“It’s Game Over, Man!!”
There exist many video games that tie in with movie franchises. More often than sometimes, you have some very poor performing titles, such as the recent Gollum game or the even more infamous E.T game for Atari. But not all of them are bad, for there are many different movies that transition well from movie to video game, such as Goldeneye 007 or most of the Star Wars movies. However, we haven’t seen very many games based specifically on horror movies. We have lots of original horror games being produced and sold on the market, but not very many games that tie in with a certain IP. But there are some that exist, and they have the same scary vibe that their film counterparts are known for. Here are a few of the scariest horror movie video games that are guaranteed to make you jump at least once.
Dead by Daylight
The infamous 1v4 multiplayer game of “cat and mouse” isn’t necessarily based on one specific movie, but instead should be seen as a large collaboration of multiple different horror IPs. The game has original characters and concepts, but over the past 7 years it has crossed over with other horror movies, and we have characters and killers from licensed horror franchises such as Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Hellraiser, and most recently Alien. Each killer is fun to play as or play against, with each one having a specific mechanic or power. For example, Michael Myers has the ability to stalk survivors. The more he stalks them, the more powerful he becomes, eventually being able to one-hit down survivors for a brief period of time. Or Pinhead, who is able to hook survivors with his chain, temporarily slowing them down and making them easier to catch. Playing your first few matches as a survivor can be very unnerving and terrifying, especially if the killer you are going up against is a veteran who is good at the game. But if that fright starts to wear off the more you play it, there is always the toxic multiplayer fanbase accusing you of “gen-rushing” or “tunneling” to keep your hair standing on end.
Speaking of the Alien franchise, the popular sci-fi horror franchise has had a few video game tie-ins ever since the first movie was released all the way back in 1979. Unfortunately, most of them are mediocre and aren’t very faithful to the scary and unnatural nature that the movies are originally known for (especially Aliens: Colonial Marines). But the best Alien video game without a doubt has to be Alien: Isolation. The game takes place 15 years after the first Alien movie and tells the story of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, who boards a giant spacecraft to retrieve the recorded messages her mother left behind in hopes of finding her. But things go terribly wrong as a Xenomorph boards the spacecraft, who ends up going around destroying the ship and hunting down stranded passengers. You must go around trying to find a way to escape the ship all while avoiding scavengers, murderous androids, and the dreaded Xenomorph himself. The game incorporates the stealth-survival horror formula very well, and the game is considered by many to be a very frightful experience indeed.
Friday the 13th: The Game
The hockey mask killer that everybody knows and loves has had a few games, most of them being for older devices like the Commodore 64 or the NES (which is considered to be one of the worst titles on the console). But the more recent game titled Friday the 13th: The Game captures what makes the franchise so scary and lovable in the first place. Like Dead by Daylight, it’s an online multiplayer game of “cat and mouse,” but instead of one killer going against 4 survivors, it’s one killer going against 7 survivors. Rather than choosing if you want to play as Jason or survivor, it is chosen at random who gets to be Jason. The game also involves more collecting than Dead by Daylight, with survivors having to collect parts for a telephone, a radio, or one of two cars that all aid in them escaping Crystal Lake. You are also able to stun Jason by literally beating the snot out of him with whatever you can find as a weapon, whether it be a tree branch, a baseball bat, a machete, or a shotgun. The game is considered to be unsettling as it is fun, but sadly it has been announced that the game will be removed from sale at the end of 2023 due to licensing issues, with servers shutting down in the following year. So play the game while you can or keep on the lookout for similar games such as Evil Dead: The Game or the upcoming Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game (yes, really).
When The Blair Witch Project released all the way back in 1999, it terrified many. It introduced many to the genre of found footage horror as well as brought up the idea that “the monster is scarier if you can’t see it.” In 2019, Blair Witch was released to the public, and it frightened and disturbed many. The game takes place two years after the events of the first Blair Witch Project film, and it tells the story of veteran and former police officer Ellis Lynch and his dog Bullet as they enter the Black Hills forest to search for a child who went missing. The game has a very heavy emphasis on psychological horror, with Ellis experiencing PTSD episodes alongside the disturbing events that Ellis witnesses as he dives deeper into the woods. The gameplay involves exploration of the forest, with puzzle solving and time manipulation being heavily used mechanics. You are also able to command Bullet to do specific things or access specific areas (you even have the ability to give him a treat). The game has alternative paths and multiple endings, so replayability is definitely encouraged if you want to see the whole story (if you’re brave enough, of course).
The Blair Witch Project (1999) Official Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailer