Resident Evil 7 is a scary mansion game, a mansion designed with all classic horror movies and novels in mind. But this is not a ghost story, the horror is resident in all of our minds, not just the minds of the characters in the game, it is the chaos inside everyone that manifests when we snap and lose sanity: madness. And sometimes we go crazy because of reasons beyond our command, which is more terrifying, but not as terrifying as a man experiencing sanity and insanity fighting it out in his own brain, see also schizophrenia. We catch a glimpse of this madness in our darkest moments, when we’re depressed, angry, or in any other extreme state of mind that momentarily puts aside the veil hiding our most vicious thoughts. Take, for example, the things you would do to save a loved one, the violence you would be capable of if it meant saving your child from someone or something, that violence is in you, guarded, controlled, but still resides in you. And people go crazy all the time, there are always active serial killers, hundreds of people are killed everyday, men and women are raped, children are molested, and animals are tortured, we often get to see the violence inside us displayed. Demons do not possess us, madness does.
I never really understood the term jump scare until the second encounter with Marguerite, this scare will get you even if you expect it. The place where you fight her, called the greenhouse, is actually somewhat similar to my grandmother’s old house, as I remember it from when I was a kid, and certain pieces of furniture definitely looked familiar, it was like playing in an old faded memory of mine but invaded by a monster. What I first noticed about Marguerite was her crotch. The insects nest she has on that part easily looks like a severe skin disease, skin diseases are not just disgusting and scary, they can also be a source of fear, fear of getting a severe skin disease or losing your skin in an accident, something that is not that rare. Her engorged crotch also affects her walk, her brilliantly animated walk. Despite her monstrous shape and extended arms, Marguerite’s walk, when upright, is still reminiscent of the way some old people move, humanizing her just enough to not turn into a forgettable deformed creature. Once you have taken in Marguerite the almost human, she gets on all fours and takes arachnophobia to new grounds, ushering in madness. You find yourself up against an insane, old woman with a severe skin disease scaling walls like a spider. She gets to you, something that can’t be said about the other bosses in the game.