September 1, 2020

There Is Little Hope For Small Towns in Horror Movies

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

To be perfectly honest, I’ve written about plenty of good horror video games, before. But The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope does a great job of connecting me with some of them. Most notably with the Silent Hill franchise. And it’s nice actually. I love a great throwback to some of my previous work. Which you can also check out here. It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does it’s awesome.

It’s amazing. It’s one of the reasons I love my job. But the throwbacks I mentioned earlier apply for the movies as well. Not just the video games I promote here at IndieGala. However, I have a great video game for you, and it just happened to be the main inspiration for this post.

Little Hope And The Appeal Of Little Towns

You know what’s great about the haunted town horror movies? They’re so versatile and exciting. But before I could go any further with this post, I believe a word or two about the upcoming game is in order.

What’s The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope All About?

Developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is part of The Dark Pictures Anthology. A series of intense, standalone, branching cinematic horror games featuring single and multiplayer modes. The first one being Man of Medan.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Narrator returns

And in this upcoming game, 4 college students and their professor become stranded in the abandoned town of Little Hope. They’re all trapped by an impenetrable fog and they try desperately to escape it. However, the terrifying visions from the past will come back to haunt them. So, they must figure out the motive of these visions, before it’s too late. The great thing about the game is that it can be played multiple times since it has multiple endings.

All based on the decisions that you’re about to make in the game-play of course. And based on the actions as well, all of the characters may die.  Furthermore, the narrative here jumps back and forth in the present and the past. While compared to the predecessor, Little Hope features more supernatural elements.

Pretty Cool Inspirations

The team behind The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope was inspired by both the Silent Hill series and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible during the production of the game. But throughout the game, you’ll find glimpses of other fantastic horror movies. Such as The Witch, The Blair Witch Project, Hellraiser, It Follows, The Omen, and Season of the Witch.

Not to mention that The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is up for October 30th release, just in time for Halloween. However, we have a very special pre-purchase offer for you. Halloween is coming. Make sure to stock up on some great video games.

But back to the topic at hand… Which movies fit best here?

Silent Hill

There’s no way I could write this post, without mentioning Silent Hill. Now, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to write about both Silent Hill movies, not that long ago. Both about the 2005 psychological horror with Radha Mitchel and the 2012 sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation. As you can probably tell from my reviews, I liked the 2006 movie better, but the 2012 movie was a fun and mindless watch.

However, the sequel is severely inferior to the original movie. It’s also lacking quality in various places, but most notably in the script and the direction. And I loved the fact that the games have such influence on other games.  Both in terms of the plot and in the atmosphere as well. The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is one of those games, and it just goes to show that time has no meaning when you have a good video game. Great games like Silent Hill can become influential for the new generations, decades and decades after the release. Timeless and inspiring at the same time.

Phantoms

Abandoned ski resort Snowfield, Colorado has mysteriously turned into a Ghost town. Almost everyone is either missing or dead. So it’s up to two returning locals, and two police officers (and a bunch of other people to be honest) to discover what caused it. Both the massive disappearance and the deaths of the local townspeople. Besides the dark and Lovecraft(ian) undertones, there’s a stellar cast lurking from all the creepy and eerie atmosphere. Starting with Rose McGowan, then with Ben Affleck and the late Peter О’Toole. Sadly the movie was not that well-received back in the 90’s. But for me, it’s a guilty pleasure from a by gone era that I still enjoy.

But what I loved the most is the atmosphere that’s present throughout the movie. Very reminiscent of the classic ’50s and 60’s horror movies. It also has a clever way of not revealing too much of the monster’s appearances. Indeed. The movie doesn’t go all the way in the showing of the monsters, but that’s what scary and yet appealing about them. The scare comes from what you can’t see, not of what you can. It’s not a great movie, but you can see the influences of the greats from the past. The Thing is somewhere in there and surprisingly The Blob. I loved it when I was a teenager, and I still do, to be honest. I recommend this one.

Ghost Town

How about a movie that not just has a Ghost Town in the title, but also a real Ghost Town as well? Well, it’s another guilty pleasure for me, but from the ’80s. I recently revisited Ghost Town on one of the many lock-downs this past spring. And it was a real blast from the past. But also Ghost Town is about one Sherif’s mission to find a missing girl. However, he will soon find himself in an old western town in the Arizona desert, but the occupants of the town are not what they appear to be.

Furthermore, the town is haunted by the ghosts of both the townspeople, and the villainous gunslinger. So, the sheriff’s new mission is to free the town and let it „die“ once and for all. What I Loved about  Ghost Town is the fact that it blends old school horror with slasher and western in an interesting almost surreal atmosphere. Very reminiscent of the Army Of Darkness both in tone and atmosphere. But it’s a damn fine horror film nonetheless. Check it out if you have the chance.

Pandorum

Does a seemingly abandoned interstellar ark, called Elysium count on this list? I hope so because I’m including it. First of all, the ark carries 60,000 people on a 123-year trip to colonize an Earth-like planet. I’m counting it as a city of 60.000 people that just happens to be set in space. However, this was a rather interesting yet pleasant discovery for me. I’m a huge fan of Lovecraft(ian) inspired movies, and you can find Lovecraft’s work almost everywhere.

From the set pieces to the dark and bleak sub-plots filled cosmic horror. Not to mention, Pandorum has some fine performances from the leading actors’ Denis Quaid and Ben Foster. And it’s a scary survival horror film at its core. And a good one of that. To be honest, Pandorum left an impression on me. I loved the atmospheric tension, but psychological torture was much harder to bear. It’s good though. Really good. Check it out. You’ll thank me later.

Little Hope: What’s Your Pick?

Which other movies would you add here on this list? Maybe the Crucible? Or perhaps you’d go the other way with The Blob for instance? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know.

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