Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Last week I read an article where Adam Winguard, the director of the disaster that is Netflix’s adaptation of the Death Note franchise, had to quit Twitter because he was receiving so much hate mail and even death threats over his adaptation. And yesterday, the admins of a YouTube channel dedicated to reviewing and discussing anime and manga received death threats for posting a positive review of the movie.

Let that sink in for a moment. A whole bunch of people are sending people hate mail and threatening to kill them over the Internet for either making or liking what many consider a bad movie. And I’d bet one of my anime figurines the majority of these angry people are fans of the Death Note anime and manga who are incensed that the director cast white actors in the movie and the numerous changes from the source material, as well as just making a really bad film, or that anyone would like the film.

Now, all three complaints are legitimate: the casting of white actors as what were originally non-white characters is a serious problem that Hollywood and the public are continuing to grapple with even now. The many changes from the source material were not only unnecessary, but actually made the film more of a mess than a wonder. And it was a really bad film (check my review here for my own thoughts on the subject).

But there is absolutely no excuse or reason–ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE OR REASON–to send hate mail or threaten someone’s life. Especially not for their creative work, no matter what decisions they make or the quality of it. And those who think nothing of doing it have some serious issues that need addressing.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time fans of a franchise or a character or something along those lines have gone a little bonkers. I was ranting about this issue of fans going crazy back in 2013, when people were leaving intentionally bad reviews of Charlaine Harris’s last Sookie Stackhouse book because it was the last book, and threatening harm to themselves and others if their favorite couples didn’t end up together (and possibly followed through after a copy leaked in Germany). Later that year, people were sending tons of mail to Warner Bros. and trying to get the White House to intervene in the casting of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie (not sure what they expected to happen with that one).

Seriously, was this worth the hate campaign? I actually enjoyed the movie.

Since then we’ve seen negative reactions to the idea of the Ghostbusters reboot, and then the female-led cast, which was so hateful everyone involved in the movie felt the need to comment and even make a joke about it in the movie. We’ve also seen people react negatively to Captain America becoming an agent of Hydra in the comics, with some people threatening the writers behind this move. One man claiming to be a Marine even said that he would abandon his moral code and become a stone-cold killer because of the change (seriously, did any of these nincompoops think that maybe this was a mind-controlled Cap, or one from another dimension, which apparently is the case?). We’ve probably all seen articles about angry males attacking women online for attempting to be part of the video gaming community and industry. And there are more of these than I’m probably aware of, with this Death Note thing just being the latest.

What’s causing people to become so angry and violent over fictional characters and worlds? Well, it might actually be nothing new. As long as there have been creative works and their creators, there have been people who have gotten passionate about them, sometimes a little too passionate (*cough* John Hinckley Jr. and Ricardo Lopez *cough*). And sometimes people even feel that their love of a property gives them some sort of ownership over said property, and therefore they have a legitimate voice in any decisions over said work. And with the Internet as both means to reach like-minded individuals and platform to voice their vitriol without worry of censure, some of these overly-passionate fans can gather en masse and make their anger heard, warranted or not. Sometimes, a few of them even feel emboldened to make threats of violence.

And I get it. I hated the Death Note movie too. I can think of several ways the Star Wars prequels or some episodes of Doctor Who could’ve been better (I actually nearly threw a shoe at the TV once because I really disliked an episode). And God, was I upset when shows I really liked, such as Dracula or Sleepy Hollow, got canceled. I would have loved to find the people responsible for all these mistakes and given them a piece of my mind.

But therein lies the problem: none of these fans have any actual ownership or say in the decisions revolving around these stories, and at the end of the day, it’s the creators themselves who get to make those decisions. And we should let them. After all, they are spending valuable time and energy to bring us these stories we love so much. It’s essentially a gift from them to us, the readers and viewers. And while not all these creative variations are welcome (*cough* first three DCEU movies *cough*), some of these creative risks have led to some the greatest pieces of storytelling ever made. Remember there was a time when the Winter Soldier wasn’t a thing, let alone a former friend of Captain America gone evil. When Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker, people swore it was the worst casting decision that could be made, and yet Ledger’s Joker is arguably one of the best Jokers ever brought to life. And let’s be real, William Shakespeare ripped off and made changes to most of the stories he’s famous for! And look at him!

