Fatal Frame is a new game for me here at IndieGala. And a new topic as well. But as you can probably tell by now… I love me some new challenges. And this is a double challenge I have to admit. First and foremost, it’s about game series, I’ve not written about. And secondly, I had to watch a film adaptation of that video game I had no idea it existed. But like I said before… I do love a challenge.
However, popular video game adaptations are a fan favorite here. I mean, Werewolves Within is one of our latest here at IndieGala (you can read it here). But one of our favorites is the Uncharted film review. Yes, it’s not that horrible of a movie and yes. I quite enjoyed it. You can read all about it here.
However, we’re here about Fatal Frame. One of the finest (and scariest) games in IndieGala’s vault. And we simply cannot go any further with this post without mentioning it first.
What’s Fatal Frame All About?
FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Maiden of Black Water to be precise. Developed and published by KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD., Fatal, FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Maiden of Black Water is one hell of a survival horror game. It’s also the fifth main entry in the Fatal Frame series. And as with previous games in the series, players navigate areas filled with hostile ghosts. Which must be fought by taking photographs using the Camera Obscura. But in it, you get to use the Camera Obscura. The special camera is capable of repelling vengeful ghosts and sealing away their powers. Why? In order to explore Mt. Hikami and the numerous incidents that took place there in the past.
Furthermore, the story is divided into separate missions. And each mission is led by a new protagonist. The protagonists have a power called Shadow Reading. Which allows them to sense the remnants of memories of people who have disappeared on the mountain.
FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Maiden of Black Water is also available for purchase here at IndieGala. Get it here.
But What Are Some Of The Steam User Comments Saying About It?
I am enjoying it so far. If you liked the rest of the series, you might like it. Says backstage ally.
While Babaduk adds I hope they port the other games, Fatal Frame 1, 2, 3… and so on. Best game ever 🙂
And As For The Film Adaptation? Does It Live Up To The Hype?
Well, to say that it’s a loose adaptation of the game series, is quite the understatement. Loose is not even the right word here, since it’s so distant from the original source material. But over here in the 2014’s Fatal Frame, we have Mich (Aoi Morikawa) i. A student in a conservative all-girls school. She must solve the mysterious deaths and disappearances around her. They’re all tied to a curse and a photo of Aya. The most popular girl in the school. The haunting photo of Aya is taken with a Camera Obscura, but her presence is very much a disturbing force. What she’ll find out will be just as disturbing for sure.
Haunting, Eerie And Scarry?
Well, the movie’s atmosphere is eerie for sure. At times even haunting. Thanks to the dream-like cinematography and unnerving soundtrack. But the movie suffers from pacing problems, throughout the whole runtime. And I must say… For a movie that’s supposed to be based on one of the scariest game series out there… It’s not that scary. There’s a significant lack of camera obscura scenes even.
But that is present in abundance are plenty of influences and themes. For instance, the LGBT themes are dominant themes in the movie. And so is Ophelia. The tragic character in Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy Hamlet. You can see the influence of the character in plenty of scenes. But yeah. Everett Millais’s Ophelia painting is ever so present in the film.
But if I have to compare and reflect, I’d go with Picnic at Hanging Rock as probably the main source of influence in the plot. Do you remember the 1975 Peter Weir movie about the disappearance of several schoolgirls? Well, in my humble opinion, I think the main influence for the plot is derived from that movie.
Good Performances Though…
Indeed, there are. And a steady camera work too. But yeah. Aoi Morikawa gives an interesting performance as Michi Kazato. While Ayami Nakajô is quite decent as Aya Tsukimori. But Mari Asato’s work behind the camera is intriguing at times. Sometimes it’s slow, but when she’s trying to make a point, she doesn’t even need the script as a guide. She lets the camera work do most of the magic. I suppose it’s the testament of a good director. But all in all, it’s a fairly mediocre mystery movie that tries too hard to rise above the mediocracy. I’m a bit reluctant to call it a horror movie. Much less, a survival horror. But it’s a mystery that’s supposed to scare us. It doesn’t always succeed but it damn well always tries.
What Do You Think Of Fatal Frame?
Are you a fan of the movie adaptation? How about the game series? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know. Hit that comment section and let us know about everything.