The best stuff to watch after Alan Wake

The long-awaited sequel to Treatment Leisure’s action-horror cult basic Alan Wake has lastly escaped the Darkish Place of improvement hell, and it’s wonderful.

Selecting up 13 in-game years after the unique, Alan Wake 2 follows each the cult horror author and a brand new protagonist within the type of FBI profiler Saga Anderson as they battle the machinations of a deranged homicide cult and the possessed minions of Alan’s evil doppelganger, Mr. Scratch. Aside from brushing up on the occasions of the primary recreation and all that’s transpired since, the discharge of Alan Wake 2 provides a beautiful alternative to dive again into the films and TV exhibits that impressed the story and characters of the collection.

Like Hideo Kojima, Treatment Leisure inventive director Sam Lake is an avid and omnivorous lover of books, movies, and tv, seldom neglecting a possibility to pay homage to the influences behind his work and discuss at size about how they’ve knowledgeable his inventive course of. With that in thoughts, we’ve assembled an inventory of a number of the best motion pictures and TV which have both impressed the Alan Wake video games or resemble them so strongly that followers could be remiss not to test them out or revisit them.

Let’s dive in!


Picture: NBC

12 months: 2013-2015
Showrunner/creator: Bryan Fuller
Solid: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas
The place to watch: Hulu

Saga Anderson, the deuteragonist of Alan Wake 2, is a proficient legal profiler very similar to Hannibal’s Will Graham, routinely diving into the minds of suspects to unearth clues and connections that may support her within the investigation of the brutal ritualistic killings surrounding the fictional city of Brilliant Falls, Washington.

Within the Mouth of Insanity

Sam Neill as John Trent stepping through a hole that resembles a rift in a page of text in In The Mouth of Madness.

Picture: Scream Manufacturing unit

12 months: 1994
Director: John Carpenter
Solid: Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow
The place to watch: Criterion Channel, Tubi

Though not explicitly cited as an affect, Alan Wake 2 and this film share a stunning quantity in widespread when considered facet by facet. Each Treatment Leisure’s newest recreation and Within the Mouth of Insanity middle on investigations into the disappearance of well-known writers whose works have taken on a lifetime of their very own, blurring the road between fiction and actuality as their respective protagonists march on in a seek for solutions which will or might not destroy them within the course of. Additionally they each enjoyment of stunning their audiences with fourth-wall-breaking scenes closely impressed by the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft.


(L-R) Matthew Fox, Terry O’Quinn, Evangeline Lilly, and Jorge Garcia standing in front of a concrete hatch surrounded by a tropical forest in Lost.

Picture: NBC

12 months: 2004-2010
Showrunners/creators: Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof
Solid: Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox
The place to watch: Hulu

Misplaced was a bona fide cultural phenomenon in the course of the early 2000s, introducing a complete era of viewers to the thrill and frustrations of their explicit model of “mystery box” storytelling. It solely is sensible, given the time when the unique recreation got here out, that Sam Lake and firm would cite the collection as an inspiration behind the thriller of Alan Wake’s universe. “They do the pacing very well,” Lake mentioned in regards to the present in a 2010 interview with GamesBeat. “That was something we were talking about when writing Alan Wake.” Misplaced additionally impressed the construction of the unique recreation’s story, which divides every of its ranges into six “episodes.”


A close-up shot of a hand holding a polaroid photo of a man (Guy Pearce) with tattoos on his chest pointing to his heart and smiling in Memento.

Picture: Sony Footage House Leisure

12 months: 2000
Director: Christopher Nolan
Solid: Man Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
The place to watch: Prime Video, Pluto TV, Plex

Sam Lake has cited a number of Christopher Nolan movies as influences on Alan Wake 2, together with Memento and Inception. Speaking to IGN, Lake mentioned, “Inception plays a role [in the dreamlike nature of the Dark Place]. Him struggling to understand and remember, I feel Memento is a great detective story kind of trying to understand and trying to piece together what has happened. Him being the narrator and kind of not a reliable narrator from the perspective that he doesn’t have the full picture. Even Fight Club I think is this kind of a pretty anxious horror-esque, urban story and a psychological thriller.”


Brad Pitt as Detective Mills shining a flashlight in a dark room lit by red bulbs and decorated with photos in Seven.

Picture: Warner House Video

12 months: 1995
Director: David Fincher
Solid: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow
The place to watch: Hulu

When it got here to bridging the hole between Alan Wake 2’s detective fiction ambitions and its supernatural horror roots, Lake and principal narrative designer Molly Maloney cited this serial killer thriller as certainly one of their greatest inspirations. “When I look at Saga, I see a lot of Seven,Maloney mentioned in an interview with IGN. “She is a consummate professional, she’s very talented at what she does. She’s here with her partner, Alex Casey, trying to solve this increasingly impossible seeming series of mysteries. I mean, it’s not that they’re being funny, but there’s a pleasant back-and-forth that really reminds me of Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, didn’t feel dissimilar.”

