Fear and Loathing in the Dark Descent

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#101 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

Paranormal Activity 2 is my Blair Witch Project.

#102 Posted by ChrisTaran (1639 posts) -

I really hate that "fun" is still so closely tied to video games. There have been and will be more and more great video game experiences where the word "fun" should never really be a thing.

Some of my favorite games of all time I would never label as "fun," but I still loved the experience it gave me.

#103 Posted by Demoskinos (15010 posts) -

I've played a total of 15 minutes of the game. I haven't been brave enough to go on. I don't know what it is about what they do but the tension works so well.

#104 Posted by Orbitz89 (229 posts) -

Maybe I need to watch Communion from the beginning to get some context for that scene.. Because right now I'm incredibly disappointed with what you linked to. I was expecting something scary and what I got was confusion.

Oh and the Alien slithering back behind the door literally had me chuckling.

Nonetheless, Great Article Pat.

#105 Posted by Cogzwell (249 posts) -

When A machine for pigs comes out, I'll buy it, play 2 hours of it, then NEVER. TOUCH. IT. EVER. AGAIN.

but bless frictional games and what they do.

#106 Posted by SockemJetpack (408 posts) -

Excellent stuff. I was waiting for this story and I didn't know what exactly to expect but I'm glad it was more than an Amnesia retrospective. It's interesting what different people find scary. Blair Witch never frightened me at all but in turn the computer generated face of Cain from Robocop 2 left me sleepless. Particularly this scene:

I mean just look at the thumbnail! That's friggin' terrifying to a young kid. I remember walking into a living room where my cousins were watching the movie after we rented it. I had seen it the night before and couldn't handle seeing it again. I covered my ears and closed my eyes and inched along to wall to wherever I was going.

Getting back to the meat of the article: I never considered that a love of simulated horror could stem from the guilt of having a lack of horror in ones life. It's an interesting concept. It reminds me of doing a 30 hour fast when I was in high school to raise money for starving people. You subject yourself to a taste of what they go through in order to keep yourself humble.

Keep up the great work.

#108 Posted by Thoseposers (788 posts) -

I'd have to disagree with you

#109 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

I lived right next to Burkittsville, MD, where the Blairwitch was filmed. And I couldn't stop hearing non stop about these indy film makers making a big production. So I never had that fear that the Blairwitch was real. Kinda wish I did. That would have been awesome.

#110 Posted by Mumrik (1080 posts) -

“What the fuck am I doing? This isn’t fun. No one is forcing me to do this.”

I feel like that too Patrick. That's why I don't play horror games.

#111 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Really interesting article, Patrick.

I must admit horror games aren't for me; I couldn't even finish Dead Space

#112 Posted by Darkstorn (465 posts) -

@fox01313 said:

Still one of my favorite quotes from him on Dead & Buried special dvd:

"Fear sensitizes you, your perceptions, your thoughts, you entire awareness and so if you frighten an audience they become momentarily more sensitive to everything in the film and the story, and that's one of the things that make Lovecraft's stories have such impact. Lovecraft simply isn't a catalogue of slimy frog monsters, and he's very good at creating an atmosphere of building fear, and by the time Lovecraft gets you good & scared that's when he starts to spring some of his cosmic ideas about the nature of the universe, the place of man in the universe, is there a god, is there not, the scale of the universe; and I guess his core idea is that out there somewhere things are different than they are over here. If you hit someone with this on the first page it won't mean much, but once you get the person frightened they become sensitized to anything and specifically they become sensitized to the story they're reading, the book they're seeing.

-Dan O'Bannon (Dead & Buried featurette on creating fear)

Excellent quote, Dan O'Bannon is a genius.

I'm also a big fan of Dead & Buried. It has an impressive atmosphere and was filmed in my hometown up in Northern California.

#113 Posted by Mathey (442 posts) -

Great stuff, Patrick!

I think there's something really interesting going on here and in the article about Spec Ops: The Line when it comes to the player's complicity in what happens in games. Even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion you're forced into by the narrowing list of options given by the designer, there's still something powerful about being the one who initiates the action.

Regarding Scary Moobies: Ever see The Changeling? Its an old, somewhat obscure George C. Scott ghost story from late '70s or early '80s. It sort of blindsided me when I saw it, and its also interesting as a clear source of inspiration for lots of later stuff (esp. Ringu).

Online
#114 Posted by InfamousBIG (3212 posts) -

@SockemJetpack said:

Excellent stuff. I was waiting for this story and I didn't know what exactly to expect but I'm glad it was more than an Amnesia retrospective. It's interesting what different people find scary. Blair Witch never frightened me at all but in turn the computer generated face of Cain from Robocop 2 left me sleepless. Particularly this scene:

I mean just look at the thumbnail! That's friggin' terrifying to a young kid. I remember walking into a living room where my cousins were watching the movie after we rented it. I had seen it the night before and couldn't handle seeing it again. I covered my ears and closed my eyes and inched along to wall to wherever I was going.

