Posted by: caitlinmonahan | December 21, 2011

American McGee’s “Alice”

When I was in middle school I had a friend with an older sister who would often play a computer game called “American McGee’s Alice”, and I remember thinking it was the scariest and coolest thing I had ever seen. This game from the early 2000’s is based on Alice in Wonderland, but it is really a completely backwards version of the already backwards Wonderland of Lewis Carroll’s imagination. In this corrupt version of Alice, she has grown up and has spent several years in an insane asylum following the death of her parents in a house fire, and has subsequently become twisted and deranged. After leaving the asylum she finds herself back in Wonderland, which is now just as dark and demented as she is being that it is her own dream manifestation. The player of the game has to navigate many obstacles involving killing Wonderland creatures in the macabre version of Alice in Wonderland. As a preteen I thought that this game was extremely cool, and I somehow thought that it must be more like the original story than the Disney version, not having read the original story. Now I just think that this game is a very strange perversion of a wonderful story that doesn’t need to be manipulated to be made more interesting or provocative. Also, I read that this game was the predominant inspiration for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” from 2010 rather than the original story. Here is a trailer for the “backwards Wonderland”:

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