When welcoming yourself to the family in Resident Evil 7, it's pretty easy to make connections to cult classics such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Evil Dead. The game has so many archetypal and well established horror traits that it's almost eerily familiar in parts.
Although many influences are strikingly clear throughout the game, in the latest episode of 'Making Of Resident Evil 7', scenario director Morimasa Sato interestingly points out The Shining as another huge inspiration.
If you somehow missed the boat on The Shining, it's hard not to recommend checking out this Stephen King classic. There's some pretty noticeable comparisons to make if you've played through Resident Evil 7, even the opening sequences of both the game and the film are strikingly similar. Both follow a singular car across a vast, wide landscape - setting the scene for isolation, loneliness, and impending entrapment.
Both are set in mansions, which is an apparent connection, but they also have winding staircases and long, eerie hallways. Not only are there many visually obvious comparisons to make, especially between the locations and mansions chosen to set the scene, there are some more thematic and tonal influences too.
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A Tale of Two Jacks
Morimasa Sato goes on to speaks about the two Jacks in The Shining influencing the choice of Jack as a name in Resi, but it goes beyond that. Not only sharing a name, they also both adopt the same attachment to excessive violence and occasional door smashing. Oh, and axes. They like axes too.
"The Shining is a big inspiration for me. In fact, the two Jacks in that film, where Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance are why I chose the name Jack Baker. That's how much I love it." - Morimasa Sato
Sato was put in charge of creating #JackBaker and he describes the responsibility as a stressful experience. He wanted Baker to be as equally murderous as he is full of parental instinct - a tricky combination. Originally, Jack Baker was supposed to be more of a monstrous less human character, similar to #ResidentEvil's infamous Nemesis. Eventually though, the team ]decided to focus on Jack as a family oriented man, whom was driven mad through his warped sense of paternal responsibility.
It's really rather obvious when you compare Resi Jack and Shining Jack. Jack Baker, in his many forms, is definitely one of the Resi franchise's most memorable villains and, equally, Jack Torrance will go down as one of horror fanatics's favorite antagonists.
Distinctly Human, Distinctly Monstrous
"Jack is different from previous Resident Evil enemies because we could finally create an enemy with both human and monstrous sides." - Morimasa Sato
Although a typical horror trait, each chase sequence seems comparable too. With intense and exciting music, you'll get those nail biting nerves when being followed in either of these pieces. Whether you're being chased by Baker or Torrance, they both carry the same aggressive walk accompanied by a demonic stare.
Interestingly, one minor (and probably accidental) coincidence, is the links to cannibalism. We see the Baker family consuming meat assumed to be human whilst sitting around for a charming family meal, but this also makes an appearance in The Shining. Although not completely direct, Shining Jack has a conversation with his family about a party of settlers that became trapped and resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. It's probably kinda simple (and fun) to pick parts from Resident Evil 7 and find comparisons to other films or pieces of literature, but after Sato mentioning it, the connections to The Shining seem endless.
In conclusion, both Jacks aren't the friendliest of people, and will possibly chase you around with an axe if you get on their bad side. Just don't take a lonely drive anywhere soon, and stay away from those big empty mansions and you'll live a "Here's Johnny/Jack!" free life.