Friday, August 28, 2015

Who needs comfort zones

I am not a fan of the horror movie genre. That goes double for slasher pics. Watching actors in their thirties playing college kids have awkward sex and then be killed by the monster of the moment never really interested me. More traditional horror will sometimes sneak in, either on a whim or because I did not know that the movie was going to be pants shittingly terrifying (I am looking at you, Event Horizon, you were supposed to be sci-fi). Like everyone else in the world I saw The Blair Witch Project in the theater and I think the first Hellraiser was partially watched on video.

Oh, in college my dorm all sat down together to watch Candyman. Twenty odd dudes all trying to go to sleep with the lights on.

Horror games, on the other hand, are a precious resource that are to be savored. No game will ever frighten me as much as Fatal Frame 2 or Silent Hill 2 but I am always looking for the next best thing. PT was a damn fine experience that had me glancing over my shoulder. Amnesia (this first one) left me numb and I cannot wait for Soma in September. Outlast, on the other hand, was weak in that in relied on gore instead of mood. No one needs to see a rusty circular blade approaching their exposed genitals.

No one.

Until Dawn is an odd mix. It is a teenage slasher movie game in every sense of the word. The characters couldn't fit more snugly into their tropes if the game was subtitled That Cabin in the Woods 2. They are all annoying on some degree with two of the girls being be bitchy to the point that I could not wait for something to jump out and cut them to pieces. Then I realized the power I had: this is a game that revels in its choices. I hate Emily so I am going to try to engineer her death.

An excellent idea, only Emily and her wishy washy boyfriend wander off into the woods on their own (yeah!) and are then ignored by the game for the next hour and a half (boo!). In the mean time nothing happened. No mood was built, there were a few cheap jump scares, and I got bored. At the two and a half hour mark, long after a bad horror movie would have been over, something finally happened.

The pacing here is not good. If it weren't for the psychiatrist interviews at the beginning of each chapter I might have given up. These interviews are so incredible that I could play nothing but them and be satisfied. Peter Stormare, who played the devil himself in Constantine, is perfect.

And by perfect I mean he makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I hope the reset of the game can catch up.

No comments:

Post a Comment