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The Quarry is a spiritual successor to Supermassive Games’ sensational Until Dawn, stuffing pulse-pounding gameplay, gore galore, and cheesy nods to the player into an exhilarating summer slasher simulator.
Nine camp counsellors are stranded for one more night at Hackett’s Quarry, the resort where they’ve been working for the last two months. Annoying, but that’s no big deal — it’s an excuse to drink your body weight in beer, play very pointed games of Truth or Dare, and make the most of the last hours with some really awesome friends.
David Arquette plays Chris Hackett, who is the leader of Hackett’s Quarry. The motto is “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and Chris holds that creed close to his heart. Authoritative yet sympathetic, he’s adamant that the counsellors stay inside for their final night and wait for the van to be repaired in the morning. Hunting season has just started in the area and it’s too dangerous to be strolling in the woods after dark.
It’s clear, however, that Chris knows a little more than his imperturbable persona would let on. We’re not ones to spoil the story, of course, so pick up and play the game if your curiosity has been piqued. The other day, we got the chance to chat to David about the evolution of the genre of horror, the best and funniest parts of motion capture, and what’s actually good about the ‘80s anyway.
Check out the video version of the interview here!
There are almost 200 endings to this story. What is it like portraying that character, that same personality, in multiple scenarios?
Well, for me, it was a little easier, because I'm not a playable character, necessarily. So I didn't have to play a tremendous amount of options. But I did do a bunch. It was interesting. I mean, it was an odd experience! It was during COVID, so we were following serious COVID protocol. So I mainly got to work with Justice (Smith, who plays Ryan).
But, the whole experience was really thrilling for me. I love video games, and being part of this world was sort of a dream come true, and with such an advanced video game that is like a film, essentially. And the storytelling, it was all these powerhouse storytellers and game players that got behind this. So they really wanted the experience to be something that was visceral, that you really got excited about, that was scary - truly scary. I tried to warn these kids, but you know, teens just don’t listen very well.
When we were speaking to Temuera Morrison, at the Star Wars Celebration, he mentioned that he finds acting for a video game more difficult than acting on a film set. How far do you agree with that statement?
You have to use your imagination a lot. It's a lot of working with CGI creatures and whatnot. It's difficult but it also moves quickly, because you're not waiting around for lighting - everything's pre-lit. You're not waiting around too much for different aspects of moving equipment to a different set location, or whatever it is, you're really running and gunning [on a film set].
So there are aspects [regarding acting for a video game] that are difficult, as far as getting to a truly emotional place, you know, or things like that. But some of the mechanics of [acting], you know, you don't have to wait for the camera to switch sides of the room, for instance. You just turn to a different eye line and then you’re ready to go. That made it a little easier.
That's very interesting. Like, as more and more established film actors, such as yourself, leap into video games, there are very interesting contrasts and experiences and things like that.
I’m incredibly critical to the angles of your face and what you look like in the virtual world!
My favourite part is seeing all of you with your dots all over your face.
Yeah. They’re putting all of these dots all over your face, they’re scanning your body while you're in your underwear. There's definite moments of like [laughs] “... accept this, this is all your flaws, ready for scanning”!
There's a moment at the start of the game where Max and Laura are going down into the basement and Max says, "Ever seen Evil Dead?", and of course, the cop that tows their car in an early scene is played by Ted Raimi… who's in Evil Dead! Why does that form of self-conscious, self-referential humour work so well in horror?
I think it's wonderful. I mean, horror fans in general, on top of being cinema fans, they really know the worlds. They know the stories, they know the history of it. It's almost like joking with a friend that you have a history with, you know, you get certain things that other people don't.
Even in the storytelling and shot angles, [they’re referencing] other films as well, soyou're layering upon layering all these things. It's really wonderful - I really enjoy it.
The '80s influences on the game are pretty palpable, and the decade has had a bit of a resurgence recently thanks to things like Stranger Things - what is it like comparing what the '80s was actually like with The Quarry's interpretation of the '80s?
It’s cool! I mean, the fact that Kate Bush's song is now back in the charts is so cool. I think it's really wonderful for artists to be able to be re-discovered in that way by our own generation.
I directed a film called The Tripper, which was about a killer who is obsessed with Ronald Reagan and attacks hippies at an outdoor music festival. And when I got to screen the film, a lot of the teens didn't know Ronald Reagan. You think like, “Oh, what, what are you talking about?!”
But it's wild how the world keeps moving. These things have their space and time but then to be rediscovered and reintroduced to a whole new fan base - it’s really cool to see.
I think when [younger generations] romanticise it, it's kind of the best of those times. So I get a kick out of it, whenever I see things like that, for sure. And, being part of ‘90s film franchise that has lived on, I was able to sort of reap the benefits of that in a way because there's a love for that time period.
Even for all of us living through the last couple of years, you know, you can look back before that, and it was like, “Wow, the world has definitely changed”... but it keeps going. I love it when there are games like this that come out and allow you to enjoy and have fun with [those time periods].
Absolutely. And hearing The Quarry’s musical sting like that synthy ding-ding-ding. I just got such a kick out of it. I was like, I love this.
I love games like this when they actually elicit that fear in you! Everything’s safe, you’re in your room, you’re having fun…
I was sweating bullets - in the best way. Oh, and for our final question, because you’ve mentioned Scream, do you think Dewey Riley and Chris Hackett would get along? Would they be a team to be reckoned with if you were stranded in a sticky situation?
I’m not sure… Dewey is definitely the sweeter side of that kind of character. Chris Hackett's a lot grumpier and just tried to warn these kids to get out of the campsite, because bad things are gonna happen. They didn't listen, that's on them. But I think they probably would get along - Dewey gets along with everyone.
The Quarry is out now for PC, Xbox Series consoles, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.
Featured Image Credit: 2K Games, Paramount Pictures
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