A decision that turned out to be right after all.

And this is not just for variations in already established characters and stories. Creators should be able to experiment with stories and characters. Otherwise, would we have Doctor Who? Harry Potter? Death Note the manga? Stephen King’s IT?

So what should you do if a story you like or an adaptation of a story goes in a direction you dislike? Well, there are two possible decisions that you could go that won’t make you look like a tool (trust me, as both fanboy and creator, they work). One is to do what I did with Death Note: calmly point out what was wrong with it or what you disliked. You don’t have to be angry to get your point across. I’ve found calmly discussing what you disliked about something does more than shouting. And besides, being rude or angry or telling someone to die never convinced anyone to your point of view or made them change their ways.

The other is to just not take part at all. After Jodie Whitaker was announced as the 13th Doctor, many fans reacted by simply deciding not to watch the show anymore. I even have a friend who decided to do that, and while I disagree with their view, I respect how adult their reactions were. (Thought to be fair, after all those years of Moffat tropes, it might’ve been easier to leave than to work up anger over a casting decision). So if you don’t like what the creators are doing, just leave. Don’t ruin the experience for everyone else who may want to try out the new direction.

And if you’re a parent with kids who may get overly passionate about fictional works, maybe have a conversation with them about how to respond to this sort of thing. It might save someone a lot of headaches later on.

While I doubt this problem will go away anytime soon–if anything, it might get worse over time–we can at least approach it in a healthy manner, rather than with further fear and anger, as well as to find healthy alternatives to anger and/or death threats. Either that, or we never get any sort of new stories ever. And I really don’t want to see that.

 

That’s all the ranting for now. The next week and a half will be crazy for me, so I have no idea how much, if at all, I’ll be able to post until October 1st. I’ll try and get something out next week, though if I don’t, please don’t hold it against me or send death threats.

Until next time, Followers of Fear. Pleasant nightmares!

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You may have heard me speak of the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game franchise about a haunted pizzeria filled with killer animatronics before on this blog (if you’re unfamiliar with what that is and want a quick lesson to know what I’m talking about, click HERE), including the novel released about two years ago, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes, that’s part of the franchise’s lore (click HERE for my review of that novel). I find the franchise itself fascinating, though I did not care for the novel that was produced from it, finding it cliched and predictable, as well as poorly edited. So when I heard that a sequel to the novel, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Twisted Ones, was coming out, I was skeptical. Could this be an improvement? Or would it just be terrible? I decided to get a copy and find out.

And if you’re a huge fan of the franchise or whatever, don’t expect me to delve deeply into the lore and try to figure out the exact mythology of the game. I’ll leave that to the people on the Game Theorists channel on YouTube. No, I’m going to evaluate the novel as a novel: how it was written, if it was scary, how good the plot and the characters are, and what could’ve been fixed or improved. Why? Because that’s what I do here.

So, FNAF: The Twisted Ones takes place not too long after the events of the first novel. Charlie, the protagonist of The Silver Eyes,  is at college learning about robotics and trying to sort out all the things that have happened in her past. However, a series of murders that can only have been caused by the sentient animatronic suits from Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria draws Charlie, as well as her friend Jessica, old flame John, and hometown sheriff Clay into a bizarre nightmare, with more mysteries to uncover and an old enemy out for blood.

Was it any better than the first book?

