Due to the complex nature of video game stories nowadays, there’s plenty of games that are solid ground for film adaptations. Of all of them, the most obvious is Resident Evil. Given how successful the horror genre continues to be in modern cinema, the series provides ample material for a killer Hollywood hit. In fact, it’s kind of tragic how badly the previous six Resident Evil movies have failed at this.
In light of the oft-derided Resident Evil movies, we bring you here today to talk about why I think Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City has potential. Starting from worst going to best, here we go:
10) It’s Bringing the Horror of Resident Evil Back
The problem with the previous live-action Resident Evils (and even the CGI movies) is that they focus too much on Matrix-style action scenes. It seems somewhere along the way the franchise lost the heart-stopping tension that made it great in the beginning. Thankfully, Johannes Roberts intends to take the series back to those roots – and a welcome change, it is. The inclusion of Resident Evil monster Lisa Trevor is a sign Roberts is bringing the horror back to an over-actionized franchise.
9) It Follows the Stories of the RE Games
Welcome to Raccoon City follows the storylines of the first two games. This means that fans can expect to see Spencer Mansion and RCPD in live-action glory. Given many disliked the loose adaptations of the previous six movies, this is no doubt a relief. As fans of the series know, the games have a movie-like atmosphere that is basically built for Hollywood. Since Johannes Roberts also claims the RE2 remake is the film’s inspiration for tone, we can expect something great!
8) Potential for Spin-Offs
The reboot tackles the Spencer Mansion and Police Department stories at once. If done successfully, it could lead to potential spin-offs. This hasn’t been officially announced, but this is Hollywood we’re talking about. The huge cast of characters spanning across several games leaves ample material for adaptation. If Resident Evil succeeds, could we get a movie universe a la the MCU and The Conjuring?
7) Could Draw in New Audiences
While it’s important to please fans, it’s also important to draw in general filmgoers. Roberts claims to draw inspiration from horror legend John Carpenter. He “took movies like Assault on Precinct 13 and The Fog and these disparate group of characters coming together under siege” as his “filmic inspiration”. By using one of horror’s most acclaimed directors as a model, perhaps there’s hope that Roberts can extend the franchise towards a whole new audience?
6) He’s Dedicated to the Characters
There has been much criticism of the First Look photos, with fortune-telling fans prophesizing the film as a failure due to three pictures alone. However, Roberts has made it clear that he chose the actors on their ability to play the characters over appearance. Roberts placed priority on finding “people who embodied the spirit and energy of the characters” as opposed to lookalikes. Given the previous movies cast lookalikes who lacked proper acting chops, this is actually relieving news.
5) It’s Written and Directed by a Fan of the Games
In many ways, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is an expensive piece of fan-fiction. In his interviews, Roberts shows how much he loves the games, even going so far as to say the movie’s atmosphere is directly inspired by its source material (he even references one of the wide-angle shots from RE1 in his adaptation). From Roberts’ words alone, you get a feel for his passion and veneration of the franchise – and from a fan’s perspective, there really isn’t anyone better to take on the job.
4) It’s Set in the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City
In an October 2020 statement to Deadline, Robert Kulzer, an executive on the previous movies, said what we all want to hear. “After a dozen games, six live-action movies, and hundreds of pages of fan fiction, we felt compelled to return to the year 1998, to explore the secrets hidden in the walls of the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City”. Yes, Mr. Kulzer, we feel compelled to explore those secrets, too. For the Resident Evil faithful, this movie reboot will be a welcome return to Raccoon City on the big screen.
3) New Movie Continuity
There are times when a movie reboot is welcome and unwelcome. Luckily, in the Resident Evil movie reboot’s case, it’s the former. The last six movies, while entertaining in some respects, are mostly as soulless as the zombies that feature in them. Featuring a boringly unstoppable protagonist bounced around by subpar plot twists, the movies wasted Milla Jovovich’s talent for years. Says Roberts in a March 2021 IGN interview: “I fell in love with Milla Jovovich, that first film is a lot of fun… but it was a real pleasure to get the reins of a new franchise.” We feel that pleasure too, Mr. Roberts, we feel that pleasure too.
2) The Heroes From The Games Appear
A complaint often issued towards the previous six Resident Evil films is that they forego the videogame cast in favor of Milla Jovovich’s Alice. Luckily, Roberts realizes this, and Raccoon City actually has the cast from the videogames as the main characters. Claire, Leon, Chris, Jill, and more are present in the film, ready to kick ass like they do in the games. And as many a Resident Evil fan would tell you, that’s a big relief.
1) It’s Recreating the Classic Resident Evil Atmosphere
The thing everyone loves about Resident Evil? It’s that creepy, ominous atmosphere that seeps out of its every pixel. Luckily for fans of the games, Johannes Roberts wants to recreate that on-screen. “The thing I loved about the games is they were just scary as hell and that is very much what I wanted too,” says Roberts in a March 2021 IGN interview. “That atmosphere — it’s rain, it’s constantly dark, it’s creepy. Raccoon City is kind of this rotten character in the movie and that sort of atmosphere in the games I wanted to put in [the film].” Additionally, Roberts cites the RE2 remake as an inspiration – and given how amazingly that game oozed creepy atmosphere, that sits alright with me. This Resident Evil movie reboot couldn’t come quick enough!
Do you agree or disagree? Are you looking forward to Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City? Let us know in the comments below…