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Gameverse | September 18, 2020

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Resident Evil 8: Five Horror Movies That Should Influence The Sequel

Matthew Byrd

Current Resident Evil 8 rumors suggest that it will focus heavily on the horrors of a small village. While that’s an idea that we saw in Resident Evil 4, these reports suggest a much more cerebral horror experience that taps into the ideas of folk horror.

We think that’s brilliant, and just as Resident Evil 7 was heavily influenced by movies such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we imagine Resident Evil 8 will take a few cues from horror films with similar premises.

If that does prove to be the case, then these are five horror movies the Resident Evil 8 team should absolutely study.

The Witch

One of the most persistent Resident Evil 8 rumors involves the influence of a witch. Our guess is that the game’s village is haunted by (maybe even ruled over) such a figure.

Whereas most witch movies portray witches as cliches, 2015’s The Witch takes a slightly different approach. It’s more about the fear of the idea of a witch and how powerful that idea can be. If Resident Evil 8 features a witch who flies around the room while you shoot at them, it’s going to be pretty weak. If it features a witch that you only hear about in hushed whispers…well, that could be pretty effective.

The Witch also nails that “old-timey” low-tech vibe which could be crucial to making a village setting work in Resident Evil 8. We just wonder if a Resident Evil game can really be this subtle.

Midsommar

If Resident Evil 8 is really going to be about a creepy village, we can think of few better influences than 2019’s surprise horror hit, Midsommar.

Midsommar tells the story of a group of friends who travel to a seemingly idyllic village in order to participate in a festival. What follows is best described as a descent into madness. While Midsommar‘s story falters at times, it absolutely nails a feeling of dread amplified by nearly constant sunlight. It’s rare to see such a well-lit horror movie be so terrifying.

Resident Evil 8 should look at this gem of a film for ideas on how to achieve that “something isn’t right here” tone.

The Wicker Man (1973)

While we recommend the 2006 version of The Wicker Man as a piece of brilliant unintentional comedy, it’s the 1973 version you should look to for pure horror.

Much like Midsommar, The Wicker Man nails that feeling of dread and the creepiness of an isolated village. Where it really separates itself, though, is in how it portrays being an outsider in such an environment who starts to ask too many questions. We imagine you may play a similar role in Resident Evil 8, so this should end up being a huge influence on that title.

The Wicker Man also brilliantly utilizes the idea of a “cult,” which could also end up playing a huge part in Resident Evil 8‘s rumored plotline.

The Wailing

Did you love Parasite and want to dive deeper into the world of South Korean filmmaking? We highly recommend The Wailing.

The Wailing is a different kind of horror film about a village. While it deals with an outsider and a small village, it actually focuses on the perspective of the villagers who began to fear the outsider. It’s a brilliant twist on a formula that keeps you wondering what will happen.

We’d love to see Resident Evil 8 also play with the basic idea of the village scenario by leaving us wondering what is really happening.

Kwaidan

Many horror stories that revolve around villages are based in the genre of “folk horror.” No one thing defines folk horror, but folk horror does typically involve a sense of unease and isolation.

Few pieces of folk horror are more memorable than Kwaidan. This incredibly surreal piece of horror delivers nightmares in the form of surreal imagery. It’s an utterly bizarre movie that doesn’t rely on logic. Because of that, everyone who watches it feels like an outsider.

We’d actually love to see Resident Evil 8 just get weird with it and dive deeply into the idea of surrealism. That’s a direction the series hasn’t really gone in before, and it could help separate this entry from the rest.