Well, it did have some improvements. For one thing, The Twisted Ones is edited much better than The Silver Eyes. You can tell that franchise creator Scott Cawthon and writer Kira Breed-Wrisley took their time making sure the grammar, spelling and punctuation was up to scratch, as well as ensuring that the indentation wasn’t all over the place. There was also way more animatronic action, something that was sorely missing from the first book. And I have to admit, the plot was somewhat unpredictable, with the final third–especially the climax–being actually a bit of a whirlwind in how it gripped and held onto you. And there were new elements introduced into the story that actually did shed a little light on the franchise (I won’t go into them here, but observant readers should be able to put the pieces together).

However, there were a number of things I didn’t like about the book. For one, these characters feel even flatter than they did in the first book. In the first, they were just given enough characterization to carry along a slasher movie, but those characters that have come back feel even less like actual people. The exception might be Charlie, but most of her character is fretting over the events of her past rather than getting to know her and see her grow as a character. Speaking of characters, I also found the character of Arty totally unnecessary. He’s introduced as this classmate/friend of Charlie’s and a possible rival to John, but he’s only in about two percent of the story, and he doesn’t contribute anything. If you took him out of the story, it seriously wouldn’t make a difference. I wonder why he was even in the story in the first place.

I also found Charlie’s obsession with her past and her brother coming across as melodramatic. You can have a character affected by a horrible experience that exposes a lot about their past, but here it felt almost corny in how over-the-top the emphasis was. Please, can we scale back on that? Surely there’s more to this character than “Oh, my past is so tragic! I’ll live my life around my dark and horrible past!”

The next book. Hopefully it’s good.

But the biggest thing that I didn’t like was that during one scene about two-thirds of the way through the book, the scene is set in Charlie’s dorm room. A few paragraphs later, however, they’re in the car, and it’s such a sudden transition. How sudden, you ask? Imagine in a Marvel movie, Nick Fury and Captain America are talking in a hangar bay in one frame, and in the next they’re in an open field, but none of the characters notice the change. It’s that sudden, and it’s very sloppy.

Still, The Twisted Ones is a better novel than The Silver Eyes. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m giving this book a 3.0, an improvement of 0.4. The characters aren’t that interesting and there are problems with the book, but I honestly prefer it. Though you can’t get me to love this series, and I honestly would like Cawthon to stick to video games. Just being honest.

Speaking of which, Cawthon is releasing a new book late next month titled The Freddy Files, which is supposed to go over game mechanics and even answer the complex lore of the series. I might read that, but I honestly don’t know if I want to. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure Cawthon’s going to release a third book in the franchise at some point. Like I said, I wish he wouldn’t, but with any luck, he’ll take another year and a half to release his next book, enough time to improve his next literary venture by another 0.4 or more.

Anything’s possible, especially when killer animatronics are involved.

I’m taking a break from posting Video Rage updates and #FirstLineFridays (though I hope you’re reading those with the same enthusiasm and interest you read the blog posts of others) to talk about something that’s become a bit of an interest for me. Now, I don’t play video games. I don’t have a console, nor do I have the time, patience, or drive to play them. But I love watching others play them. Specifically, I watch gamers play games and post the footage of the games and of themselves playing the games on YouTube. They’re called Let’s Play videos, and they are one of the most popular genres of video on YouTube.

And I’ve become quite the fan of them. Especially videos of horror games. And I’ve found that horror games, like movies and books, can run the gamut from excellent to “we didn’t put that much effort into this game and we’re merely taking advantage of people who are hoping to find a gem among a pile of crap.” Yet from a writer’s standpoint, I’ve found that even bad or average games can lead to great ideas for stories.

Beyond the basic elements of a scary story–the monster or evil the character/player has to face–the developers often, especially in the good games, put a lot of emphasis on visuals and audio. They’ll work with lighting, placement of objects, and, best of all, the antagonists of the game to create the creepiest effect. They also use sound effects and music as effectively as any composer and sound mixer to heighten tension and signal to players what sort of scene in the story they’ve come across. Add in great story that can be told over longer periods than movies and even some books, well-timed jumpscares, and objectives in the game that usually involve getting near a monster, and you’ve got a recipe not only for a scary game, but a great vehicle that can put the creative player or viewer in the right state of mind to come up with scary story ideas of their own.

