When done right, video games can be a perfect delivery system for terror. All the ways movies have learned to scare us over the years work just as well in the form of a game — frightening sounds, quick flashes of movement, jump scares. But a game can take things to the next level because of the medium’s inherently interactive nature. When a horror game is firing on all cylinders, you aren’t just watching scary things happen to somebody on the screen…you feel as if you’re actually there, in the middle of it. The original Dead Space is one of the most effective horror games of all time, and it turns out it counts one legendary director amongst its fans: John Carpenter.
Carpenter knows a thing or two about horror, having brought us genre classics such as The Thing, Halloween, and Escape From New York. Speaking to Game Informer, the director opened up about his love of Dead Space:
I maintain that Dead Space would just make a great movie because you have these people coming onto an abandoned, shut-down space ship and they have to start it up and something’s on board. It’s just great stuff.
I would love to make Dead Space [into a film], I’ll tell you that right now. That one is ready-made.
Dead Space is a game that wears its influences on its sleeve, taking its cues from sci-fi movies such as Alien and Event Horizon. It follows engineer Isaac Clarke, part of a team sent to investigate a distress signal from a massive mining vessel. Once aboard, Clarke is soon separated from the others and must fight his way through a ship full of horrifying creatures while trying to learn how this all happened and how to escape.
Of all the video games people have attempted to make into a movie, Dead Space should theoretically be one of the easiest to adapt. So far, however, it hasn’t happened. Hey, Electronic Arts: somebody give John Carpenter a call already!