[Top 15] Horror Movies Based On Video Games (Ranked Good To Best)

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Immerse yourself in these 15 Horror Movies Based on Video Games.

More often than not, video game adaptations in movies fall short of understanding what makes its source material good and complex in the first place. As a result, we are frequently presented with underwhelming works like Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark or any of the later Resident Evil films directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.

This list, however, showcases the 15 rare adaptations that actually acknowledge their source material’s strengths. From live-action adaptations to even animations, this list will provide you with a variety of fun and terrifying adaptations of your favorite video games.

15. House of the Dead (2003)

A group of college students travels to a mysterious island to attend a rave, which is soon taken over by bloodthirsty zombies.

Okay, perhaps it wasn't the best idea to start the list with Uwe Boll's House of the Dead, but let me just say that just for its pure craziness, this film is worth seeing at least once. This is a type of film that’s so bad it's good, featuring a cheesy zombie plot in a cheesy setting full of undead.

While it also has some incredibly questionable creative choices like including gameplay scenes from its source material, other than to serve as a transition, it also has some genuinely entertaining moments. Honestly, its 10-minute slow-motion sequence should be enough of a reason for you to watch this film, no drinks needed.

14. Dead Space: Downfall (2008)

The colony of USG Ishimura finds themselves slowly going insane and starting to kill each other after discovering the Red Marker. The horror is soon intensified when the necropmorphs, a group of hideous creatures, show up.

Unlike other adaptations, Dead Space: Downfall serves as a companion piece for the incredible Dead Space game. Adapting the creepy setting of USG Ishimura into a 2D animation showcase filled with grotesque creatures and more blood than has ever been seen in a cartoon.

Although its story may not be the most original out there, since it strongly borrows from other military crew in space movies like Aliens, it's still a good time and pushes the envelope of what can be shown in a typical animated movie.

13. Dreadout (2019)

Six friends visit an abandoned apartment to gain fame only to accidentally open a portal to a world where evil spirits reside.

The game Dreadout was one of the many games that gained massive traction within the youtube space back in the early 2010s, and this movie adaptation aims to bring Asian horror back into the mainstream. The result is a decent flick that has tons of potential, not taken. 

With some shoddy CGI, unlikeable characters, and a story that only exists because of plot holes, the film can be a bit of a tough watch at times. Despite its shortcomings, however, Dreadout still manages to stand out from many of the other adaptations out there, and it’s one that you should seek out if you have the chance.

12. Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015)

The film follows Chase Carter, a reporter in search of his big break, and Jordan, his camerawoman, who find themselves in a precarious predicament after victims of a previous zombie outbreak turn. The two now have to make an effort to survive while uncovering more about the pandemic.

Dead Rising: Watchtower aims to adapt the silly and wacky journalistic adventure of its game counterpart. With government conspiracy aplenty, tons of creative zombie-killing weapons, and hilarious humor that closely resembles what is seen in the games.

Every scene in Watchtower is such a treat to watch for video game aficionados since it creatively integrates many of the game's elements into its narrative, such as the time limit, journalistic element, and psychopaths.

11. Ao Oni Ver 2.0 (2015)

A group of friends goes into a mansion that is rumored to have monsters inside and what they find will change their lives forever.

Ao Oni Ver 2.0 is one of the more obscure adaptations out there, though don’t underestimate it because this here packs in one hell of a time. It acts as a 2.0 version of its forerunner, an adaptation that, to be honest, is not even watchable. Yet as an update, it does an incredible service not only as a reboot of sorts but as an adaptation.

Characters that are based on the games, finally resemble their game counterpart and the ever-so-creepy Ao Oni are more brutal than ever, giving some pretty intense scenes that border on the uncanny. Make sure to skip the first Ao Oni film and jump ahead on this bizarre yet fun adaptation.

10. Ao Oni The Animation (2017)

Five students are trying to find out more about one of their hometown's oldest folklore that is now made into a video game, Ao Oni. Things become darker as they draw closer to the truth.

At first glance, Ao Oni The Animation appears to be a horrendously produced CG film that feels like a complete downgrade to its live-action predecessor, however, if you can get past its shoddy animation, you’ll find a surprisingly well put animated horror film with an incredible atmosphere.

Featuring an even more bizarre story that’s unmatched by others on the list and many uncanny and creepy scenes with the titular Ao Oni creature than you can count. The Ao Oni franchise is one forgotten gem that you should try even if you may not like the games.

9. Resident Evil (2002)

A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.

One of the many Resident Evil films by Paul W.S. Anderson, this first adaptation attempts to adapt the grisly story of the original Resident Evil game while using a different approach to its storytelling. The result is an action-packed thrill ride with plenty of kick-ass scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The film never shies away from numerous great set pieces, such as the laser scene that RE 4 then later mimics and the fierce dog-kicking scene with Milla Jovovich's Alice, making up for any scares it may lack in that regard.

8. Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)

Clair Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy’s survival skills are once again put to the test, after a zombie outbreak occurs in an airport. They soon discover that this incident may be part of a larger conspiracy.

The first CGI film entries in the franchise, Degeneration does what other RE film doesn’t: it builds on what the games have established and continues to present a unique story set in the same universe. It brings Claire and Leon back together for a new adventure full of numerous shambling zombies all rendered in gorgeous CGI.