And you know what else? Some of those ideas can be pretty spectacular. I know, I know, what constitutes a good idea is often about perception, and the execution of those ideas in turning them into a story is also up to the author’s individual skill, but I just want to say, they are often very good ideas. Not too long ago, I had an idea for a novel that was inspired by a game. And it sounds like a very strange and creepy idea for a story. I think I state all this because despite the fact that the gaming industry has grown over the years, with thousands of professional and indie developers, and millions of players around the world, a lot of people still see gaming as a thing for kids and are surprised that gaming, and people who watch gamers play, is such a serious thing among adults and kids. Heck, even late night host Jimmy Kimmel made incredulous jokes about the phenomenon at one point, though he later came to realize that he may have been a little hasty in judgment and talked to Let’s Play gamers to get their side of it.

Truth be told, video games are a lot like comic books: what was originally seen as something meant for kids yet possibly bad for their minds has become something that adults can appreciate and serve as the basis for several successful movies, TV shows, and so much more. They’re continuously evolving, changing as new fans and creators join the community, inviting discussions and debates, new takes on old characters and stories and encouraging people to exercise their creativity and skills in the name of fun. It’s no surprise that games can also be enjoyed by both playing and watching, and allow creators to come up with their own fun and unique stories.

Though I do agree that certain games are best left out of the hands of children until they reach a certain maturity. Seriously, if you think it’s okay to let your five-year-old play a Grand Theft Auto game, I worry about your parenting skills.

But enough of that tangent. I’ve been talking about how horror games can serve as great creative juice for horror writers (and other creative types). So I’m going to list some of the best horror games I feel can give you inspiration, whether you decide to play them or just watch others do it. Each game has plenty going for it, so you can really learn a lot from it and get plenty of ideas. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Slender: The Eight Pages

I would be remiss if I did not list this one. This game set the standard for what constitutes a successful indie horror game. Based on the Slenderman character I’ve mentioned more than a few times on this blog, the game tasks the player trying to find eight notes scattered around a forest that pertain to the Slender Man, all while trying to avoid the creepster himself. While Slendy was popular on the Internet prior to the game, the game really caused him to explode as a phenomenon, and really hit home to people that indie horror games can be creative and cool, too.

Since Slender came out, the creators have put out a number of sequels, some of which are really great, and he’s appeared in other games as well. However, this is the game that started it all, and you should definitely give it a try, if only to set the bar for what a horror indie game can be.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

If Slender set the standard, then Five Nights at Freddy’s, which I’ve talked about on this blog as well, took the bar and threw it into the upper atmosphere. Created by programmer Scott Cawthon, Five Nights at Freddy’s (often abbreviated as FNAF) follows a security guard tasked with the night shift at a pizzeria with a checkered history while killer animatronics roam the halls trying to get into your office. The game combines simple gameplay, terrifying visuals, and strong jumpscares to create a powerful gaming experience, spawning three sequels, one kid-friendly spin-off, a novel that I’ve read and reviewed, and a movie I’ve made no secret that I’m excited about, as well as thousands of tribute and knock-off games inspired by or trying to capitalize on the popularity of the game.

Another reason this game is so popular is because the game has a huge mythology, but no one’s been able to make sense of it or put the events in order. You go online, you’ll find tons of people putting forth their theories about this haunted pizzeria and why the animatronics are trying to kill you. You should check out the games for that mystery alone, but for all the reasons I’ve listed, you cannot miss this game.

PT

You can’t actually get this game anymore as far as I’m aware, but you can find plenty of people who played it. PT stands for “playable teaser,” and was originally just that: a teaser for an upcoming game you could play. Specifically, PT was teasing a new Silent Hill game which filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was to be part of, until that project fell through. Still, PT was a great game on its own, despite the final two stages of the game considered to be confusing and requiring special knowledge to make it through them. Its eerie story, the strange unreality of the house setting, and other factors led to PT becoming a popular free mini-game.

