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The Worst Movies Based On Video Games

By Anna Weston 

Here’s a good rule of thumb; a thing, based on another thing in a different format, is not going to be as good as the original thing. A movie based on a book is rarely as good as the book. A book based on a movie is absolutely always worse than the movie. A “bacon” sandwich, where the “bacon” is based on vegetable matter rather than pork, is a culinary downgrade. And a movie based on a video game is not only unlikely to be as good as the game, but will almost always be horrible.

Many games are so movie-like these days anyway, that there seems little point taking out the interactive element and turning them into a linear experience. On the other hand, the games industry makes so much money, and has such a huge customer base, that it makes sound financial sense. There are plenty of online games being played right now that are based on movies – at Bingo.com, for example, various games on the site have names like The Dark Knight and Creature From The Black Lagoon, and they tend to be hugely popular. So what are the best – and worst – game-to-movie transitions of recent years?

The Bad

Silent Hill

Silent Hill (2006) had one job to do, and that was to recreate the spine-chilling atmosphere of the original games. It succeeded amazingly well, in part because director Christophe Gans was a massive fan, and spent 5 years persuading Konami to let him make the movie. It’s a little too long, but fans of the game will appreciate the love that’s gone into it.


Alone In The Dark

Alone In The Dark (2005) also had one job to do; to not be the worst film ever made. It failed, and the fact that it had almost nothing to do with the (groundbreaking) game was only one of the reasons. Tara Reid was in it as well. If you’re a fan of Norwegian Symphonic Black Metal you might like the soundtrack.


Resident Evil

Resident Evil (2002) was much better, though naturally nowhere near as good as (a) the game, or (b) any decent zombie movie not based on a game. Semi-interestingly, later versions of the game franchise incorporated elements from the movie (which was based on the first two games). It is, to be fair, an entertaining hour-and-a-half, though the sequels were increasingly wearisome.

The Acceptable


Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider (2001) was rescued – just – by Angelina Jolie, ideal for the part of much-loved character Lara Croft. It’s a fairly lumpen movie for fans of the game, for the usual reason that they’re used to running down corridors and shooting things, rather than sitting and watching; but it did surprisingly well at the box office.


Prince Of Persia

Prince Of Persia (2010) allows us to finish on a high note. Based on a game franchise that’s been running for 25 years, it’s a fun action movie that incorporates just enough of the feel of the game to satisfy fans. In terms of both critical reception and box office performance, it’s about as good as movies based on games get – so far. Don’t forget there’s an Angry Birds movie in the pipeline…

Are there any truly good movies based off video games? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below!

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The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.