Hollywood has proved time and time again that the best video games also make the best movies. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best films based on games.
Video and computer games have really jumped to the forefront in the last few years, not only in their own right, but also as the inspiration for many high grossing, blockbuster movies. While the cinema and gaming industries continue the race to see which one can expand their reach the fastest, fans of both games and movies are treated to a seemingly never ending parade of fantastic plots filled with mythical and terrifying creatures out to cause as much damage as possible, unlikely heroes who must make a journey of self discovery, and smooth villains who often play roulette online. With gamers creating a ready made fan base, it is no surprise that Hollywood turned their attention to game lore as the subject matter for movies with readymade widespread appeal. Join us as we take a look at five of the best movies based on games.
Resident Evil Franchise
Without doubt one of the most famous and most loved game to movie transfers has to be the Resident Evil series. The films follow Alice, a woman who wakes to a terrifying present with no memories of who she is, what she does, where she comes from or what she is supposed to do next. During her journey to take down the Umbrella Corporation and the hordes of zombies that now inhabit the earth, her memories gradually return to her. The game was originally released by Japanese company Capcom, in 1996. Just two years later German company, Constantin Film had secured the rights to adapt the game for the silver screen.
With Milla Jovovich on board to play Alice, it was guaranteed to be a success. Sure enough, the Resident Evil film franchise (totaling six feature films) went on to become the highest grossing film series based on a game (until Pokemon dethroned it) and the highest grossing horror film franchise as of 2017.
In DOOM, we step forward into the future. The human race has made it all the way to Mars via a wormhole located beneath the desert in Nevada. However, something has gone terribly wrong. Following a distress call from a doctor at the Mars facility, a group of highly trained Marines are sent to the red planet on a rescue mission. What they find is worse than they ever could have imagined: genetically altered humans have run riot after experiments performed on them by the Union Aerospace Corporation turned them into hugely powerful monsters.
The plot of the game and that of the film differ significantly, and many fans believe that this is the reason why the first film, released in 2005, was such a box office flop. Despite this, there are a number of hardcore fans who just can’t get enough of DOOM. A reboot of the original film, DOOM: Annihilation was released straight to video in 2019.
As a horror film, there’s nothing that Silent Hill doesn’t have. A constantly burning fire beneath the very streets of the town, check. Town completely abandoned because of said fire, check. Ghostly sirens that go off every so often and turn the town into a waking nightmare, big check.
Silent Hill’s journey from game to movie was planned out by Christophe Gans and his team. The original game, released in 1999 was so important to him that he sent a video letter to the game’s developer, Konami, to plead for the rights to turn it into a film. Realising that his creation was safe in the hands of a real fan, Konami consented and the films’ development began in the early 2000s.
The plot follows adoptive parents Rose and Christopher as they try to find out why their daughter, Sharon, cries out in her sleep for a town called Silent Hill. They encounter a dark cult, a dedicated police officer and a number of repulsive and terrifying creatures on their quest for answers.
Originally released in its game form by beleaguered developer Blizzard Entertainment (now Activision Blizzard) in 2004, Warcraft took its sweet time in coming to the silver screen. The project was first announced back in 2006 but only ended up being released in 2016. Thankfully, the wait was not in vain, as fans were treated to mind-blowing animation, incredible acting performances and a storyline close enough to the game’s original plot to satisfy even the most hardcore of fans.
The film follows the tribulations of the Orcs, (a powerful warrior race) whose home planet has been sapped of all its life force by the evil warlock Gul’dan. Seeking greener pastures, Gul’dan opens a portal to Azeroth, the home of the human race. But Gul’dan is not operating alone, he has help from the other side. Naturally, the Orcs and humans clash over rights to the planet and its bounty. Durotan, leader of the Frost Wolf clan, sees the writing on the wall and knows that he must stop Gul’dan destroying another world and potentially their people along with it. Teaming up with some Azeroth natives (Anduin Lothar and his comrades), they attempt to show Gul’dan for what he truly is and save the day.
Mortal Kombat Franchise
The star attraction of many arcade visits back in the 90s, Mortal Kombat has already been available in movie form for many decades. The first film in the franchise was released in 1995, followed by Mortal Kombat: Annihilation in 1997 and most recently the rebooted version released just this year. While there has been much controversy over the casting of the older films, the franchise appears to have redeemed itself very well with the most recent iteration.
In terms of keeping to the plot, the movies do follow the broad strokes well enough. All of the much beloved characters make their appearance in turn as we root for the team from Earthrealm to make their mark in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Fans were left wanting more as the most recent film ended on something of a cliffhanger. Will the sequel to the reboot stay true to the game as well? We will have to wait and see.