Speaking of which, a short film based on PT was released online recently by YouTube channel Oddest of the Odd, and it really captures the game’s spirit and eeriness. Check it out here, and have a great time.

Until Dawn

Imagine a game version of Cabin in the Woods that’s trying to be serious horror instead of satirical horror comedy, and you’ll start to approach what Until Dawn is. A year after two sisters disappear at a mountain cabin, their brother and friends head back to the cabin to remember the girls and have fun, only to have or or several somethings stalk them. At times creepy or terrifying, at times silly or fun, Until Dawn features a cast of well-known actors including Brett Dalton, Hayden Panettiere, and the awesomely named Rami Malek.

I can’t reveal much more about this game without giving away a ton of surprises, which are more fun to discover by experiencing the game itself. I will tell you though that the game relies a lot on the “choice” mechanic, which means that you get special choices throughout playing the game, and those choices influence how the game turns out. Info revealed, who lives and who dies, all rely on the player’s choices, and this is reflected in the game’s emphasis on the Butterfly effect. Play it or watch it, you’re likely to get a very interesting film influenced by 80’s slasher films, mystery/thrillers, and some Native American mythology.

However, it’s only available on the PS4, so you’ll have to buy that if you want to get Until Dawn. Sucks, right?

Emily Wants to Play

Holy crap, this is a tough but fun game. A pizza delivery guy is lured into a house and finds that the ghost of an evil little girl and her sentient dolls have trapped him in the house, determined to have him play a game that could cost him his life. Creepy in both tone and characters, this is a game that is as scary as it is challenging. However, if you have the fortitude to play, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. People with doll phobias should not play this game though. You’ll be unable to sleep afterwards though.

Wick

For some reason, this game isn’t as well known as others, which is sad because it is SO GOOD! Armed with matches and candles only, you have to spend the night in a wood that was once the home of a family whose parents died in a fire and whose children went missing. Along with finding new candles and collecting objects related to the children, you have to avoid the ghosts of the children that haunt the woods. From the dark woods to the freaky nature of the ghosts, Wick is a game that will remind you of campfire stories that kept you up at night as a child.

Boogeyman

Using a similar mechanic to FNAF (and possibly inspired by it), Boogeyman follows a young boy who moves into a house that has a history of children disappearing from it. Learning from the tapes of a previous resident about the creatures that live in the house’s walls, you have to fight through several nights with mainly a flashlight and keep the Boogeyman from coming into your room and tearing you apart. From the distraction-filled room to the design of the Boogeyman himself, this is definitely a game to make you want to check under the bed and in the closet before you go to sleep.

Sophie’s Curse

You get a job to stay by an old man’s side and watch his house through the night while he sleeps. Sounds easy enough…until you find out that the house is haunted and that the only way to keep away the creepy little girl ghost is to make sure a series of devices set up throughout the house are powered and functioning. Such is Sophie’s Curse, which is a really dark game. Literally: there is more shadow than light in this game. And it works, because the sources of light are the same machines that protect your life. And when Sophie’s nearby or she’s trying to mess with the machines in the house, you really get scared. Play the game, and see if you survive. After playing this game, you cannot get inspired by it.

Outlast

I’ve saved the best for last. Outlast was developed by Red Barrels, a company composed of gaming professionals who came together from a variety of companies to make a badass horror game. And boy, did they succeed: from the moment it came out, this game quickly climbed up horror game lists and has continued to terrify us ever since, as has its DLC prequel/side-story Whistleblower and as I’m sure its sequel will do this fall.

The game follows Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist who gets tipped off to some weird things going on at the isolated Mount Massive Asylum in the California mountains. He arrives there armed with only a notebook and a video camera, only to find that the criminally insane inmates–who have been subjected to horrifying experiments–have gotten loose and are causing havoc in the asylum. You have to try and get out while also unraveling the mystery of Mount Massive, and of the experiments that go on there. It’s TERRIFYING! Visuals, audio, storytelling, tension and creep factor, everything is as close to perfect as possible. I’ve tried playing it, and I had to stop because everytime I did, I left shaking and worried about my heart.

