In the early to mid 2000s, it was popular to turn every survival horror game into a movie. Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and… OK, maybe there weren’t that many actually. In recent years, the tables have turned with iconic horror films like Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both receiving video game adaptations. This begs the question, what other horror movies deserve their own game?
Horror movies that should definitively have a video game
Light spoiler warning for all items ahead. Go see these movies; they’re well worth it!
#10 – Tusk (2014)
That’s right, this list is starting off weird. Featuring director Kevin Smith and actors who probably owe him a life debt, Tusk explores the horror of a man becoming a grotesque creature of the sea. The movie does a decent job of showing viewers what it would be like to watch a human turn into a walrus. The game will take things one step further by letting players experience the sheer terror of trying to convince humans that they are also human where it counts. All this while flapping flippers and speaking in barks. Think about the existential themes of Detroit: Become Human, and that’s about half of the experience awaiting players in Tusk: Sink or Swim.
#9 – They Live (1988)
They Live is a fantastic horror movie that absolutely should have a video game adaptation. The plot of They Live follows a rather rowdy guy who discovers a pair of sunglasses that reveal aliens wearing the face of high level politicians. This would play out very similarly to the Hitman series, where the goal would be to regain power from the alien invaders while keeping a low profile. After dropping into a locale with a primary target, players will only be able to use lethal force on verified aliens. To verify an alien, players would push a dedicated button to put on Roddy’s shades. Due to the lack of social etiquette of wearing shades indoors though, this would only stay active for thirty seconds before onlookers start to get suspicious.
#8 – Final Destination (2000)
Final Destination is a fairly well-known franchise, but to sum it up, some dude cheats death’s design, and death gets even… or something. In the game, players would take on the role of death, as no one wants to play as one of the horny teen characters whose destiny is literally to die. The gameplay would be similar to Tecmo’s Deception, where players will set up a chain of events that result in the death of those who got away—a Rube Goldberg machine where the reward is a gory, bloody pulp where previously, there was a human.
#7 – Misery (1990)
Misery is the scariest pick of this list, as it is the most likely to happen and probably already has. A Misery game would see players take on the role of the author, Paul Sheldon, with each day playing out like a twisted game of mist. Taking some creative liberties here and there, Paul must find a way to escape Annie’s clutches by any means necessary. Each day, Paul solves puzzles and finds items to create a way out while ensuring Annie doesn’t find out. Each night, there’s a cutscene of Annie multilating Paul further that makes the next in-game day even more challenging. For example, a pair of freshly broken legs may make Paul move quite a bit slower. That’s it! A video game that captures the palpable tension and dread in an event like this will quickly become a bestseller.
#6 – Rec (2007)
REC was originally a Spanish found footage film back when those were the hottest things around. A US version does exist, Quarantine, but credit should go to Rec as it’s a masterpiece of found footage horror. The game’s story can follow the movie’s events in a Resident Evil 3 style and still be compelling. Weapons would be melee in variety, similar to classic Silent Hill titles, with a climactic boss fight in almost complete darkness at the end. Rec is unique because it’s essentially a zombie movie that doesn’t lean so hard into the genre’s usual tropes. Likewise, a horror game with a focus more on survival than smashing zombies would really hit the mark. Not to mention its many questionable sequels.
#5 – Brightburn (2019)
Who doesn’t want to play a game about running from a sociopathic Superman who still shops in the kid’s section? Brightburn‘s release was in perfect sync with arguably the height of superhero movies. It took a decidedly darker take on the genre by re-doing Superman’s origin story but evil. That’s pretty much the movie. Well, except Brandon, AKA Brightburn, adopts his evil moniker far younger than when Clark traditionally embraces Superman. This would fit right in with other horror movie video game adaptations, as an asynchronous multiplayer game like Evolve, with a lot better balance. Four players would have to hide while seeking an element that would take Brightburn down. Whoever is Brightburn zips around the map, destroying terrain to make the environment more challenging for the survivors to hide in, and crushing skulls of anyone unfortunate enough to be seen. Kids are scary, dude.
#4 – Event Horizon (1997)
Horror fans or just fans of this movie are probably whooping it up, as it just fits so well. Event Horizon is a perfect horror movie that deserves to join the video game medium, if nothing else but for the horrific visions players would encounter while playing. Event Horizon mixes Sci-Fi space travel with demonic hellscapes, and plenty of trippy imagery along the way. Even creating an original story within this universe would work perfectly for the game, as there is so much the movie didn’t go into. This could make for a fantastic survival horror or even a space sim that’s more out there than a second playthrough of Starfield. There are no jokes here, just a strong wish for someone to make it. Do it now.
#3 – Twilight Zone : The Movie (1983)
Somewhere in the uncountable dimensions exists an entertainment singularity. A game requiring no game pieces or even imagination to enjoy. And perhaps even odder, this game works by transmitting light through an electronic device fastened onto the human head. But what if this game doesn’t stop once that headset is taken off? What if the gremlins on the wing don’t only exist in the game, but reality itself becomes augmented through additional wearable devices? That game, dear reader, does exist, somewhere, in the Twilight Zone.
#2 – Carrie (1976)
Carrie is an odd choice, especially considering the 1999 sequel that ruins its legacy entirely. Think how disappointing Forspoken was to many gamers times ten, and it’d be just under how bad the sequel was. Either way, as a video game, the original Carrie is the total package. With a tragic origin story and a pyrokinetic female protagonist fed up with literally everyone, the narrative writes itself. The gameplay would be similar to Infamous but with fire-based abilities and a fillable rage meter that decimates everyone within eyesight in a glorious blaze. Carrie isn’t that scary of a horror movie (well, the bullying was monstrous), so an action game where Carrie goes on a revenge trip would be glorious.
#1 – Annihilation (2018)
Number 1 on this list is one of the most intriguing sci-fi horror movies ever made. Annihilation has everything necessary for a successful video game adaptation to thrive and so much more. A team of badass mercenaries, mesmerizing creature designs, and a full-on mind trip near the end round out the core experience. Just like Event Horizon, this universe has barely been tapped into, leaving room for plenty more stories and games. Hire Remedy to give it the Alan Wake 2 or Control treatment, and Annihilation would easily become a GOTY contender.