Allie Vaugh watches her boyfriend, Adam Wallace, play the survival horror video game \\\\\\\"Silent Hill 2\\\\\\\" in October 2013 at their home in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The couple celebrates Halloween each year by playing video games. (TMP Photo/K. Beck)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- It was only after he became enamored with horror video gaming that Adam Wallace finally saw the light in horror movies themselves.
Wallace, an Eagleville High School alumnus now residing in the Murfreesboro, possesses a collection of about 1,000 video games, 30 of them from the horror vein.
“If I play one horror game a day, I can cover October,” said Wallace, who has tackled six of them thus far this month.
“I’ve been making horror video games an October tradition since I first got the PlayStation with ‘Resident Evil,’ which served as a gateway to horror movies,” said Wallace an accounting assistant at Sims Recycling Solutions in La Vergne.
“‘Resident Evil’ is kind of cheesy, but I’m still a fan. I’ve played through it about a dozen times as both of the playable characters and beaten it half a dozen times with each one,” he said.
He is not alone in his seasonal horror video marathon.
Former librarian Allie Vaughn, his girlfriend of seven years, is also an avid gamer and works with video games as a clerk at GameTrader, a game store that has been a Murfreesboro fixture for more than 10 years.
“His collection is actually an accumulation of mine and his,” Vaughn said. “We’re both heavy-duty horror movie fans. I consider that an asset. Here (playing the video games), it feels the horror is actually affecting you.”
The couple also shares their video game consoles: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube and Dreamcast.
Horror video buff Wallace admits he was late getting into horror flicks.
“When I thought of horror movies, I thought of those ridiculous slasher movies that I don’t care for. Then I saw ‘The Shining’ and thought, ‘Hey, maybe there’s more to this than I thought.’”
He said “The Shining” now reigns as his favorite horror film, which he watches every Halloween. His favorite horror video game is the original “Silent Hill.”
“My favorite horror video games are those which have a psychological story,” Vaughn said.
“Those are games you want to play in the mood with the lights turned off and the sound turned up.” Wallace said. “Like her taste in movies, she tends to be into niche games.”
“They’re a lot more interesting games when it’s small independent companies making stuff,” said Vaughn, whose favorite film remains “The Blair Witch Project.”
On a mid-October Saturday afternoon, Wallace goes after zombies and other ghoulish villains while playing the games “Beyond: Two Souls,” “Resident Evil: Revelations” and “Dead Rising.”
“‘Dead Rising’ could almost be considered a video game of ‘Dawn of the Dead,’” Vaughn said.
Wallace said he enjoys “Dead Rising” because practically every object on the screen, even a lawnmower, can be used as a weapon. He said it creates “the kind of primal fear of watching a zombie movie with you swinging a baseball bat.”
Vaughn said she likes the games “Silent Hill” and “Fatal Frame,” saying, “What’s interesting is because you use a camera mechanism to find the ghosts, it makes it more scary because you can’t see them until they’re right on you.”
It may seem the couple could be happy to while away the midnight hours at home with their scary collection, but that doesn’t keep them from movie theaters.
A couple of Halloweens they screened “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Nashville’s Belcourt Theater, but they said they were disappointed when management would not allow moviegoers to throw hotdogs (a major character is Dr. Frank N. Furter), however, at least they could toss rolls of toilet paper at the screen.
Ultimately, though, playing the horror video games in a dark apartment wins out.
“I enjoy watching horror movies, but in the end you still feel detached,” Wallace said. “But, here you’re right in the thick of things, an actual participant, so a sense of fear hits home.”