Resident Evil 7’s Family Members Embody the Subgenres of Horror

Resident Evil 7’s Family Members Embody the Subgenres of Horror

At GDC 2017, Resident Evil 7's director shared the inspirations for the game's disturbing characters: horror itself.

USgamer is at GDC throughout the week! Keep an eye on the linked hub for news, interviews, and more!

When Resident Evil 7 started conceptualizing in February 2014 in Osaka, Japan, its developers wondered where the series would go. With the guidelines of "make it scary and fun," the focus shifted away from the action-centric additions as of late, and instead returned to its roots: survival horror. At the 2017 Game Developer’s Conference, director Koshi Nakanishi and Capcom senior manager Peter Fabiano led the talk “Reliving the Horror: Taking Resident Evil Forward by Looking Back,” where they outlined the ups and downs of Resident Evil 7’s development, and where the inspirations for the ominous Baker family came to life.

Among the dozens of small iterations of the game during pre-and-full-production, one thing that remained was the fact that the game would tone down the series’ familiar characters, and focus on a small new group: a family. “We incorporated horror subgenres into each of the family members,” Fabiano said, speaking on Nakanishi’s behalf. For example, with Marguerite, the “mother” figure of Resident Evil 7’s household, she embodied the essence of body horror. From the centipedes oozing out of her flesh and her role in the game’s story, she stands as the most squeamish-inducing family member of the bunch.

Fabiano offered more examples of the horror subgenre-embracing family members. Jack, the chainsaw-wielding ‘dad’ of the plantation, is nearly as cliched as any murderer you’d find in a slasher—and that’s intentional. He was modeled to be like a slasher film murderer. The same goes for Lucas, a character who opts for traps and taunts instead of chasing the player around the house; his personality and the ways his abilities manifest represent the quiet, calculated suspense of psychological horror.

Editor's pick

Resident Evil 7's Banned Footage Vol 1 Offers Closure on Clancy

Editor's pick

Resident Evil 7: What's Next for the Franchise?

Resident Evil 7, despite being a risky departure for the series, proved itself to be a success that Mike enjoyed; and at the very least, was a positive experiment in shifting the expectations of a major franchise. By creatively imbuing its characters with the subtle makings of the many facets of horror, Resident Evil 7 is, in a strange way, a love letter to the entire overarching genre. And as Nakanishi closed the talk with, despite all the development’s hardships, “With confidence, I can say that we achieved our vision.”

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

Related articles

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.