The 7 least-scary moments in scary games

As any horror-movie director can tell you, keeping up a tense atmosphere for 90 minutes of screen time isn't easy. So imagine, then, what it must be like to try and keep up that same level of tension over 40-plus hours of a survival horror game. No matter how intense you make it, sooner or later, your carefully constructed atmosphere of terror and despair is going to fall flat.

This Halloween, we'll explore seven of the least scary moments from some of the best horror games ever. Be forewarned, however, before you delve into our anti-spooktacular: spoilers lurk in the pages ahead. That goes double if you decide to hit the Movies tab above (or click here) to see all these decidedly un-grisly moments in motion.

7. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (PS2, Xbox) - Ghostly hit points
With its first-person camera-combat sequences, genuinely creepy ghosts and cursed-village setting, Fatal Frame 2 is one of the most immersive, atmospheric horror games we've ever played - at least until the first time you fight a ghost, and big hit points and encouraging messages start popping up onscreen. The action is still scary, but the reminder that we're playing a game jerks us right out of our frightened reverie.

We can wrap our heads around the idea of fighting a ghost with a magical camera. We can even accept that a ghost could absorb multiple hits from said camera, or have its remaining energy displayed in our viewfinder. But popup numbers are too much even for our stretched ability to suspend disbelief.

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  • Pocotron - September 5, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    Did I just find the beginning of the internet?
  • jessicasmiley - November 19, 2010 4:23 a.m.

    "I was weak. That's why I needed you...Needed someone to punish me for my sins..." —James Sunderland, Silent Hill 2, The pyramids are a version of James meant to punish him for the murder of his wife. when James finally admits to himself what he did to her he doesn't need that constant reminder because he has accepted what he did and what he is in Silent Hill for! Thats why they kill themselves. sorry it wasnt an epic battle but it was meant to be symbolic of him taking responsibility.
  • seniorpain - October 26, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    this is the first comment
  • Narudude360 - June 26, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    Numb Bodies scared me because of the fear of that clammy gross skin coming into contact with mine. *Shudder*
  • misfit119 - March 12, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    So the jesters were the ones that killed it for you? It wasn't the fact that the two teenage leads acted like such idiots that if they had died, instead of the bad guys, it would definitely have been worth cheering about?
  • AA95mp - December 13, 2008 5:21 p.m.

    why did they add the numb bodies?