According to a press release from DreadXP and its parent company, Epic Pictures Group, The Mortuary Assistant (opens in new tab) is being made into a movie. The first-person indie horror game where you play the part of an employee at a haunted funeral home blew up after its August 2 release thanks to its unique premise and atmosphere, as well as attention from streamers and YouTubers.
The project will be helmed by director Jeremiah Kipp (opens in new tab), who stated that he wants to create a "companion piece" to the game, continuing, "I want to retain the minimalist setting in and around the mortuary, the fascination with the process of embalming, and the nerve shredding terror of the gameplay."
The Mortuary Assistant's creator, Brian Clarke, stated that "Movies have always been the main inspiration for the style of my games. I'm always trying to create story, dialogue, and moments that feel filmic." Clarke continued, "An opportunity to bring this project full circle is making a dream of mine a reality."
We reached out to DreadXP head of production Ted Hentschke to ask a few questions about the project. On the topic of dealing with the Mortuary Assistant's focus on nightly runs and repetition, Hentschke mused, "It's really hard to reflect mechanics in film, and the replay is more a mechanical device that we utilize in the narrative than a strict narrative device."
Hentschke went on, "The film story is going to focus more on the overall narrative and the themes of the game and weave that five-part story into one."
When asked about production and how long this move has been in the works, Hentschke indicated that the plans for a film adaptation preceded The Mortuary Assistant's explosive success: "We decided to move forward on the movie before the release."
Hentschke further explained that DreadXP would be considering more adaptations of its games down the line: "It's actually part of how we want to do our publishing in the future, to give both film and game support to indie devs like the bigger studios might do."
That initiative won't exactly be starting from scratch: DreadXP's parent company, the Epic Pictures Group (opens in new tab), has a pretty big catalogue of genre movie productions under its belt. I wouldn't exactly read this as an immediate commitment to a DreadXP Cinematic Universe or anything though—my beautiful dream for the Dread Delusion anime will likely have to wait.