2022’s Horror Hit Barbarian is Giving Birth To a Video Game

Justin Long and Georgina Campbell as AJ and Tess in Barbarian.

Image: 20th Century Studios

In the same way that video games get turned into movies (or TV shows!) these days, the reverse is true. It doesn’t happen quite as often, but a number of movies have jumped over to games in some capacity, and they’re usually pretty famous or long-running franchises. Star Wars is the most obvious example, but there’s also been a number of games for Tron, Terminator, and Robocop. There was even a pair of Saw video games back in the early days of that franchise.

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The next movie to hop over into games will be 2022’s Barbarian. On Friday, Bloody Disgusting revealed the upcoming title will be for PC and consoles, in a partnership between New Regency Pictures and Diversion3 Entertainment. Diversion3 previously worked on the game adaptations of both Friday the 13th and Evil Dead (the latter of which had its support ended this back September), and executive producer Tim Hesse expressed his excitement at “[expanding] on the settings, characters, and creatures of Barbarian. The film did a magnificent job of not only scaring audiences with its unexpected and horrifying twists and turns, but also in establishing strong characters thrown into terrifying situations.”

Barbarian was the directorial debut of comedian/writer Zach Cregger, and was one of those movies where folks told you to go in knowing nothing about its first few weeks of release. In broad strokes, the film starred Georgina Campbell as Tess, a woman who accidentally double-books an AirBnB with a man named Keith (Bill Skarsgård) in the middle of the night, at which point things get…pretty bad for both them and eventually Justin Long’s AJ. With a $45.4 million box office and fairly positive reviews, there’s no denying that the movie did pretty well and left an impression—last year, we noted the film had two of the best movie moments of 2022 —but it wasn’t one of those horror movies that ended in a way that left room for more. Cregger himself even admitted as such that he wasn’t really interested in doing some kind of follow-up.

A prequel is always an option, obviously, but once you know what The Thing is in a horror story, you can’t fully unknow it. It puts that upcoming Barbarian game—and how it ends up being marketed—in an interesting place whenever it sees the light of day.

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