So if you want a long and really scary movie experience, I suggest watching a Let’s Play of Outlast.

What do you think of horror games? Do you have a favorite?

Let’s discuss.

Norman Bates, a prime example of a man with a mental illness in horror fiction.

I’ve been wanting to do a post for a while now that examines horror or literature but wasn’t my usual Reflections or Writing post. And then I read this article not too long ago on how mental illness is portrayed in anime (surprisingly anime takes a very honest and powerful take on the subject) and it got me thinking. It’s no secret that mental illness—or its more common designation, “insanity”—has been a huge part in horror fiction since the earliest days. The problem is, most of it tends to be pretty negative portrayals.

This is actually pretty sad, to say the least. Approximately one in three people worldwide will show enough symptoms to qualify as having a mental disorder at some point in their lives. In the United States alone, that number is nearly is nearly one in two. And a majority of these people are nonviolent. I should know. I’ve known various people throughout my life with some form of mental illness, both family and friends, and I have been open in the past about being on the autism spectrum myself. None of these people I know would hurt a fly, and I could never hurt anyone outside of one of my own stories.

This is quite different from horror fiction, where we have a variety of characters with all sorts of mental illness–Annie Wilkes, Norman Bates, Jason Voorhees, etc.–who are as violent and dangerous as they come. What gives?

So I’m going to do a series of posts, over the many months, about how mental illness is portrayed within horror fiction. Now, I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I’m a horror novelist. And God knows I haven’t seen or read every horror story out there. Not even some of the classics. But like I said, I will try my best to go over this subject with the respect and care it deserves. I will do case studies, maybe make some recommendations, and maybe even ask the question: is the portrayal of mental illness in horror fiction good or bad.

And if one can write characters, particularly villains, with mental illnesses. And by one, I might mean me.

In the meantime, if you, my Followers of Fear, can give me any recommendations to help me write this series of posts–whether it’s films or books to check out, articles that have already gone over the subject, etc.–let me know. I could use all the help I can get for this massive undertaking.

Heck, if you’d like to write a guest post, I’d be more than willing to consider it.

That’s all for now. In addition to this series, I’ve got a bunch of posts I plan to put out over the coming days and weeks, so keep an eye out for them! Have a good week, my Followers of Fear.

Now before I start this review, I need to do a little background: Five Nights at Freddy’s is a video game series created by game designer Scott Cawthon that follows a security guard trying to survive a week at a haunted pizzeria filled with killer animatronics (yes, that’s what it’s about; read here for a fuller explanation on the game and its popularity). The game has proven extremely popular, spawning three sequels, an upcoming RPG game, a movie that I’m excited about, and was a large part of YouTube’s annual Rewind video this year.

The game’s popularity is due in part to simple gameplay paired with a surprisingly challenging game, terrifying visuals and sounds combining to create a tense atmosphere, and a lore that tons of people have been trying to make sense of and put in a timeline since probably the very first game (seriously, search “FNAF theories” on Google. I’ll wait). And these people were excited to hear that Cawthon had teamed up with a writer to produce a novel based on the games, hoping that it would lead to an explanation.

Unfortunately for them, that’s not the case. While the book is kind of canon according to the creator, it’s kind of like an alternate universe’s version of the story of the games, a retelling of the story in the form of the novel with most of the elements of the games.  It doesn’t actually explain the lore of the games.

That being said, I decided to check the book out anyway. I like the series, I wanted to know if this could be a clue to what the movie could be about, and I like a good scary story. With that in mind, I downloaded it onto my Kindle, and read it all in three days.

So with that background out of the way, what did I think of Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes? Well, I thought it was an average horror story at best. Not too say that it was totally bad, it had some things about it that I liked. I just felt that it didn’t have as much effort put into it as could’ve been put in.

