I have a confession to make — I think I may have watched every movie based on a horror video game ever made. Every one released in theatres at least. I certainly didn’t intentionally set out to achieve this incredibly dubious honor. I just like survival horror games a lot, and had nothing to do a few too many Friday nights and I kind of dig Milla Jovovich and, and…I don’t know! I don’t know how it happened! Everyone makes mistakes, okay?!
So, in honor of this spoooky time of year, here’s every (theatrically released) movie based on a horror video game ranked from bad to worst (because there is no “good” when you’re talking horror game movies)…
11) Silent Hill (2006)
Silent Hill is easily the best horror video game derived movie ever made, which is to say it’s merely mediocre as opposed to maddeningly/hilariously awful. The early scenes are actually quite visually inspired and suitably tense. Also, Radha Mitchell, who I totally mistook for Charlize Theron all the way up until today when I looked the movie up on Wikipedia, is quite good.
But after a promising start, the movie becomes a convoluted mess, breaking out numerous unnecessary flashbacks that only serve to kill the mystery of Silent Hill, before winding around to a powerfully unsatisfying twist ending. But hey, Silent Hill is at least a third, maybe even a half, of a good movie, which is a lot more than the rest of the flicks on this list can say.
10) Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is, in my opinion, the best of the RE flicks, if only because it actually makes some effort to reference the Resident Evil games. Jill’s in the movie in her goofy RE3 miniskirt outfit! Nemesis is in there too! Also, the movie contains a few scenes that feel like they were torn from an honest-to-goodness zombie movie! Don’t get me wrong, the movie is still totally cheap and shoddy, but at least it’s cheap and shoddy in a recognizably Resident Evil-esque way.
9) Resident Evil (2002)
The original Resident Evil movie is the exact opposite of Resident Evil: Apocalypse — it’s actually a fairly slick, well-assembled movie, but it’s completely heartless and barely resembles its source material. Aside from the multiple accidental Milla Jovovich vagina shots, the movie is just dull.
8) House of the Dead (2003)
House of the Dead is probably Uwe Boll’s best movie, and by “best” I mean, “most amusingly abysmal”. This is really the only Boll movie bad-good enough to stand up to multiple viewings — most are simply too boring to watch more than once.
In particular, the big battle scene near the end of the movie is wonderfully exuberant bit of bad filmmaking — the completely superfluous 360-degree Matrix shots, the constant splicing in of dated House of the Dead video game footage, the complete lack of continuity — it’s Boll’s masterpiece.
7) Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
I barely remember Resident Evil: Afterlife — it kind of blends together with the next movie in the series, Resident Evil: Retribution, in my mind. This was the fourth RE movie, and by this point the series’ overarching storyline is a total useless continuity-laden shmozz. Minor points for a semi-interesting Japanese setting and totally goofy, over-the-top 3D effects.
6) Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
This one is 100% silly action. Retribution takes place in some sort of giant virtual reality training simulation…or something. Basically it’s just an excuse to film a bunch of action scenes on various Hollywood backlot sets. Here’s the suburbia scene! Here’s the rubble-laded WW2 scene! Here’s the Japan scene! You get the idea.
5) Doom (2005)
The Doom movie turned one of the most dumb-fun games of all time into a dark, dreary, dull, D-grade (alliteration!) Aliens clone. Even “The most electrifying man in sports entertainment!” couldn’t lend this one any spark.
The only thing makers of Doom seemed to put any effort into was a scene near the end where things went all first-person like the games. Unfortunately this scene only served to underline the fact that Doom’s effects were actually less impressive than the visuals of the recently released Doom 3.
4) Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
After the almost passable Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Extinction was a huge letdown. Yeah, a letdown by Resident Evil movie standards. Think about that. Anyways, as I recall the majority of this movie involved wandering around a large abandoned desert, which isn’t really the ideal location for a zombie movie. Big, open, bright places with lots of room to escape to aren’t really that scary. Also, this one totally had the least sexy Milla Jovovich outfits, and not a vag-slip in sight.
3) BloodRayne (2005)
Aside from an memorably half-assed and/or drunken performance from Michael Madsen, BloodRayne is just reeeeally dull. Way too self-serious and just competent enough that there’s not much to make fun of. That said, the movie does finish on a high note — for some inexplicable reason the movie ends with a slow-motion highlight reel of it’s incredibly fakey gore effects. Was Boll actually proud of this stuff? Or was he trying to shame his effects guy? We may never know.
2) Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012)
Ugh, this movie. This movie hurt my f–king brain. Its plot is a writhing mass of gobbledygook, and the whole thing is just so loud, and garish and filled with terrible effects and 3D crap. It’s never for a moment even remotely suspenseful or scary. Basically, if you took the bottom-of-the-barrel worst moments of the original Silent Hill and stretched them into an entire movie, you’d have Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. Also, that title — the Word paperclip gives me a confused look and asks if English is my first language every time I type Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. In other news, yes, I’m still using a version of Word from 1999. How did you know?
1) Alone In The Dark (2005)
Here we are — the absolute dirt worst of the Uwe Boll oeuvre (until he was permanently banished to DVD that is). This one features a plot that has absolutely nothing to do with the largely forgotten game series it’s “based” on, an all star, “they were available and needed drug money” cast, including a depressed looking Christian Slater and Tara Reid as an archaeologist and yes, more completely pointless 360-degree Matrix shots! Also, I’m pretty sure every scene was filmed in a single darkened warehouse. This one is every bit as incompetent as House of the Dead, but without any of that movie’s dumb joy and enthusiasm. It’s blatantly obvious everyone involved in Alone In The Dark was just cashing a check.
Well, there you have it, a thorough rundown of perhaps the s–ttiest movie sub-genre there is. Now, time to go thoroughly re-examine my life.