Motion pictures now borrowing from video games?

Two most recent examples seem to be Tom Hanks’ Polar Express, which seems very similar, at least thematically, to the Syberia PC adventure series, and the new snuff horror film The Saw seems to draw inspiration from Rockstar’s Manhunt.

Coincidence? You make the call.

Polar Express is based on a short story, I believe. I know nothing of Saw, thought it was yet another Japanese horror movie imported over here.

Fairly sure the Polar Express story predates Syberia by some years, and I met the two guys who wrote and directed Saw and they seemed pretty game illiterate. I’d credit Seven more than Manhunt.

The Grudge is the current japanese horror import. Japanese movie was called Ju-On

The Grudge is the current japanese horror import. Japanese movie was called Ju-On[/quote]

Ju On: The Grudge is the movie. There was also a TV series or film.

Regardless, there are way too many Grudges and Ju Ons now.

I would have thought that Saw was in production probably at the same time or before Manhunt came out.

— Alan

The Polar Express is based on a children’s book from 1985 (or '86). It was one of my favourites as a kid (as was most of Van Allsburg’s work).

But I could agree that action movies have been boring from video games fairly liberally as of late.

It was actually a short children’s book. I had it as a kid, which was the 1980’s.

Freudian slip? :lol:

My mistake, I meant borrowing, although you are right Case… the statment could mostly work both ways.

The Polar Express is based on a childrens’ book that’s been around for some time, written and illustrated by one of my personal favorite artists, Chris van Allsburg (who also teaches at RISD). Though I’m guessing that the movie has little to do with the book, since the story in the book would make for about ten minutes of screen time (and even that might be pushing it).

Van Allsburg also wrote and illustrated Jumanji, which was turned into a movie with Robin Williams a few years back.

As others have pointed out, the movies both predate the games you suggest they’re borrowing from. Saw was written in 2002 and finished in time for the 2003 Sundance in January. Polar Express is from an old children’s book.

I’m not even sure I see the coincidences. Syberia was about a woman fleeing civilization to solve a mystery. The Polar Express is about a child searching for Christmas. The only thing they have in common is a train driving through a cold climate.

As for the Saw and Manhunt comparison, I don’t see it either. I’m not even sure why you call Saw a “snuff horror film”, which it isn’t. It’s just a serial killer movie in which the killer doesn’t even kill anyone.

If you want to look at creative cross pollination between games and movies, there are much better examples.


It was actually a short children’s book. I had it as a kid, which was the 1980’s.[/quote]

I think I did, too. I swear I remember owning a book with the big Christmas train on the cover. I don’t remember a damn thing about the story, though.

Tangent: Anyone remember an old Dean Koontz Christmas story (done like Polar Express, with big pictures and such) about two groups of toys, one old-fashioned good toys and one evil toys with sharp edges out to injure children during the holidays? Can’t remember for the life of me what it was called, but I remember liking it when I read it.