With the sequel to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph Breaks the Internet, poised to trash theaters on November 21, we're set to venture into the territory of amateur fan films to try and see which not-for-profit shorts have best captured the video game experience. While Ralph Breaks the Internet is looking to fully encompass the video game (and internet) experience, these fan films get more specific but never skimp on creativity.
Inspired by iconic franchises such as Fallout, Bioshock, Portal, Doom, The Last of Us, Silent Hill, Halo, Skyrim, and more, clever filmmakers funded by minuscule budgets are delivering a diverse wave of film interpretations of their favorite video games.
Get a jolt of video game fever and join us for our ranking of some of the finest fan films on the grid, no joysticks or dual-shock controllers required.
DayZ Live Action Fan Film (2014)
Presented by Forgehouse Films and centered in the universe of the DayZ gaming landscape, this effective fan film targets the same irrational and ruthless predator as The Walking Dead: man.
It depicts two hope-filled men as they encounter the soul-blackening day-to-day existence in a world corrupted by a zombie apocalypse and Mankind's inhumanity to his own kind. Poignant and heartwrenching, with stark camera work and a somber tone, this is a killer example to start our countdown.
Ultimate Doom: A Fan Made Movie Trailer (2017)
Here's a different approach to the material inspired by the Doom game franchise in a hyperkinetic trailer for a fictitious sequel film.
Directed by Joseph "Nite Owl" Sheldahl, it remains faithful in tone and texture to Bethesda's hit sci-fi horror gaming sensation. It's stitched together using the 2005 Doom movie and various Doom video games and mixed with some face-melting metal riffs.
Hopefully, Universal's new direct-to-video stab at Doom will take a cue from this person's creation.
The Fallen: A HALO Fan Film (2015)
Years in the making, and partially funded by Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, here's a mind-blowing amateur short set in the universe of Microsoft/Bungie's Halo and directed by Ares X Cogan & T.C. De Witt at Firmament Films.
It's based on the events in HALO: Combat Evolved and tracks a squad of soldiers and survivors from the ill-fated Pillar of Autumn as they traverse across the unforgiving Halo landscape while clashing with Covenant forces. A solidly entertaining film with surprisingly good effects and cinematography.
Biohazard: Nemesis (2017)
Outside the United States, Capcom's brutal survival horror franchise Resident Evil is called Biohazard, but it doesn't diminish its notorious fright level one bit. Check out this fear-fraught fan film from YouTuber Feel The Walrus that uses a motion comic intro and live action to show Jill Valentine's horrid encounter with the monstrous abomination, Nemesis.
Extra points for the exceptional practical effects and tense pacing.
The Last of Us Fan Film (2013)
Director Sy Cody White's Iron Horse Cinema Productions ventures into the zombified world of The Last Of Us. It tells the tragic tale of Joel and Ellie surviving after a viral fungus outbreak ravages humanity and turns people into hungry, zombie-like monsters.
This is an extremely impressive production that employs some intense acting, creepy sound effects, and authentic locations to deliver a knockout blow to other no-budget entries.
The Brothers Rapture: A Bioshock Fan Film (2013)
Director Shaun Rykiss delivers a satisfying short set in the confines of the BioShock gaming property.
Taking place prior to the events of the first BioShock game, The Brothers Rapture spotlights two brothers as they discover the limits and boundaries of science. Behold what life was like before Rapture flooded and collapsed as siblings Arthur and Charles establish their workshop and learn the true cost of exploration.
Haunting and cast with a professional sheen, this is proof positive that a Bioshock feature film can work!
Fallout: Nuka Break (2011)
As Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 76 saturates the world with its radioactive fun, check out this fantastic Fallout short directed by Julian Higgins & Zack Finfrock.
This awesome effort follows Twig, a former Vault 10 dweller, as he explores the Eastern California wasteland for his favorite beverage, a frosty Nuka Cola. He's joined by Ben, a radiation-marred ghoul, and Scarlett, a sexy ex-slave, as they try to evade bounty hunters while attempting to locate the infamous glowing soft drink. Bottoms up!
Silent Hill: Anniversary (2013)
Ushered in with care and craft, director Jay Ness salutes Konami's Silent Hill 2 with this scary short showing James Sunderland as he creeps into the haunted town of Silent Hill to search for his dead wife.
This nightmarish effort sticks with you long after the credits roll, with its powerful, paranormal effects, spine-chilling soundscape, eerie sense of isolation, and hellish homicidal creatures.
Skyrim: Into the Void (2013)
Taking its material from the blockbuster fantasy franchise Elder Scrolls and the Skyrim spinoff games, YouTuber Warialasky's exceptional short follows Dovahkiin, the noble dragonborn warrior. This burly hero becomes cursed in a fight with a vampire before being caught by the Dark Brotherhood, who offer him a deal. Dovahkiin must aid them in rescuing a captured member from the Necromancers, in exchange for a cure to his vampirism.
Top-notch production values and an epic tone create a resonant atmosphere to be reckoned with.
Portal: No Escape (2011)
Set in the world of Valve Software's popular Portal video games, a mysterious woman awakes in a sterile room with no clue as to her identity or her location.
Directed with style and substance by Dan Trachtenberg, No Escape showcases a fine lead performance from Danielle Rayne, convincing SFX, and an evocative musical score to shoot this short straight to the top of our list!
22 million views on YouTube can't be wrong!