Despite its occasionally odd animation, particularly with Leon's stiff movement and an almost unrecognizable face and attitude, as well as the movie's greater emphasis on action, it is still a film that is deserving of the Resident Evil moniker and one that you should watch.

7. Resident Evil: Damnation (2012)

Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) sneaks into a former Soviet state to investigate rumors that bio-organic weapons are being used in their civil war. He is immediately ordered to evacuate but ignores the order to stop the weapons from being used.

Resident Evil: Degeneration is a solid transitional entry from games to movies for the franchise, and this sequel took everything that made its predecessor great and then some. Delivering an entry that’s full of more references than you can count and many insane but memorable set pieces to witness.

Sure it may have taken the franchise into the action territory even further, however, its entertainment value can’t be understated. You should check this out if you’re a fan of the franchise.

6. Doom (2005)

A team of space Marines is sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines.

Granted, it may have diverged greatly from the games that served as its inspiration, but that doesn't mean that 2005's Doom is a particularly strong adaptation. Bringing a likable cast of military characters—including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson—along with a lot of action and atmospheric horror.

Along with the ever-so-awesome “first-person shooting scene” that serves as a wink to games, 2004’s Doom will keep you glued to your seat from beginning to end. 

5. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Yet another Resident Evil film on the list, Alice wakes up in the Raccoon City hospital after the area has been overrun by zombies, and must now make it out of the city before a nuclear bomb is dropped.

While the first RE movie may have placed its horror in a strict claustrophobic mansion that’s heavily reminiscent of the Spencer Mansion of the video games, Apocalypse brings not only the horror but as well a heavy dose of action to the streets of Racoon City. And the end product is a heart-pumping action romp filled with many references that will delight the fans of the games.

This is the adaptation where we see the best interpretation of Jill and Nemesis on the big screen, two excellent and iconic characters that look like they were ripped straight out of the video games. And the film’s protagonist Alice is even more badass than before, resulting in one of the most highly entertaining adaptations yet.

4. Fatal Frame (2014)

A student at a conservative all-girls school tries to unravel the connection between a series of deaths and what appears to be a cursed photograph.

Fatal Frame is another obscure adaptation from Asia, and it’s one hidden gem that you should definitely check out, thanks to its touching story that places its horror within the confines of a single location, along with featuring a rootable cast of characters with surprising amounts of subversion.

Although it barely resembles the games that inspired it, Fatal Frame nonetheless never fails to provide some genuinely eerie moments, heightened by incredible direction work, as well as being able to successfully ooze dreamlike visuals that complement well to the film’s atmosphere. This is a curse worth spreading.

3. Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City (2021)

Set in 1998, this origin story explores the secrets of the mysterious Spencer Mansion and the ill-fated Raccoon City as it follows the story of Clair and Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy and the other STARS members.

While Paul W.S. Anderson’s RE films proved themselves to be a success, the longer the movie’s mythology grows, its quality weakens with it, especially with The Final Chapter being one of the worst movie game adaptations to date yet. Hence, a reboot of the series was necessary, and who better to helm it than a fan of the franchise?

What we got is the best live-action RE adaptation to date. It’s a celebration of the two remakes of the first two games, combining two stories to create a larger narrative that follows many of the beloved characters of the games. The film is fan service aplenty and has a genuinely moody atmosphere that manages to capture the game that it's based on so well. 

If you could only watch one Resident Evil film, then this is definitely it.

2. Silent Hill (2006)

Rose (Radha Mitchell) takes her daughter to a town called Silent Hill, a quiet little town that seems to hold a much darker and sinister secret. However, after crashing, her daughter disappears, and now it's up to Rose to find her in this fog-drenched town.

Silent Hill is not only the king of horror video game movie adaptation but as well as adaptations in general. This film is not like any other, it isn’t just a film that you watch, it is an experience. And the movie does a wonderful job of conveying this essence from its source material.

The incredible music never fails to evoke a sense of loneliness, making for a perfect setup for its stellar atmosphere, and the iconic monsters from the video games make a jump into the big screen, with such a menacing presence that even those who haven’t played the games may still recognize them.

And while it certainly has changes done to the story, it all serves a purpose and that’s to create a bigger, more original theme and message that still feels like it belongs within the rules that the franchise has established.

1. Detention (2019)

In 1962 Taiwan, a group of students join an underground book club hosted by their counselor. One day, the counselor vanishes into thin air, and the student's search for him takes them to a realm dominated by ghosts and spirits.

Detention may not reach the same iconography as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, however, it does have the title of having the best game movie adaptation by far. It’s a film that not only sheds light on the psychological horror of Asia but as well as its dark history, delivering a grounded and gut punch of a film that feels like a bizarre journey.

The film is incredibly moving as it tells a gripping tale that fleshes out the video game's story that inspired it. And many of the scenes ripped straight out of the game never feel forced and feel like they serve an actual purpose to the plot. 

Detention is one sitting that you won’t want to miss.

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From outer space, I've landed here on earth to give you my out of this world recommendations of movies and video games.
Gamer Since: 2011
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Top 3 Favorite Games:Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut, Life is Strange, Resident Evil HD Remaster

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