starring Jason Voorhees. It would only make sense to have the character return to form in a video that isn't Mortal Kombat X. There are already some neat ideas out there that could help bring this style of game to life in the form of Summer Camp and Slasher Camp. Asymmetrical multiplayer where a group of gamers take on the role of camp survivors while someone else plays Jason would be ideal. Randomly generated item locations, a few weapons to fight back against Jason and a few ways to escape would make this the perfect weekend multiplayer game.
Nightmare On Elm StreetVirtual reality technology is really at the center of a lot of innovation and new techniques being employed in the game space recently. But what would be really cool is taking a virtual tour through the nightmares Freddy Krueger cooks up. Different dream scenarios where gamers get to encounter some of the more harrowing moments from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise could be both thrilling and exciting. Attempting to survive traps, overcome Freddy's horrific playground of nightmares and keeping some pesky teens alive could be pretty fun.
HellraiserHellraiser is one of those horror series that never really recovered from all the terrible sequels, but the first two films still stand out as some of the best horror movies ever made. The premise and gameplay for a game like this would be pretty simple: you're an investigator looking for the Lament Configuration in an abandoned old town. Lots of atmospheric exploration similar to Silent Hill or Alone in the Dark would make this the perfect horror game experience. Throw in some appearances from the Cenobites that chase you down or attempt to torture you to death, and you have a front row ticket to a must-play horror-survival experience.
CandymanOne of the more underrated films in the horror genre is obviously Candyman. The movie series degrades in quality with each subsequent sequel, but the original Candyman was a great mind-bending, psychological thriller. It left you with as many questions as it did answers, and that would make it perfect fodder as a point-and-click, Telltale-style adventure game. Players could assume the role of an all new character investigating the Candyman urban legend only to find odd things happening and a murder mystery unfolding around them. There's a ton of potential for a series like this and it would probably end up being a heck of a lot better than Tales from the Borderlands.
PsychoKeeping in line with the point-and-click adventure mechanics, another classic horror game worth getting the game treatment is Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. This 1960 film really pushed the limits back in the day, but it's still a well made film by today's standards and would make for great game-bait. In fact, a black-and-white themed, adult horror game made in the same vein as Telltale's titles could also work for Psycho. Just imagine that iconic shower scene recreated as a quick-time event? Or imagine rummaging through the Bate's Hotel for clues while trying to avoid Norman – who's on the hunt for you. This may not be a 10 million unit seller, but it has a ton of potential to hit that horror sweet spot.
The Cabin In The WoodsNow here's a movie that is begging for a video game adaptation, whether it be as an action game where you collect monsters, or as a survival game where you attempt to survive monsters. The real genre slot for Cabin In The Woods is as an RTS time-management game. Imagine a mix of Deception and The Sims. Yes, I'm talking about putting players in the role of the operators – tasked with bringing misery and death to a group of unsuspecting teenagers. Players will have a limited amount of time to trap and kill specific people using random monsters and devices, and the object would be to rack up enough kills to please “the old ones”.
The Texas Chainsaw MassacreHow could you have a list of classics and not include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Here's a concept that could work a number of ways, but something visceral and truly harrowing is what would work best for a game about being stalked by a chainsaw-wielding maniac. The setup is simple: you get kidnapped and brought to the farm, awaiting whatever terrible fate your captors have in store. Except, you escape and you have to find a way off the premises, safely. The game could be played like Alien: Isolation, where sound, sight and your senses are your allies. Hiding to avoid being captured or killed, and using basic objects to create misdirection or distract the enemy AI could make for some fun and frightening times.
It FollowsIt's not often that these types of lists include movies that haven't been out more than a year or so, but with the recent It Follows attracting such a large and varied audience, it's shown its true colors as a movie that could inspire several different "stalker" games, much like the events that unfold in Clock Tower or Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The mysterious "it" would be an all-powerful being and touching it might just bring instant death, if you're not prepared. Coupled with the movie's excellent soundtrack and cutting tone, this game could be an instant hit, especially among fans of Hotline Miami and other films of that ilk.