Saturday, March 19, 2011

Horror in Video Games and Movies

We began this unit discussing why we crave to watch horror. Probably the most likely reason is that we desire an adrenaline rush. A good scare in a movie gives us a nice little raise in heartbeat. And when the scare is nice and bloody we are granted a primal blood lust that we feel we must fill. It used to be that the only way that this could be attained was to watch a movie, but with the invention of better processors we found another way to fulfill our sadistic, adrenaline pumping desires. With better processors came better graphics and with better graphics came survival horror videogames.
It was discussed that horror films allow us to see vicious act while remaining completely safe. This is also true in videogames, but a degree of separation is removed. The character is not merely watched but to an extent the player becomes the character. One can control the actions; thus removing the, "Holy shit get the hell out of there!" shouts that plagues us when watching a movie. A good horror game makes the player realize some terror that the characters feel in movies. You cannot know the terror of running out of bullets until your faced with a horde of necromorphs or splicers (kudos to you if you understand my nerdtastic references).
Both horror movies and games are adequate ways of fulfilling our desires of terror; however, games would not be what they are without movies. Trapped in outer space on a ship with hundreds of alien being that were brought on board for the purpose of an organizations gain. Sound familiar? This is both the plot of the Alien franchise and the (AWESOME) game Dead Space. The first Resident Evil took place in an abandoned mansion with terrifying zombies, giant spiders, and a giant snake. The original version of the game released for the Playstation feature live action segues that featured featured some of the most horrendous acting on the same levels of b-movies.
I'll end this post by saying if you want a good scare with a plot that's honestly better than most horror films being spewed out today go find yourself a nice and scary game. Bioshock and Dead Space are two beautifully written series with great scares.


  1. This is something that I also thought of whenever we started our section of horror in this course. It is extremely difficult to go to a store that sells video games and not find an enormous selection of games that are filled with some sort of horror. Movies such as Alien, Predator, The Blair Witch Project, Resident Evil, and many other films have been transformed into video games. This allows the consumer to take control of the main character of the film and directly confront the horror the character undergoes throughout the movie. The production of so many "horror" based video games shows how our society enjoys the thrill of the unexpected and not knowing what could be lurking around every turn or corner.

  2. I really enjoy horror films but I can never find a perfect movie that will actually scare me. The SAW movies are too gory and when I was younger, THE RING seemed like a legitimate movie at the time (Until Scary Movie 3 I think? ruined it and made it funnier than scary). PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was all right until I realized it wasn't real at all and the second movie was just horrible. I'm still searching for a movie that will just entirely creep me out rather than making me laugh because I'm yelling at the girl to run away and not enter the dark room alone.

    I agree with the video game aspects said in the post above mine and the blog itself. I think people tend to enjoy horror because they can take control of their own fears and know that what they're doing isn't real, but can still imagine getting creeped out "safely" at least. Lately though, a lot of video games are zombies vs. alien aspects. I'm hoping with the technology we have for the future, directors can potentially create something that audiences can be spooked about more than ghosts and fake monsters.