Getting back to the meat of the article: I never considered that a love of simulated horror could stem from the guilt of having a lack of horror in ones life. It's an interesting concept. It reminds me of doing a 30 hour fast when I was in high school to raise money for starving people. You subject yourself to a taste of what they go through in order to keep yourself humble.

Keep up the great work.

Fucking Metal Gear Solid 2. Campbell's fucked up digital face in that shit. Though I wasn't a young kid at the time it kind of disturbed me. It was just so unexpected. I wasn't really scared, per se, just disturbed.

Just reminded me of that for the first time in a long time. Think I repressed that.

#115 Posted by superfunhappygun (87 posts) -

Amnesia is only scary because it makes you feel weak and powerless in everything you do. Come on, you gather a crowbar but can't even use it as a means of defending yourself? If I were in the same situation I'd run and hide from the monsters too but at least I'd arm myself just in case. I know it's gonna sound silly but that was the turning point for me, the point where I thought that it wasn't "realistic", where I realised I was just playing a game, which completely pulled me out of the experience. It was the point where Amnesia stopped being scary for me.

#116 Posted by Y2Ken (1178 posts) -

@damnable_fiend: I hate being in water. A lot. Oh god what's down there.

Fantastic article Patrick, thanks again for this.

#117 Posted by fox01313 (5079 posts) -

@sixpin:

Agreed about the mythos on the Blair Witch movie being quite rustic & interesting even if the first film has it's polarizing views to it (either really liking it or not). Probably why I liked the sequel better, took the mythology of the Blair Witch & made a normal film about it which turns out a lot better.

#118 Posted by Creamypies (4075 posts) -

Fantastic write-up Trick, thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I agree with you about the roller coaster ride comparison, it's the reason I boot up Slender once a day to try and get those 8 pages KNOWING that I'm gonna fail and get scared shitless in the process... but I still choose to do it.

You played anymore Slender, Patrick? They recently put out a new update, adding fog and other stuff.

#119 Edited by avantegardener (1130 posts) -

Good read, as someone who is a perennial scaredy cat with the horror as genre as a whole, I am fascinated with some peoples ability to shrug it off or 'enjoy' the experience of being scared. Mind you, I'm still always interested in the genre, but I usually pursue it through a safe medium like reading. I own Amnesia, it is never getting played :)

#120 Posted by CJduke (793 posts) -

Great article Patrick! Me and a friend just started playing Amnesia and I'm pretty sure I said "this isn't fun" like 3 times, but continued to play. I think the reason i continue to play even though I'm scared shitless is because its an awesome sense of accomplishment to beat a game so scary.

#121 Posted by buzz_clik (6989 posts) -

I'm not saying they're wrong for feeling the way they do, but I don't understand people who are horror movie devotees that still get scared by the genre. And I don't mean that in a jaded, "I'm too cool to be scared" kinda way; I'm just always too busy looking at the process behind making the scares to fully invest myself in what's happening.

But that's not to say I don't get creeped out or even (jump) scared by games - in fact, while movies never do it for me anymore, games totally can. But I never have that crippling sense that I'm fucked that the true "horror" feeling of my childhood is supposed to evoke. Even while playing something like Dead Space and having that tense sense of dread I know in the back of my mind that I'm having my chain jerked, and that just makes me more chuffed than afraid.

But Patrick's self-analysis on his relationship with fear, and how it dovetails into his sadness over his father, is a really interesting insight. I always like reading Patrick's stuff, but this was a really poignant and mature moment that really got me.

Moderator
#122 Posted by DukesT3 (1928 posts) -

The ending of Blair Witch still gives me goosebumps... fuuuuuuuck.

#123 Posted by cthomer5000 (817 posts) -

Great article. I'm a definite wuss with horror games, even Dead Space (which i was playing with headphones on, in the dark) eventually creeped me out enough that i quit it halfway through.

It really is the fact that you, the player, have to propel the action.

#124 Posted by thebigJ_A (1004 posts) -

Five hours? I put in at least twice that, easy. Did he miss an area or two?

#125 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -

I hate all of you who "remember this when i was 14"

I was just starting college when that movie came out. Damn i am so fucking old.

#126 Posted by NuDimon (169 posts) -

@aragorn546 said:

I hate all of you who "remember this when i was 14"

I was just starting college when that movie came out. Damn i am so fucking old.

I rember when I was 14 and watched 12 Monkeys at the movies. That was pretty awesome!

Oh and Blair Witch Project is one of the worst horror movies I've ever seen!

#127 Posted by FunExplosions (5407 posts) -

Amnesia isn't scary. It bored me to death and frustrated me with unclear "pixel-hunt-esque" puzzles. I got to the part where you fix the elevator, go down, then I explored that area and couldn't find out what to do where you see a "too-small" hole in the ground. Wasn't worth my time.