So what’s the book about? FNAF: The Silver Eyes follows Charlie, a young woman who’s father was the owner of the original Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, and who’s returning to her hometown with her childhood friends to confront their pasts with the restaurant. Along the way they find the restaurant, and go in, leading to all sorts of chaos as they awaken the evil sleeping within.

I did like how the author sets up scenes, and the characters other than Charlie have enough personality to them to work for a slasher-style novel. The flashbacks are handled pretty well, and there are ideas here in the story that I liked. The climax is exciting enough, and despite what some theorists and even Cawthon the creator says, I felt like the book answered a lot of questions that I had about the games’ lore and mythology. Those are positive things, in my book (pun totally not intended).

I expected more from a story based around these characters.

However, there was a lot that I didn’t like. For one thing, I don’t get why the teens kept going back to the restaurant. I mean, they went enough that everyone could see it and relive their childhood memories, but why did they go back after that? I didn’t really get it. Not to mention that a lot of elements from the games weren’t present in the book: the animatronics don’t really come to life until much later in the story, which I found weird considering that they’re active from Night 1 in each game, and that the Puppet character from the second game, which a lot of fans of the games love, was noticeably absent from the story. And even if I wasn’t familiar with the games and didn’t have theories about it, the way the story’s told makes certain things obvious (from the moment we meet one character, we just know he’s a bad guy), which took some excitement and scares out of the story. Plus the conclusion felt sort of half-done, like they’d left something out in the final draft. That definitely brought down my enjoyment of the story a little.

There was also some sloppy editing in the story that, as a novelist, I disliked. Indentations at the beginning of paragraphs or even for entire paragraphs vary from paragraph to paragraph, certain scenes or settings aren’t written very well, and at times I found myself aghast at certain things the story left out: for example, at one point a character says he can see the moon, but another character next to him can’t. Why? Is there something in the way? Is it a height issue? It’s never explained. And not too long afterwards, one character hears a music box and tells the others to be quiet. One character says he then hears it too, but we don’t get clued into if the other characters hear it too. Now those are small details, but they are important for good storytelling, and I could not believe those parts weren’t cleaned up during editing.

All in all, I’m giving Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes a 2.6 out of 5. I feel like if maybe Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley, the author he worked with, had maybe spent more time on the story, maybe called in an editor and some beta readers for feedback, the story could’ve been a great horror novel as well as an explanation of the events of the games. As it is, it’s good for demystifying the lore, but if you want more than that you probably won’t get it.

I just hope this isn’t the basis of the movie’s script, because then the movie’s going to suck.

I love it when I get nominated for these  blogging award memes, they always are such fun to spread on. Today’s nomination comes from my friend Katja, aka ImpossibleGirl123. I really suggest you check out her blog, which you can do by clicking on her online handle. You want to get the latest on anything Doctor Who, TV or movie-related, she’s your girl.

Okay, so first I have to give 7 facts about myself. I hope you find them interesting. I spent some time thinking them up:

  1. I once made a joke that I eloped with the ghost from the Ring movies and some people actually thought I’d gotten married. It was hilarious!
  2. I’ve tried playing the video game Outlast, but it’s so terrifying, that every time I do I end up shaking by the end of it. So there is something that scares me.
  3. Sometimes I find myself rocking out to Tailor Swift. Not sure why, but her songs are so damn addicting!
  4. I sometimes worry that despite my best attempts to advertise and get people to read my books, my small book sales are a reflection as either a writer or an advertiser. And when those thoughts are in my head, they’re sometimes hard to shut up.
  5. The biggest complaint I’ve had with Snake is that it’s ultra-violent. Considering that I wrote it while being heavily influenced by slasher flicks, that makes sense. Still, I wish the violence wasn’t such an issue with readers.
  6. I read too much manga. I love it, but it’s sometimes so many volumes per week and I’m trying to get through them all when I have such little time to read to begin with. Maybe with this trip to Germany I can break the habit and devote more time to reading less manga and more regular prose fiction. God knows I’d like to read the new Anne Rice, Robert Gailbrath, and a few other things on my Kindle.
  7. I recently came to realize that some of my experiences with ghosts may have been the result not of anything supernatural, but of sleep paralysis, a condition where a subject is half-awake but still dreaming, which causes a very powerful waking nightmare, which is why I thought there were ghosts or spirits in my room. Still, that only accounts for half the experiences. The other half is open to debate.

