Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Scariest Movie Ever Isn't A Movie At All

How provocative is that headline? Seriously, I think we need to dramatically pause for a moment and take in that headline. Man, that's definitive and quite possibly a bit overstated. But damn, look how bold it is. Let's break it down. "The scariest movie" already that's pretty bold. I didn't say "A Scary Movie", I said "the scariest" so it puts whatever I'm talking about in a category that's pretty elite. A club where you need a special jacket with the words "scariest" written across the back. But as bold as that statement was, it wasn't enough. And that's where the word "ever" came from. Say that word a few times. It echoes doesn't it? EVAAAAAAAAAAR! It terrifies me, that word. Scariest and Ever is like a one two punch. The guy is down and then you kick him to make sure he's dead. And then like you didn't even see it coming, I take a turn with the closer "isn't a movie at all." Damn. So what is it? What is this thing that isn't a movie but is so damn scary? I may not even know myself. This whole post could just be about how ballsy this headline is. That would be pretty bold wouldn't it? To just write paragraph after paragraph about this headline?

Fortunately for you, I'm not going to do that. I actually have a point in this post. But let me first take you back 10 years ago this past February. My birthday is Valentines Day. AAaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh, ain't that sweet? It ain't. But anyway, on my birthday I received a Playstation (pronounced play stay shun - you know like the commercials). I was excited because very soon (in less than a week) I was going to be a father and so my window to blow late nights on stupid video games was quickly closing. That afternoon I ran out and purchased a game titled Resident Evil 2. I really knew nothing about it except I had seen a commercial and it looked cool. I began playing it that afternoon and to make a long story short, I finished the game the night before I went to the hospital for my wife to have our son. It was an incredible game. I remember being in a place about halfway through the game when I had to go down some dark stairs. I couldn't see the bottom, but I could hear something moving around down there. I remember walking around to every doorway trying whatever I could to avoid going down those stairs because I was terrified about what I would see. Now that's a fucking game! When I finished I vowed I would never play that kind of game again because it took too much of me.


I kept that promise for 10 years and a handful of days. On my birthday this year, I received Resident Evil 4 for the Wii. I was excited to get it, but I put it off because I knew what lay before me if I popped it in the machine. A few days ago, I came home from work and found my son playing it with one of his friends. After watching it for a few minutes, I was sucked back in. I have now played it for the past few days and 10 years may have put some more pounds on the belly and a few grays in the hair but I haven't changed one ounce from the guy who played the game 10 years ago. And the worst part is, this game is ten times as fucking scary. Villagers that seem nice at first, yell at me in languages I can't understand and then attack me with random gardening tools. Blind-folded women in Little House On The Prairie skirts come at me with crazy screams and chainsaws. Weird invisible bugs scatter along the ceilings and jump on me to tear my face off. Crazy monks whisper little sayings as they come after me and laugh right before they swing a mace upside my head. It's non-fucking-stop-terror. I don't want to play it anymore because it's too intense, yet I can't stop playing it because it's so engrossing. I keep thinking I've seen it all and I'll stop being scared, but that's when crazy wolves attack me with tentacles bursting out of their back. And it's not like it's a horror movie that ends after two hours. This game goes on and on. It's like a string of sequels where each sequel is better and scarier than the previous.

On second thought, that headline isn't an overstatement at all.

13 comments:

Adam Ross said...

As a former headline writer, I proclaim that an awesome headline.

This post brings back memories of RE2 for me, especially the early stages in the decaying town where zombies are popping out of every corner and your weapons are a pea shooter and an origami unicorn. And you're right, the game really puts you on edge -- I can't imagine taking my wife to the hospital with the fear of a Licker jumping at me from the ceiling.

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I want to play!

dreamrot said...

I always hated the Resident Evil games. Not because I found the subject matter to be repulsive, but because I had trouble with the...wait for it...controls. Isn't that the complaint of EVERYONE who didn't like the games?

"Yeah, seemed like a great game, but the controls were so godawful"

I took a chance on RE4 for the GameCube, and damn if it wasn't worth buying the fucking 'cube for. I fell in love with the game. Everything about it was just perfect. The story, the controls...there weren't any flaws in it.

Burbanked said...

I haven't played video games in years, primarily because of the Not Blow Late Nights On Stupid Video Games factor that you mention, and I pretty much missed the entire Resident Evil revolution. Each time I hear, see or chat with anyone about this game, all I think is "That is TOTALLY the game I want to play!" I'm a tough guy to scare, and I could see myself getting pretty damn immersed in this kind of thing.

Anyone got an older system they'd like to unload?

Evan Derrick said...

Stumbled over here from LAMB. I have to agree, RE4 scared the bejeezus out of me, but it cannot hold a candle, sir, to the bowel-loosening terror of the very first Silent Hill.

I popped that disc into my ancient Playstation a year ago - only a year! - and was shocked that the cruddy graphics didn't diminish the horror, but accentuated it. I simultaneously wanted to play more and run shrieking from the room. It probably didn't help that I only played it after midnight with all the lights off (I'm a masochist, what can I say). When that siren starts wailing...oh, I hate hate hate that game. Which is why I'm going to go play it some more right now.

Love the style on your site...quite the entertaining read.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the games, but I am devoted to the movie series. The first RE movie was great, and I think 2 and 3 have done a reasonably good job of maintaining quality - at least for me.

Marilyn said...

That was me in the last comment.

Foodie said...

Could you bring this in to work so I can check it out?

Piper said...

Marilyn,

I don't remember a lot about the first, but remember not really caring for it much because it seemed to have abandoned the simplicity of the game.

The second one I have only seen snippets of but it want to revisit because I enjoyed what I saw.

I saw the 3rd and didn't care for it at all.

Alan,

This game is very engrossing, if you want to avoid such a thing (and I can't say I blame you) I would steer clear of this.

Evan,

Thanks for props. I played Silent Hill a bit and yes, it scared the absolute shit out of me but I couldn't get into it for some reason or another. But I did so hate the heart pumping that came through in the controller when things got intense.

Piper said...

Do I know you Foodie?

Marilyn said...

Not having ever played the game, I wasn't influenced by it in my enjoyment of the films. I think what I really like about them is Milla Jovovich. She is so damn good as Alice and has so much star quality on screen, she makes the picture probably better than it is.

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