The feelings of tension and dread that horror games can produce in players are perhaps more visceral than anything else in the industry. When a spooky game is firing on all cylinders, there is nothing quite like the experience of having your heart pound as you desperately face your fears. However, certain moments from our favorite titles often leave us laughing instead of crying from terror. Here, for your apprehension and/or amusement, are 11 horror game moments that are more ridiculous than spine-chilling.
*Please note, there are spoilers lurking in the shadows below!*
Ethan’s Constant Hand Abuse
Ethan Winters, the everyman/father of the year from Resident Evil 7 and 8, comes a long way over the course of the two games. He went from a pretty bland protagonist to perhaps one of the most badass RE characters, despite not being nearly as cool as Leon or strong as Chris. One thing that remained constant about Ethan is that he can take a beating like no other hero from the Resident Evil franchise.
From the moment he’s introduced in Resident Evil 7, Ethan gets disfigured by his wife. For those who do not remember, Mia cuts off Ethan’s hand with a chainsaw, and he somehow just casually goes about his business like it was nothing. There are story reasons behind these shenanigans, but without context, this poor treatment of his body is hilarious.
The torture gets even worse in Resident Evil Village, where his fingers prove a tasty snack in the early stages of gameplay. His battered hand continues to be punished throughout his romp across Eastern Europe, though he can fortunately mend his wounds with a quick splash of herbal medicine. Classic RE logic!
Action Movie Leon
Leon went from rookie cop to a man capable of soloing an army of mutated freaks hell-bent on world domination. Talk about a glow-up! If you haven’t already guessed, Leon’s portrayal in Resident Evil 4 is hilarious for a multitude of reasons. Not only is he an entirely different character at this point in the timeline, but he’s just so nonchalant about the dire situation he’s facing.
Look no further than Leon’s classic bingo line from the opening sequence for further proof that Capcom was steering the series into a more high-octane direction. Regardless, the sagacious Mr. Kennedy’s one-liners are comedy gold and while the Resident Evil 4 Remake features a more serious tone overall, developers hinted that the charm of the original will return in unexpected ways.
Unintentional Toilet Humor
Remember when James Sunderland stuck his hand into an ultra-gross toilet in Silent Hill 2? For whatever reason, the game treats this action as normal, and James barely reacts to this disgusting act. Yeah, Silent Hill is a disturbing place, and he was probably beyond the point of caring about being sanitary. Still, this was so nasty and funny in an unintentional way.
Even Heather from Silent Hill 3 mocked the situation by refusing to complete the same thing during the events of her game. But who are we to judge James for his decision-making during such a stressful time? Still, it’s pretty amusing to think that he stuck his arm inside a dirty toilet and probably smelled horrid for the rest of the game while having serious conversations and interactions with other characters.
Isaac Trusting Nicole
Fool me once, shame on you. Okay, we all know the saying, but apparently, Isaac never got the memo. In the original Dead Space, he learns that the visions of Nicole (his dead girlfriend) were false, and that she was dead the entire time. Thanks to the influence of the Marker, Isaac spoke to Nicole at the conclusion of the original game, and as a result, he becomes a broken man despite surviving the preceding events.
Now how does this impact everyone’s favorite space engineer? In Dead Space 2, he’s even more gone from reality, and guess who’s back? That’s right, Nicole returns, and our boy falls for her shenanigans once again. It becomes hysterical when she betrays him, and he blurts out, “I trusted you!”
The abruptness of how everything goes down is just laughable, because you spend the entire game exploring Isaac’s emotions over losing his girlfriend and the game just suddenly says, “Sike” as you’re forced to overcome a corrupted version of her as the final boss fight.
Resident Evil 6 (Everything)
Resident Evil 6 could fill this entire list, but we’re just gonna cover the premise of the game itself. For those of you who never played RE6, this game is a full-on action title that barely recollects its classic horror roots. No longer do members of the Resident Evil cast have to worry about conserving ammo or surviving deadly puzzles. Instead, our heroes are focused on a globetrotting quest to save the world from Bioterrorism at all costs.
Is RE6 a bad game outright? No, it can be fun if you only wanna shoot zombies and laugh at the craziness with your mates. However, the over-the-top nature of the game is so insane that it is hard to process and pin down which parts stand out. Explosions happen for no reason, Ada has a clone, and there are countless other things that are so bad that they’re actually good. Since the series has gotten back to its roots in recent years, there’s a certain fondness associated with the madness of Resident Evil 6.
F.E.A.R. 2’s Ending
The F.E.A.R. franchise is tragically long gone, but its impact on the horror/first-person shooter genre remains. At its release, the original F.E.A.R. featured state-of-the-art graphics along with revolutionary A.I. that remains impressive in 2023. However, we’re not here to talk about the greatness and eventual downfall of the series. No, we’re here to talk about the ending of the second game.