#128 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -

@NuDimon: lol no shit, i was 14 for 12 monkeys and remember going to see it in theaters with my dad. What a great and formative movie for me during those years

#129 Posted by xbob42 (523 posts) -

That Blair Witch video STILL gets me all tense. I think it has instilled a permanent fear within me. You were a little older than me when you saw it, Patrick, by about 2 years. As a film you know is fake, it's not very scary at all... but as something a 12-year old thinks (Well, in my case hoped) was real, it was fucking terrifying.

#130 Posted by falling_fast (2243 posts) -

@gaminghooligan said:

@Christoffer said:

The reason I'm scared playing Amnesia is the thought of not feeling anything. I have a terrible habit of debunking a game into numbers, triggers, vision cones and other exploitable coding flaws, in my head. The last game that made me feel tense was a haunted house moment in Vampire: the Masquerade.

But yeah, I'm well aware I'm acting tough now and that I should shut up until I play Amnesia.

the bedroom on the second floor. scariest shit at the time

the ghost dropped an elevator on me :/

#131 Posted by mrburger (100 posts) -

Good words.

#132 Posted by GozerTC (458 posts) -

OKay you guys think you feel old when Patrick was 14 at Blair Witch? Try being the Movie Theater Manager to all you young Patricks watching the bloody thing! :p

Seriously though the movie never did a thing to me because I saw it all cut up everywhere. (I.e walking in to check on the theater every 15 minutes or so.)

That said I can't play scary games. Hell I barely get around AvP because of the jump scares. (Even when I'm the alien!) There's something about "controlling" what's going on that does it to me I know.

#133 Posted by sixpin (1297 posts) -

@fox01313: I never saw the second one. I might check it out if I get the chance. Sounds interesting.

#134 Posted by c_rakestraw (853 posts) -

I got a hold of Amnesia in the last Humble Bundle and so I feel like I have to play it now. Really not looking forward to it because I just know I'm going to lose days worth of sleep.

#135 Posted by EvilTwin (3324 posts) -

I'm with you Patrick, Blair Witch Project ruined me for a month at least.

#136 Posted by Razputin (117 posts) -

Great write-up, Patrick. Worth the wait!

#137 Posted by dropabombonit (1492 posts) -

Great article. I played Silent Hill 2 when I was 11 and that scared the shit out of me. I played it again recently and even a decade later, the atmosphere still gets to me. Can't play any SH game for more than 2 hours. Although I can listen to the music outside of the game and appreciate the craft

#138 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

My mum told me the Blair Witch Project was actually real and after I watched it (I might've been about 14?) I couldn't sleep for two weeks. Scariest film I watched as a kid. : {

#139 Posted by fox01313 (5079 posts) -

@sixpin: Bought the boxed dvd set a while back & glad that it had this sequel as well as all the Blair Witch PC games (which weren't all that great when they came out but haven't played them much since so might have to take another look at them.

trailer for sequel:

#140 Posted by Wesker411 (75 posts) -

Well this article got me itchin to play the game and I've had it sitting in my Steam library for awhile. So I began my descent last night. So far so good(?), the game definitely creates a lot of tension. Made into the wine cellar and encountered the shadow for the first time. If that were an rl situation I would shit my pants, literally. It's bad enough in a game, lol.

#141 Posted by sixpin (1297 posts) -

@fox01313: Haha, that's Jeffery Donovan from Burn Notice as the male lead. Now I have to see this. That dude is great at playing a smug jerk, plus I love seeing actors in early roles.

#142 Posted by benjo_t (152 posts) -

Awesome article, it really communicates the "pull" of these types of game. Also, my condolences, Patrick.

#143 Posted by BatMat (14 posts) -

A great piece of writing. I can really relate to the first half of your article.

#144 Posted by ThePantheon (742 posts) -

Scoops, sorry to hear about your loss. And a great article man. You have friends in us here.

#145 Posted by Astiaks (87 posts) -

@fox01313 said:

...the Blair Witch PC games (which weren't all that great when they came out but haven't played them much since so might have to take another look at them.

Do so by all means. They're great games!

#146 Posted by natetodamax (19212 posts) -

Great article, Patrick. I think I'm slowly becoming a horror fan myself. I recently watched all three Paranormal Activity movies and really enjoyed them (well, the third wasn't that great). Before that, I had avoided pretty much everything that had anything to do with horror. It just wasn't something that I was in to. Playing Condemned: Criminal Origins and both Dead Space games has really gotten me interested in the genre.

#147 Posted by dungbootle (2458 posts) -

Good article, Patrick.

#148 Posted by Catlicker (184 posts) -

Sad to hear about your father, Patrick.

#149 Posted by KO4U (10 posts) -

Real men can't wait to crap their pants! Just finished Silent Hill 2 the other night (really, for the first time) and freak'n loved the dead stank of those corridors. Where's the scary at?

#150 Edited by vech24 (20 posts) -

I'm 31 so I was in college when Blair Witch came out. For me, it was the opposite of scary. You'll find a lot of things that entertained/scared you in your youth don't hold up well. Aside from masturbation and video games of course.

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