With horror videogame films like the Resident Evil reboot on the horizon, there’s a lot of intrigue around the next wave of video game to film adaptations. In the past, we’ve had some like Silent Hill strike somewhere in the middle — not finding it’s initial footing or box office breakthrough, but still obtaining a decent long-term following.
That being said, there’s a lot of room for horror game adaptations because it often consists of the same genre attributes to pull off what makes the title successful. Since Hollywood is essentially searching out reboots, sequels, and other source material, so why not throw out a few options that might be fun to see adapted?
Dead by Daylight
The successful asymmetric survival horror video game Dead by Daylight is a game where four survivors find themselves in a realm where a killer hunts them. The survivors have to repair generators and power exit gates, helping them survive the map and move on; however, the lore is something of its own nature that would be an interesting plot to expand on.
The realm has a purgatory likeness to it, often leading to a mysterious event or disappearance with survivors’ backstory. The game offers 24 survivors and 22 killers, some of which are licensed like Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, Saw, and more. A film version of Dead by Daylight could be a unique spin on a slasher by throwing it into an otherworldly atmosphere, with a necessity for chase scenes, teamwork, and the occasional betrayal in pursuit of surviving the heightened circumstances.
The idea of having killers like the Trapper appear in a fog-heavy field as a group of survivors try to distract or outsmart the killer could easily be something that genre fans and casual moviegoers would enjoy without having to be familiar with the game itself too. It’s that ability to draw in fans from both mediums that make Dead by Daylight a great cinematic candidate.
BioShock is a game that created the imaginative city of Rapture, an underwater historical rewrite, where a bustling city in the sea has descended into complete chaos. The game is played from the perspective of a character who alternates between weapons and injectable abilities ranging from a swarm of killer wasps to complete flames.
The game also features the popular characters Big Daddy and Little Sister, a dominating presence with great strength and speed that harvest power-heavy fluids and makes for great thrilling moments of gameplay. The idea of a mesmerizing BioShock movie has actually been tossed around for years, with conversations that ended up ending talks on budget restrictions.
Special effects have come so far since the last BioShock film discussion, and the franchise has since spawned two follow-up games and a rumored upcoming installment that has shown BioShock isn’t just a phase or a trend of its time. There has to be a studio out there that realizes BioShock has the opportunity to become a visually stunning horror film, so hopefully, we’ll have a chance to see a film made one day.
Left 4 Dead
It’s hard for me to talk about anything remotely horror and video game-related without bringing up the 2008 multiplayer survival horror gem, Left 4 Dead. The game itself is something in the vein of Dawn of the Dead for its horde-like zombie onslaught and four survivors playing through a campaign that can approach the runtime of a film divided into different chapters.
The game became a massive hit, and spawned a follow-up (Left 4 Dead 2), and expanded the already fun array of unique zombies with a few including a juggernaut mutation called a Tank, a strikingly fast predator called the Hunter, a zombie-attracting accident waiting to happen known as a Boomer, and several others to keep the gameplay needs evolving. Left 4 Dead has been a dormant franchise since 2009, but recently the game announced that fan-made maps and modes would be added to the game, which sparked all-new excitement into the Left 4 Dead fandom.
Because we also have a spiritual successor coming out in the future titled Back 4 Blood, there’s reason to believe that the horror game has a lot left to give. The zombie horror interest is still something that translates well with audiences (for the most part), so maybe we need a Left 4 Dead movie to be the next great zombie film.