Every horror video game movie franchise, ranked from worst to best

The recently released resident Evil to restart, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, prove video game horror movie adaptations are capable of making a lasting impact, and here’s how they all rank from worst to best. Horror video games often make the best cinematic adaptations, considering how the genre’s inherent tension and visceral visual violence translates to the big screen. While that claim may also be somewhat relative, given the poor reception of non-horror video game film adaptations.

Action-based video game adaptations tend to fail at the box office, despite continued efforts like the Unexplored film with Tom Holland. However, few genres are as interactive and immersive as horror, which makes it ideally suited for movies and video games. Whether controlling the action or simply watching it, both mediums rely on the viewer to invest in the fate of the characters. Perhaps this is the common element of suspense that helps move stories more effectively to a new medium. If horror video games make good film adaptations, the reverse can also be true. Many horror films have inspired video games, a tradition that dates back to the 1980s with Atari and Nintendo.


Related: Why The Original Resident Evil Movies Played A New Character

Although the resident Evil franchise has shown how lucrative horror game adaptations can be, there have also been many failed attempts to achieve the same level of success. It’s telling that half of the franchises on this list were first brought to the screen by Uwe Boll, a director who has a notoriously combative relationship with the countless critics of his work. Whether Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Will be the start of a new series or standalone movie remains to be seen, but, in the meantime, here’s a ranking of all of the major video game-based horror movie franchises.

6. Alone in the dark

Christian Slater and Tara Reid in Alone in the Dark Again

Often considered one of the worst horror movies of all time, Alone in the dark is also by far the worst example of a horror video game adaptation. Designed as a semi-sequel to the fourth game in the survival horror series, the film stars Christian Slater as paranormal investigator Edward Carnby. Along with his archaeologist girlfriend, Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid), Carnby discovers evidence of an alien creature among the artifacts discovered. Directed by Uwe Boll, Alone in the dark currently has a surprisingly low 1% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 123 reviews. Aside from mediocre CGI effects and an absurd script, Reid’s casting as an archaeologist lacks credibility.

A low-budget sequel to the 2005 film was released in 2009, with Rick Yune replacing Slater as Carnby. Although Boll served as a producer for the Alone in the dark suite that nobody asked for, Alone in the Dark 2 was co-directed by the original film writers Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer. The sequel involves some witchcraft and is almost more of a reboot. Although this is a slight improvement over the original film, Alone in the dark 2 is still far from good.

5. House of the Dead

House of the Dead character shooting zombies

In an interview promoting Alone in the dark (Going through Real movie news), Boll talked about the lessons he has “learned from House of the Dead, so the script wasn’t good.However, this film about students escaping from a zombie infested island has been better received than Alone in the dark, but not by much. Based on the 1996 first person shooter arcade game, house of death approaches the material with a B-movie mentality that works in its favor, reaching a level so bad it becomes entertaining. Even Boll appeared to embrace the film’s unintended humor with its director’s cut, which highlighted some of the film’s glaring shortcomings and was released on DVD under the title “Funny version.

Related: How Creepy And Violent Is Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City?

Although never released in theaters in the United States, House of the Dead 2 premiered on the Sci-Fi channel (now SyFy) in 2006. The sequel takes place several months after the events of the first film, but the only returning actor was Ellie Cornell as Coast Guard Officer Jordan Casper. While the flaws of the first film offer unintended entertainment value, House of the Dead 2 is simply uninspired and dull.

4. Bloodrayne

Kristanna Loken in BloodRayne

A handful of blockbuster horror films have disproved the video game curse, but those directed by Boll tend to have the opposite effect. In a new attempt by the German filmmaker to adapt a horror video game, Bloodrayne is based on a series of hack and slash video games developed by Terminal Reality. Although the game series is set just before WWII, Boll’s film sets the action in 18th-century Romania. The film follows Rayne (Kristanna Loken), a cross between vampire and human whose vampire father (Ben Kingsley) wants to destroy all of humanity. Bloodrayne is the best of Boll’s horror video game adaptations, but that’s hardly a praise, considering how poorly received and rated Bloodrayne was at the exit.

