RANT: a ‘certain’ horror franchise is becoming a VR video game..

warrenisweird-rantChances are, you’re probably never heard of the company that calls itself “VRwerx” – and that’s okay – because until the other day; neither had I. According to their LinkedIn page, VRwerx is a “premiere innovative” Virtual Reality game developer, and distribution company who primarily focus their time on delivering high quality Virtual Reality entertainment to a global audience. This basically means that this company works to make Virtual Reality video games and sell them to the largest group they possibly can, which – speaking as a gamer – I think is really cool! naturally, it’d come as no surprise that their games specialize in working hand in hand with tools like The Oculus Rift and other Virtual Reality machines. One thing I think that would work really well with this type of gaming is horror: think about it. You could essentially be in that world; not just being scared of what you see on screen [as if you’re watching a movie], but actually feeling like you’re in that specific horror scene. Imagine wearing The Oculus Rift, and finding yourself strapped into a Reverse Bear Trap from the SAW franchise? That’d be fucking terrifying! But why am I talking about Virtual Reality video gaming on a horror blog that generally talks horror movies? Let’s rewind for a second..

Not even five seconds ago I mentioned that I’d love to see horror come to Virtual Reality, I think it’d be super effective if done correctly, and that it could really boost a franchise hit the “next level”. [even for me – that was a bad pun..] It’s looking like I spoke too soon though, because one such horror franchise revealed a day or two ago that we’re getting a VR version of it.. and that franchise is none other than.. Paranormal Activity.

I know Keanu, I’m not happy about it either..

I know, I know; like Keanu Reeves, I’m a little skeptical about the thoughts around this. I’m not a big fan of Paranormal Activity as it is, and I’m beyond tired of supernatural movies..let alone shaky cameras. But, as it turns out, a Paranormal Activity VR video game is planned to be released for all major head-mounted displays including: The HTC Vive, Sony’s Project Morpheus, The Oculus Rift; PC; mobile; and even home video game consoles – such as The Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Although there’s no concept details of the game yet, Russell Naftal, The Co-Managing Partner of VRwerx says “Paranormal Activity is the perfect property for VRwerx. This franchise represents a huge audience that loves visceral and unbridled terror, which we intend to intensify through the incredible immersion that only virtual reality can enable. Our goal is for our Paranormal Activity VR video game to not only be the scariest game you’ve ever played, but the scariest experience you’ve ever had!”

That’s quite the claim, but if done correctly – it could be just as terrifying as they seem to say it will be. Earlier this year, another Virtual Reality game was demo-ed called Catatonic: A VR Experience. To add to the scary atmosphere, players were actually strapped to a wheelchair while wearing a Virtual Reality head-mount; which had them “wheeling” through the halls of an abandoned asylum! If VRwerx is right about one thing; it’s that with Virtual Reality, it’s all about the atmosphere and in depth immersion, which can open up the mind to more frightening scenarios.. where you actually experience what you’re playing.

contrary to belief: this is not a screenshot from the upcoming game.

I guess I’m just worried that it won’t live up to the expectations, and the strong claims of VRwerx. I’m already not a huge fan of Paranormal Activity, which sparked this “rant”; but making it into a Virtual Reality video game just concerns me more-so. As I said though, if it’s done right – this is going to be great; even surpassing the movies with their scare tactics. [which, in my opinion, isn’t that difficult] While we’re on the topic of everyone’s favorite ghost stories; if you weren’t already aware, there is a sixth Paranormal Activity film in production, [groan] subtitled “The Ghost Dimension, and it’s currently set for an October 23rd release. Chances are, I’m not going to be seeing it, only because I’m just tired of shaky cameras, ghosts and loud/annoying jump scares.

So the real question is: how do you feel about a Paranormal Activity video game? Even with Virtual Reality, is it going to be the next big thing or is it time to put the PA ghost[s] to rest for good? Also, if you could choose one horror film to make into a Virtual Reality video game, what game would that be and why? Let me know in a comment or two! If you found yourself to enjoy this piece of writing, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links and pictures that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps a ton, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!


film study: classic film[s] VS their remake counterparts

As a self-proclaimed ‘movie nerd’, It’s no surprise that I get [even a little bit] offended when a movie I love ends up getting itself a remake. the word “remake” when it comes to film generally translates as “a newer version of an older film”. and while I have been known to like some remakes, [more on this later] a lot of the time – they’re just plain terrible; and not in a “so bad, it’s good” kind of way. Things like this just bother me. I often talk about how Hollywood is out of ideas, and things like this just further prove my point [there really is no originality anymore: so they “borrow” old films and put a small change in it, so they can call it “a new imagining” ugh..] The worst offenders in this are foreign films. From the classic revenge film Oldboy getting an “American-ized” reboot last year [when the original was only 10 years old too!] to the latest talks of Audition getting it’s own “American version”. [I know, I don’t like it either..]

[couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Englund!]

As I mentioned above, sometimes the remake is considered ‘better’ than the original film – as rare as this may sound, it does happen. An excellent example of this is the recent Evil Dead remake. For those that don’t know, The Evil Dead [1981] is one of my favorite films ever. When I first heard of a remake being made of it, I got scared.. and a little angry – I mean, the original is a cult classic! The trailers looked [at most] ‘somewhat adequate’ in my eyes, but decided to give it a chance; the selling point to me was when even Bruce Campbell said that he was helping produce this remake, and that he is proud of the final product. I left that cinema in awe of what I just saw; the visuals just blew my mind, and knowing that they avoided using CGI as much as possible – I gotta say, it was not at all what I expected [I praise the hell out of this remake: not to mention my love for Jane Levy] not like the atrocious 2010 Nightmare On Elm Street reboot: I won’t even begin to describe my dislike for that ‘film’. that remake deserves an entire post dedicated to how bad it was. seriously. I understand the ‘darker tone’ they were going for, and I love Jackie Earle Haley [in no way was this bomb of a film his fault], but let’s face the facts: 2010 Freddy looked like a fucking wet fish gasping for air. [see the comparison between the two below!]

I can’t be the only one who prefers Englund‘s Freddy..right?

Ultimately, I can’t stop film makers from making remakes/reboots/whatever you want me to call them – as Hollywood seems to stand right now, it’s not easy to come up with something original anymore [until someone right out claims the writers stole their idea: just look at what happened with Men In Black 3!] So now I turn to you – the reader[s] – how do you feel about movie remakes? are they worthwhile, or just an originality killer? Leave me a comment below with your favorite [and least favorite] movie remake. Just because I used horror films as my choices does not mean you have to as well. In the end, a remake is a remake – whether or not it’s good, is left to the audience.