Well, to start …how are we doing?
If you’re like me and felt extremely skeptical about The Last of Us turning into a massive HBO production, I hope you’ve been able to take a breath after last Sunday night. I was right there with you—scared, unsure, and honestly, a bit entitled. I didn’t want this somewhat niche story told to the outside world and have it ruined by the video game adaptation curse. And I’m so glad I was wrong.
Even through the hordes of homophobic review bombing, constant shaming and harassment of lead actor Bella Ramsey, and overt, ugly fan entitlement, The Last of Us turned out to be one of the best TV adaptations ever made. Love or hate the changes these creatives made, each and every one had a significant impact on how we, as fans, consumed this smash hit. Some folks dislike changes because they think they detract too much from the original storyline. Others because it was “too gay” for them (spoiler alert: the main character of The Last of Us IS VERY GAY. We’ve all known this since Left Behind was released in 2014).
But what about our favorite changes from game to TV? Here are just a few that deserve to be recognized.
Bill and Frank
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? This is the best (queer) love story told on screen in years. I feel so thankful to be on Earth at the same time as this television episode. Gorgeous, messy, and heartbreaking, “Long, Long Time” gave more purpose to Bill’s tragic character, and it gave Frank a true voice: “Paying attention to things — it’s how we show love.”
Joel is Softer, Not Superhuman
Wait, so Pedro Pascal can’t take a couple bullets on hard mode, then wrap up his arm in an old bandage and go about his day slaying hundreds of clickers?
But aside from the obvious differences between game Joel and show Joel, the character we all love is a warmer, more human version of the man we played as for the last ten years. This version of real-life Joel is still tough to crack but more in touch with his emotions. We also learn that Joel attempted suicide after losing Sarah, and him explaining to Ellie that it wasn’t “just time” that helped him heal was one of the most beautiful moments of the entire show.
Sam Being Younger and Deaf
Besides the Bill and Frank episode, the story of Sam and Henry hit me the hardest. Sam being deaf and much younger (in the game he’s Ellie’s age) made his dependency on his older brother Henry even more prominent and, eventually, more heartbreaking. It also gave Ellie a sense of what having a sibling could look like, which resulted in me breaking down in tears when she tried to cure him of infection and left the magic slate “I’m Sorry” note on his tiny grave.
One of the many new characters introduced this season, Kathleen was a perfect taste of what’s to come in season two. Melanie Lynskey put so much care into this role, and the themes of needing revenge and stopping at nothing to get it were heavily sprinkled throughout episodes four and five. I think we all know why.
Tommy and Maria are having a baby! This is arguably one of the biggest modifications to the story, and I’m ridiculously excited to see how character and plot dynamics change in season two because of it. There must be a lot going on behind the scenes to implement such a massive twist, and a new addition to the Miller family can only lead to one thing: more pain.
Joel Not Saving Ellie from David
It’s subtle, but vital. While the creators attribute it to logistics, they also note in the companion podcast that Ellie saving herself from David gives her agency. She doesn’t have Joel to pull her away and tell her to stop hacking at what’s left of David. She’s able to take out all of her rage and pain on her attacker, who I think was written even more disturbing than in the game.
“You fuckin’ tell ‘em, Ellie.”
Cue immediate tears. Ashley Johnson, our OG Ellie, playing mother Anna was the cherry on top of the trauma cake. We see where Ellie gets her iconic switchblade and green jacket, the short moments of bonding that the mother and daughter had together, and Anna’s relationship with her best friend Marlene. There’s even an explanation for Ellie’s immunity.
Naturally, there are many beats and pieces of gameplay that we missed seeing. Those are the main complaints: no spores! Not enough infected fight scenes! Joel and Ellie stop in completely different cities! I could go on and on, but fortunately, there’s an answer to these concerns. If you aren’t a fan of the changes, that’s totally okay: it’s a good thing you can always go back to play the original.
Neil Druckmann, writer and executive producer of the HBO show and creator of the video game, knows best for these characters. And it’s clear that Craig Mazin, co-writer and co-executive producer, is a huge fan just like all of us, and helped add so much depth to this story and its characters. It’s important to remember that television is not reusing source material that already exists—and still, there are shot-for-shot moments portrayed beautifully and truthfully.
Some of us have been fans of The Last of Us franchise for ten years—when it first came out in 2013, it revolutionized the video gaming world forever. No matter the differences between game and TV, big or small, what we love about this story remains. The heart is there. Love (good and bad) permeates. The Last of Us on HBO is a love letter to the fans of this complicated, powerful, life-changing adventure. It’s safe to say our hopes are high for season two and beyond.