Two direct video sequels were also produced by Boll, an approach he will also adopt with the In the name of the king movie franchise. Loken has been replaced by Natassia Malthe for the sequels. Michael Paré is the only actor to appear in all three films, although he inexplicably plays different roles each time. This is in part due to the large time gap between the narratives, with BloodRayne 2: Deliverance located in the American Wild West and BloodRayne: The Third Reich in Europe during World War II. It took three films for Boll to finally shoot the films in the same time frame as the games, but that’s not enough to save the franchise.

3. Cursed

The pioneering first-person action of the Loss the series has always felt a perfect fit for a horror movie adaptation, and high expectations may have played a part in the disappointment many felt about the 2005 film. box office and received extremely bad reviews, although Loss fans have given Dwayne Johnson’s film another shot in recent years. Despite a lot of Loss feeling like any number of generic sci-fi horror movies involving zombies and mutant creatures, there’s a genuinely fun first-person shooter sequence that perfectly captures the essence of what made the success of the original games. As brief as that streak was, it was a silver lining for the horror video game adaptation.

Related: Removing The Controller: Why Video Game Movies Are So Hard To Sell

In 2019, the live-to-video release of Doom: annihilation rebooted the franchise with a new team of Marines on a mission to fight demon-like creatures. There is no other apparent connection to the 2005 film, with no returning characters. In some ways, Annihilation gets a lot of things better than Loss, including a more faithful explanation of where the creature’s threat came from. Unfortunately, he also makes many of the same mistakes and has a significantly smaller budget to create memorable monsters.

2. Silent hill

Based on a popular survival horror video game series, silent Hill follows the character of Rose (Radha Mitchell), who takes her adopted daughter to the mysterious town of Silent Hill to uncover the truth about her origins. With French director Christophe Gans directing and Roger Avary writing, silent Hill appeared to be the first video game horror film with any chance of critical acclaim. While there was a lot the movie did in terms of adapting the atmosphere of the game, it was also too long at 125 minutes. The decision to change the genre of the game silent HillHarry’s character for Rose is also questionable, considering how iconic Harry has become over time.

Adapted from the third video game in the series, Silent Hill: The Apocalypse takes place six years after the events of the first film and also came out six years after the first film. The plot involves Rose’s daughter (Adelaide Clemens) being called back to the town of Silent Hill on the 18the birthday. The film’s 3D release attempted to engage more with audiences, but it’s still a poor substitute for playing the games. Although it received less than half of the original film’s budget, there are a few shining moments in Silent Hill: The Apocalypse, including the Mannequin Monster created for the film.

1. Resident Evil

Resident Evil Alice vs. Zombies

The resident Evil The franchise easily tops the list, based on the Japanese video game series credited with defining the survival horror genre, as well as bringing zombies to popular culture internationally. As a result, George A. Romero was hired to write and direct the first adaptation of resident Evil, but his screenplay was ultimately rejected and Paul WS Anderson was hired by Sony Pictures. Anderson oversaw the entire series as a producer and directed all but two of the franchise’s entries.

Related: Capcom’s Resident Evil Rules To Hurt Netflix’s Movie Reboot

There are six entries in the series, all following the original character of Alice (Milla Jovovich), a secret agent trying to bring down Umbrella Corporation for causing a zombie apocalypse. Each resident Evil the film could be classified differently, depending on the importance placed on loyalty to the games. Often times, the series seems to draw more on the designs of the creatures than the plot. What makes it the best franchise? Even taking creative liberties, Anderson’s films capture every key element that makes games successful. Besides the horror of the various monsters, there is often a mystery at the center of the films. Anderson is also shown to be able to involve the audience in the action, which video game horror movie adaptations seem to struggle, given that movies are inherently handicapped by a controller’s lack of interactivity.

Next: How Scary And Violent Is Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City?

Ghostbusters Afterlife Phoebe Venkman Stantz Zeddemore

The original Ghostbusters were the worst part of the afterlife (and that’s good)

About the Author