Five Games That Would Make Great Movies

Five Games That Would Make Great Movies

Five Video Games That Would Make Great Movies

As a whole, I think the film industry is struggling to produce new content.  It’s no surprise that the four out of the five top grossing films of 2016 are all new installments in already established franchises.  One area that Hollywood has dabbled in, but has never gotten quite right, is video game adaptations.  Here are five games that I think could translate well into film, given the right direction and writing, of course.  Bonus: I even cast my own main characters!


5.      BioShock

With its wonderfully inventive story and amazing environments, BioShock seems like the perfect candidate for a game-to-film adaptation. I, for one, would love to see a live action Big Daddy and Little Sister on the big screen. However, I think the writing and direction could make or break a BioShock film adaptation. Many things would likely be changed to account for budget and screen time, but I believe with the right people in place BioShock would make a great flick. BioShock was actually slated to become a movie until the director dropped out.

Main Character: Ryan Gosling as Jack

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4.      Left 4 Dead

The Left 4 Dead games are ideal for film adaptations because there is much left unaccounted for in the games. The characters do not have deep back-stories, nor do the various campaign levels throughout game, making it a perfect opportunity to add to the game’s appeal while not causing intense backlash from purist gamers. Plus, how awesome would it be to see a CGI tank on the big screen?

Main Character:  Jeff Bridges as Bill

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3.      Red Dead Redemption

The historical setting of Red Dead Redemption makes it a good candidate for a film adaptation. Many people enjoy westerns, and I am willing to bet that gamers and grandparents alike would anticipate the film. The characters of Red Dead are extremely interesting and would translate well from game to movie. There are quite a few pitfalls that could make a Red Dead movie an absolute disaster, but just imagine the possibilities of cinematic deadeye animation.

Main Character: Timothy Olyphant as John Marston

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2.      Alan Wake

As pretty much my favorite game of all time I had to include Alan Wake in this list. While the game is quite cinematic in and of itself, I think Alan Wake could bring something new to the horror genre, which has gotten somewhat stale and repetitive in recent years. Wake’s story is scary, dynamic, and interesting enough to provide a strong plotline and fairly easy to write screenplay. While I would prefer a very true-to-original adaption, I think the film could work in a variety of different ways.

Main Character: Jared Leto as Alan Wake OR IIka Villi as Alan Wake (the actor who has already played Wake in various cinematic scenes)

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1.      Tomb Raider

I understand that Tomb Raider has already been made into a film, but I am suggesting a reboot of the entire franchise that takes a page out of the newest game reboot’s book. A Tomb Raider movie that delves deep into the psychology of Lara Croft and her origin, if written and directed well, could be a wonderful thing. If Lara is cast correctly and the movie stays more true to the game than its predecessor, Hollywood could make some serious bank on a rebooted Tomb Raider franchise.

Main Character: Gina Carano as Lara Croft


Horror in Video Games

I’m a huge fan of horror in any capacity, whether it is novels, comic books, or films. There’s something innately fascinating about voluntarily experiencing an emotion we generally try to avoid in real life – fear.   Why would someone elect to experience fear and anxiety through entertainment? It’s a question that has always plagued my mind, because I’m drawn to the horror genre myself.

One thing that separates the horror experience in game versus in film is the element of physicality. That probably sounds strange, since video games are not generally associated with physicality, but hear me out. While watching a horror movie, you’re sitting fairly stationary. Of course, you could be tense or twitchy, or maybe even covering your eyes, but the horror film experience is a very passive one. That is how it’s supposed to be. It’s part of the reason why horror films have some of the most iconic scores. The music is also key to the completely passive experience. You have no choice.

In a horror game, however, you are actively choosing where your character looks, runs, shoots, etc. You’re in the nightmare. You choose to check the room in which you heard strange noises. You’re not watching Jamie Lee Curtis do it. Of course, you may be forced to do certain things to make the story progress, but it’s a conscious decision on your part. Watching a film is also a conscious decision, I mean no one is holding you down and making you watch Saw, but a different kind of conscious decision than taking action in a game. When you watch a film, you resign your mind and attention for a few hours of viewing. When you play a game, you resign your mind and attention for multiple hours of active decision-making and problem solving. That decision making and problem solving is all the more apparent in horror games.

Filmmakers can alter your perception of the nightmare you’re watching unfold by using certain camera angles or character point of views. Game creators can’t necessarily utilize the same tactics, which makes a truly scary game all the more impressive. Modern games typically have free moving cameras, which allow players to view any part of the environment that they choose, unless of course they’re viewing a cut scene. As such, the entire environment needs to be scary.

Sometimes, it’s hard to pin down exactly what qualifies as a horror game. If the game is primarily about shooting scary creatures, then the horror seems secondary. You could be shooting aliens instead, would that make it a science fiction game? What about games that involve zombies, but are not necessarily scary? Zombies are classic examples of horror movie monsters, but lately they’ve been so overused they’ve become a lot less scary. And where do we draw the line? Are the extreme survival horror games, like Asylum, too much? To literally have no weapons in a horror game seems like an exaggeration, but that’s what the game is all about.

Whatever your stance is on the horror genre in video games, I think we can all agree that it could definitely use revitalization. I’m talking about something like A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Game. Ok, not really. We all saw how that turned out on Nintendo….