For the uninformed, the climax of the F.E.A.R. 2 features a situation where Alma (the series’ main antagonist) has her “way” with our silent protagonist in an attempt to become pregnant and take over the world. The convoluted reasons why this bizarre event takes place do not matter because the entire thing comes out of nowhere.
A player finishing the game in 2008 had no way of predicting this ending, and the guts of the studio to put this scene in there is commendable in a weird way. But this entry is here because Alma is terror personified, and having her end the game this way is so unnerving that it’s funny. Picture, Mr. X from Resident Evil 2… actually never mind, let’s just end this entry.
Playing Dress-Up With Frank West
Dead Rising lets players enjoy the zombie apocalypse in style, by allowing players to wear any costume. Wanna ride on a skateboard while in a hotdog costume? Knock yourself out! While the game has serious undertones in every cutscene, it’s night and day when it transitions into gameplay. It’s no wonder the game cultivated a strong fanbase over the years — thanks to its addictive gameplay and blend of comedy, action, and even tragedy.
For obvious reasons, Frank’s fashion choice is here because he becomes shirtless with Daisy Duke shorts, flip flops, and a giant deer mask at any point in the game. What’s even more hilarious is that NPCs will treat him the same no matter the situation that’s taking place. Did your family die in the chaos of the zombie outbreak? No worries, here’s your would-be hero dressed in a variety of comedic outfits. That should make up for it.
Chris vs Boulder vs Wesker
Okay, Resident Evil 6 is crazier than 5 overall, but Chris’ fated fight against Wesker and a large rock was legendary for all the wrong reasons. The volcanic setting is already insane enough, but the series officially jumped the shark when Chris punches the crap out of a giant boulder with no enhancements (maybe steroids). Gamers across the world burst out laughing at this scene, and it become iconic to the character.
Without spoiling things, it’s even brought back up in future titles, so Capcom is definitely in on the joke. Let’s not forget about how Wesker not only falls into the volcano, but also takes two RPG rounds to the face before going down. Though the ending to the game lives up to the hype, it’s surely hilarious in a stupid/awesome way that would become a part of gaming culture.
The Voice Acting in Resident Evil 1
Resident Evil is the gift that keeps on giving! When the series originally debuted, it had everything needed to become a smash hit. Incredible graphics (for the time), innovative gameplay (popularizing survival horror as we know it), and an interesting story filled with lovable heroes and villains. The only thing that RE did not have was good voice acting.
Granted, cinematic sequences were relatively new within the gaming industry, but the original acting found in RE1’s intro, and the voice acting throughout the game are terrifically awful. We’re required by law to mention the line, “You were almost a Jill Sandwich.”
You can tell that the team that created RE1 wanted to include voices for their characters, but its implementation was something of an afterthought. The fact that the team grabbed random Americans off the streets of Japan only proves that the focus was more on gameplay than anything else.
The Talking Fetus in P.T.
The mysterious talking fetus from P.T. is on here because of the very uncomfortable feeling it gives to players. In a nutshell, the fetus represents someone murdered in the womb by their disgruntled father. Of course, there’s nothing funny behind its tragic backstory, but the voice that accompanies the creature is hilarious in a morbid way.
When the player interacts with it, he will say, “One day he goes and kills us all, and he couldn’t even be original about the way he did it. I’m not complaining, I was dying of boredom, anyway.” More dialogue comes from this cynical fetus, but the fact that it’s so nonchalant about its demise is somewhat humorous while also being really disturbing. If only we could’ve found out the full story behind this dark comedian.
Come on, you knew Deadly Premonition was gonna make its way to this list. Again, too many scenes to count warrant inclusion, but we’re gonna focus on the Sinners Sandwich scene. While Francis York Morgan is in a diner, someone comes in asking for Mr. Stewart’s lunch, and the host gives them the usual; a turkey, strawberry jam, and cereal sandwich (which is already weird enough).
Immediately, York goes into a monologue about how the sandwich is Mr. Stewart’s way of atoning for his sins as the music changes to a serious motif. The person sent in by Mr. Stewart then goes back and forth with York to get him to try the sandwich, and everything takes a bizarre turn as the characters make ordering a sandwich a matter of principles and self-worth.
Eventually, York tries the sandwich and falls in love while generic upbeat rock music kicks in. The entire sequence is brilliant! But in all seriousness, there is no other game like Deadly Premonition. And if that’s a good or bad thing, we’ll leave you to decide for yourself.
And with that, those are 11 horror games with moments too ridiculous to not laugh at. Can you think of any more to add to the list? Honestly, we could probably make a top 50 list using Resident Evil titles alone!
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