Seven is definitely a good example of the merging of detective fiction with horror,” Lake added. “Serial killer stories overall often come really close to a horror film while being very much a detective story as well.”

The Silence of the Lambs

Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) staring at Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), his reflection visible in the mirrored glass surface of his prison cell in The Silence of the Lambs.

Picture: Warner Bros. House Leisure

12 months: 1991
Director: Jonathan Demme
Solid: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
The place to watch: Max

Each Lake and recreation director Kyle Rowley have immediately cited Silence of the Lambs as a chief inspiration behind the character of Saga Anderson. Early in manufacturing, the event crew sought to create a brand new protagonist who might function a foil to Alan Wake and a proficient investigator and legal profiler not not like Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling.

Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro slumped in a theater seat with his hand resting against his nose and temple in Taxi Driver.

Picture: Sony Footage House Leisure

12 months: 1976
Director: Martin Scorsese
Solid: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks
The place to watch: Out there to lease on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Taxi Driver immediately impressed the feel and appear of Alan Wake 2’s depiction of the Darkish Place, a malevolent shape-shifting dimension the place the protagonist has been imprisoned for over a decade. “I inhaled American pop culture as a kid, and New York was the beating heart of it,” Lake informed horror director Mike Flanagan throughout a panel dialogue at Tribeca Pageant 2023. The “neon-y, borderline gothic vibe” and concrete isolation of Scorsese’s 1976 masterpiece have been an enormous affect on the feel and appear of the Darkish Place’s nightmarish imaginative and prescient of New York, which additionally derives inspiration from Alan Wake’s in-universe crime novels.

True Detective season 1

(L-R) Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson standing in the wreckage of a dilapidated, burned down church in season one of  True Detective.

Picture: HBO House Leisure

12 months: 2014
Showrunner/creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Solid: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
The place to watch: Max

“One of the first things that came to us when we were thinking about creating a concept of an FBI agent coming with her partner to investigate these murders was season one of True Detective,” Rowley revealed to IGN. “The kind of dynamics between the two detectives there and how they work together to solve that case was something that’s very compelling to us. And then obviously just stylistically wise, again, it’s got a lot of ritualistic elements to it that we could lean on quite well.”

The recreation additionally shares plenty of aesthetic similarities to the collection, particularly Saga’s visions whereas profiling topics, which make use of double-exposure pictures that strongly resembles that of True Detective’s mesmerizing opening titles.

The Twilight Zone

Rod Serling in The Twilight Zone.

Picture: Picture Leisure

12 months: 1959-1964
Showrunner/creator: Rod Serling
The place to watch: Paramount Plus

The affect of The Twilight Zone on Alan Wake and Alan Wake 2 is most seen in Night time Springs, a fictional in-universe analog for Serling’s personal collection that options a number of brief episodes which seem at varied occasions all through the primary recreation. Night time Springs additionally serves as a bridge between Alan Wake and 2019’s Management, with the character of Alan Wake having written a number of episodes of the collection early on in his writing profession, together with the script for an episode known as “Over the Threshold Darkly” which eerily mirrors the occasions of Management.

Twin Peaks / Twin Peaks: The Return

(L-R) Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer in the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks: The Return.

Picture: Showtime

12 months: 1990-1991 (Twin Peaks); 2017 (Twin Peaks: The Return)
Showrunners/creators: David Lynch, Mark Frost
Solid: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick
The place to watch: Paramount Plus (Twin Peaks); Showtime (Twin Peaks: The Return)

Maybe greater than some other work cited on this listing, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s supernatural thriller drama towers over all others as essentially the most outstanding affect on not solely the Alan Wake collection, however on Lake. The fictional Pacific Northwest city of Twin Peaks is a direct inspiration behind Alan Wake’s personal Brilliant Falls, the Darkish Place is a closely impressed by the extradimensional liminal area of Twin Peaks’ Black Lodge, and even the character of Cynthia Weaver within the unique recreation is immediately impressed by Margaret Lanterman, the so-called “Log Lady” in Twin Peaks. That’s not even delving into the parallels between Alan Wake 2 and Twin Peaks: The Return, which picks up 25 years after the occasions of the unique collection and follows its protagonist escaping from a sinister alternate dimension to face off towards his evil doppelganger.

Additionally, each Alan Wake and Twin Peaks characteristic tons of espresso — with some rattling wonderful cups, when you ask the suitable individuals.

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