“What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?” Scream The Game GIVEAWAY
Are you a die-hard fan of the iconic Scream franchise? Do you know every detail about Ghostface, Sidney Prescott, and the events in Woodsboro? Now that Scream 7 has officially landed its director (Christopher Landon), and Funko Games has released their Scream game we’ve decided to do a small giveaway.
Are you a die-hard fan of the iconic Scream franchise? Do you know every detail about Ghostface, Sidney Prescott, and the events in Woodsboro?
Now that Scream 7 has officially landed its director (Christopher Landon), and Funko Games has released their Scream game we’ve decided to do a small giveaway.
Would You Like to Play a Game?
Starting August 4th we’ll be giving away two copies of Funko’s Scream The Game… With some extras…
How can you enter on Facebook?
Step 1. Make sure to join OUR FACEBOOK FAN PAGE!
Step 2. LIKE AND SHARE the giveaway post!
Step 3. Tag a friend who would play the horror movie expert in a Scream movie.
For a second chance at winning, make sure you enter on Instagram too!
So how can you enter on Instagram?
Step 1. Make sure to FOLLOW OUR ACCOUNT!
Step 2. LIKE the giveaway post!
Step 3. Tag a friend who would play the horror movie expert in a Scream movie.
The winner will be announced on August 11th and will be notified via social media. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, we will randomly select another winner.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to our FB Group/Instagram page, like our post, follow our page, and tag a friend for your chance to win your copy Scream The Game!
Good luck, and stay spooky!
**Contest entries are limited to addresses in the United States.**
Everything You Need to Know About ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Game
The 1974 classic is coming back swinging in a new way. Here’s what players should expect ahead of the game’s release!
The recent death sentence for Friday the 13th: The Game still wears on horror fans’ shoulders, but a new slasher legend is coming to pick up the slack. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the latest fresh meat in the co-op, player-versus-player gaming subgenre, joining the likes of tried-and-true Dead by Daylight and becoming the third piece of media in the TCM franchise to share the original film’s name.
Want a crash course on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? We have you covered!
An Assortment of Playable Victims
TCM is a multiplayer combat game following a group of college students who end up in a life-or-death chase against the now-called Slaughter family. Players can choose to be a victim (one of five characters original to the game) or a killer protecting the Slaughter’s farm. The gameplay itself will be an asymmetrical experience, with three killers pitted against four victims in every round.
The victim characters are grounded not only in classic horror archetypes and gameplay styles but also a narrative plucked straight from the fields of ‘70s Texas. Maria, a burgeoning art student ready to break away from her rural upbringing and attend university, goes missing during sunflower season in the Lone Star State. Her sister, Ana, and her friends Leland, Sunny, Julie, and Connie, head out to bring Maria home, dissatisfied by the fruitless efforts of local police.
Returning Killers, Plus Two New Family Members
On the other side of the fence, the Slaughter family features Leatherface, the Cook, and the Hitchhiker, along with two new family members named Sissy and Johnny. Sissy embodies a cult-obsessed ‘60s chick gone bad, while Johnny is a handsome, serial killer-inspired misfit. Even Leatherface’s beloved chainsaw was treated as a member of the family by developers, designed to evoke the sinister foreboding edge that comes with the TCM name.
Despite their unfamiliarity to fans, these new Slaughter siblings come straight from the brain of Kim Henkel, the co-writer of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), along with Tobe Hooper. This authenticity is at the heart of the game. Wes Keltner, President and CEO of Gun Interactive, said it best: “If you don’t have that voice in the mix, something’s missing.”
An Authentically Licensed Texas Chain Saw Massacre Experience
It’s important to note that Gun Interactive only scored licensing rights to the 1974 film, so gamers shouldn’t expect cameos from Chop Top, Stretch, or anyone else from the rest of the franchise. Even so, this roster is impressive on its own, featuring the legendary Kane Hodder as Leatherface (and stunt coordinator) and Edwin Neal reprising his role as the Hitchhiker from the original. Check out some fun behind-the-scenes of the cast killing each other in motion capture suits here.
Whether you have played Dead by Daylight since 2016 or love the thrilling discomfort of the TCM films, this new installment to the franchise seems worth checking out.
See if you can make it out of the Slaughter house alive!
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre will be released on August 18 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, along with Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. Score it for $39.99 at launch or get 10% off on Steam if you preorder.