Blair Witch, a movie about a man standing quietly in a corner, has been given the horror game treatment. The first-person spook ‘em up is out today, and it’s about you and a dog becoming victims of found-footage scariness. But let’s be real, the videogame industry’s hunger for bygone horror franchises will not be sated by one former cop and his dog. No. Luckily, we at the RPS treehouse know that there are many more horror movies which could be dipped in the gametank and covered in terrorjuice, ready for thumb-wobbling and jump scares. Here are some we’d like to see.
Brendan: The easiest way to turn this millenial teen death spree into a game would be to allow the player to inhabit the role of death itself, manipulating errant kitchen knives and unfortunate pools of slippy bleach into a pattern which causes people to bounce around a small room and die due to a cascade of idiocy. Like a Rube Goldberg machine, but the ping pong ball is a suspiciously old-looking teenager and that comedy toaster at the end is actually a furnace and the– oh no, this exists already. Okay, scrap that. It might be more interesting anyway to play as the spooked death-dodger, trying to make your house or apartment as safe as possible to ward off the vengeful spirit of fatality. I mean, Death could just give you a quiet embolism or something, but we all know the lord of unlife is a showboater.
Nate: The best thing about potholing nightmare The Descent is what an incredibly effective frightener it is even before the very unpleasant underground Smeagols show up. Indeed, for much of its runtime, it manages to milk utter horror from the simple concept of crawling around tight underground passages. Through the use of Shadow of the Colossus style endurance meters, and liberal borrowing from the traversal mechanics of a bunch of third-person blockbusters, you could make a real gruelling hole-goer out of this movie. And then, if you wanted to, you could shake in the monsters for a truly hellish second act. Audio-focused stealth, shitty camcorder night-vision views, and dying torch batteries a la Boogeyman would make a game of The Descent something I could only just bear to watch other people play, let alone have a go myself.
Alice Bee: This part-horror, part-thriller came out in 2015 and stars Logan Marshall-Green who is in Telling Lies, meaning there is already a video game connection, meaning I already win this competition I have invented in my head. The Invitation is the ultimate expression of modern day horror: an awkward dinner party with your ex. Except there is obviously a sinister twist that I don’t want to spoil. It wouldn’t be a jump scare-y, torch-in-a-dark-house videogame, but you could turn it into a pretty aces conversation-having mystery game like The Council, with a lot of tense pauses and staring and meaningful tones. Unsettling as hell. If it was adapted by a big studio they would ruin the last third by shoehorning in some clumsy shooting controls, so best left to some weird bitsy dev.
Astrid: Most of the Purge movies are a bit naff, aren’t they? What is good is the concept of The Purge, and the later films that explored the actual political consequences of a yearly 12-hour period where all crime is legal. I reckon you could have a lot of fun with a Purge game. It’d have to be a roguelike, where each run is a new Purge. Instead of 12 whole in-game hours, it’d probably be good as a 12-minute per-session sorta deal. Go out into the world, and see just what you can possibly get away with before the Purge is over. I mean, arguably, Streets of Rogue is already a bit like a Purge game, or at least how it’d probably play out, plus the dystopia stuff. Still, Purge game – make it happen.
Matt:The 1853 War of The Worlds adaptation isn’t even a mildly scary horror film, but eight-year-old me was a coward. I used to see these derpy cunts in my nightmares and in shadows. Nowadays I’m awfully aware they look like twisted teletubbies emoticoning sadness, but at the time they flipped my sweet, innocent nut. If anyone makes a War of the Worlds game, I would like them to disregard the source material and let me murder martians with impunity.