Among Us & Carrion Prove We Need More John Carpenter In Video Games


Among Us and Carrion prove that we need more John Carpenter-style horror in video games, and that there’s definitely a market for the genre.

With its creepy, parasitic monster vibes set in space, Among Us feels like a sillier, more colorful version of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Likewise, Carrion managed to take Carpenter-style body horror and incorporate it into a Metroidvania. The success of both of these games prove one thing: players need more John Carpenter in their video games.

While John Carpenter video games have been a mixed bag, 2002’s The Thing was a decent entry that sold well enough to get a sequel before its studio went under, leaving the follow-up unfinished. In a lot of ways, Carrion is even better than The Thing video game, in terms of conveying the director’s trademark tension and body horror elements. Even with its retro graphics, Carrion can be far more intense than The Thing video game, which fell into more third-person shooter tropes than actual horror.

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Related: Why Some Among Us Players Aren’t Reporting Bodies

Likewise, Among Us became immensely popular at least in part to the way it pays homages to classic impostor horror films like Alien and The Thing. It’s why fans continue creating fake Among Us horror movie posters and slasher film characters, And while Among Us and Carrion both take Carpenter’s formula and make it their own, they are in a minority of great, successful body horror video games – and it’s time more games finally embrace Carpenter’s aesthetic.

Why We Need More John Carpenter-Style Horror Games

The Thing Video Game Cover

Most horror games go one of two ways: they either rely on survival mechanics and jump scares, like Phasmophobia and Amnesia: Rebirth, or they rely on shootouts and mobs, like the Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead series. There are very few games out there that rely on building suspense, creating mystery and fear with impostor elements, and then unleashing full-on body horror for players to revel in. It’s the main reason why a remake or reboot for The Thing video game could be so successful.

The popularity of Among Us (and, to a lesser degree, Carrion) proves there’s a market out there for the body horror genre. A remake of The Thing with next-gen graphics would be just about perfect. Even if licensing issues prevented that from happening, a new and original title could fill that same void. John Carpenter is one of the most adored horror directors of all time, so it’s strange that video games haven’t copied his style more often – but it’s definitely time to change that.

Until a true, John Carpenter-style horror game like a remake of The Thing releases, fans of the genre can at least enjoy video games inspired by the director’s films. Among Us and Carrion are two standouts, and while they’re very different in tone and style, they still convey Carpenter’s approach to body horror and imposter elements very well.

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Updated: January 8, 2021 — 6:14 pm

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