And now to nominate some bloggers:

A Portia Adams Adventure
Amaranthine Night by Joleene Naylor
Dellani Oakes

Thanks everyone for reading, and thanks again to Katja for nominating me. I can’t wait to hear what everyone else writes!

 

Learned some very interesting news this week. Has anyone hear heard of Five Night’s at Freddy’s? If you haven’t, allow me the pleasure to fill you in on it. Five Nights at Freddy’s (hereafter referred to FNaF) is an indie survival horror game. It’s rather interesting, and not just because it’s from the indie scene. You play a security guard at Freddy FazBear’s Pizza (think Chuck E. Cheese with creepy animatronics) who works the night shift. It’s actually a pretty nasty job: the animatronic creatures in the pizza parlor come alive at night and wander around. Your job is to not just watch the parlor, but to survive the creatures, which will try to find you and kill you by stuffing you into an animatronic suit, which still has the parts inside (bloody!). You survive five progressively more difficult nights, you win the game (and get some bonus nights). You get caught by the creatures…

And did I mention that you play the entire game from inside the security office, where the most you can do is turn on some lights in the hallways, close some doors, and watch security feeds through an iPad? All while trying to keep your battery life up before you lose power and die? Yeah, that’s how you play the game. It sounds easy, but it’s actually pretty difficult. Believe me, I’ve played. You try to keep focused on the doors, but then you get jumpy and look through the iPad. And the more power you use, the less you’re able to turn on lights or open and close doors. And then…they get you.

It’s a nerve-wracking game, and it’s not surprising to see that it’s grown popular enough to generate two sequels, where they’ve furthered the back story of the game and why these murderous robots attack security guards. And now Warner Bros. is in the process of adapting it into a movie. This could be good, because while movies based on video games usually suck, indie games are usually riskier, more artsy, and heavy on story account. So the movie that results from this game could be able to balance slasher and suspense horror with storytelling and character development. Maybe reinvigorate the slasher movie genre a little.

You have to admit, that’s kind of creepy.

 

Or it could suck balls, we’ll regret going to see it, the studios will be even more wary about trying even semi-original projects, and we’ll reach our movie-sequel saturation point much, much quicker than we’d hope. That’s always a possibility. Seth Grahame-Smith, one of the producers on the film, said he wants “to make an insane, terrifying and weirdly adorable movie”. If they get to weirdly adorable, we the audience may have problems.

Well, I’ll stay hopeful until I see evidence otherwise. I like to think that this movie adaptation has the makings of being something good. The plot will probably involve a security guard hired to watch a Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Parlor. While being more mobile than in the game, the guard will deal with murderous animatronics, a limited amount of power (how they explain that one will be interesting) and the unraveling mystery of the source of this evil (in the games, the animatronics are possessed by the ghosts of children who were murdered by a guy in a Freddy Fazbear suit who stuffed their bodies into suits. I wonder if they’ll keep that backstory). There’s plenty of ways to make that suspenseful and creepy, I bet.

Like I said, we’ll see. I dream of writing it personally and making sure it’s good, but I don’t see that happening at this point, so I’ll hope and go see it when it hits theaters, possibly within the next five years. In the meantime, I think there are evil animatronic monsters in my apartment, so I have to destroy them. If I don’t reply to your comments within five nights, you know what’s happened.

Are you excited for the FNaF movie? Do you think it’ll be good? Why or why not?

Do you think games can be made into good movies? And what’s needed in order to do so?