the six demonic resident The movies starring Milla Jovovich simultaneously comprise one of the most successful and most mocked movie adaptations of video games ever made. For fans, it seems that no one can do the series justice. But while the video game series has been able to reinvent itself and recapture its past glory, the film adaptations haven’t been so lucky.
Milla Jovovich’s latest film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter it came out in 2017, the same year Resident Evil 7: Biohazard revitalized the game series. In the time since then, the film franchise has at least tried to find new ground with the past year. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon Citya horror adaptation more faithful to the first two games in the series, but a critical flop.
with the new demonic resident series on Netflix, many fans anticipated another new interpretation of the franchise. Perhaps it would be another faithful recreation of the games or a new story with familiar characters. But while the series got off to a strong start on Netflix upon its premiere on July 14, 2022, becoming one of the platform’s most-watched shows that week, the response hasn’t been good. At the time of writing, the show has a 26% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and for many beleaguered fans, it’s yet another in a long string of disappointments.
One of the reasons fans are so disappointed in the show is that it feels completely unrecognizable from the source material. It doesn’t incorporate the most basic and important elements of games: military-style protagonists, a specific mystery/crime to solve, a zombie outbreak in a small area, and strong horror elements.
The main characters are policemen/soldiers
in the original demonic resident (1996) game on PlayStation 1, the protagonists were members of the elite police force known as STARS. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service), essentially a fictional SWAT team. This added several things to the game. First, the protagonist was a highly skilled fighter who could gather and use advanced weapons and equipment, such as a pistol, shotgun, grenade launcher, lockpick, etc., to eventually get the upper hand on roaming monsters.
Second, it lent an atmosphere of seriousness to the story: if the protagonist failed (as most of his team had, already killed by zombies), then all of Raccoon City and perhaps the rest of the world would be destroyed by the monsters.
This has been one of the most consistent elements of the game series. You always play as a military-type character: a member of the STARS, a police officer, a government agent, a member of a private security force, an anti-terrorist unit, a Vietnam veteran, or an armed motorcyclist. This was an essential element of the games atmosphere and set it apart from its rival series. Silent Hillwhose protagonists were ordinary people without any special skills.
in the new demonic resident Netflix series, however, all this is thrown out the window. The series is divided between two timelines, one in the past and one in the future. In the past timeline, the protagonists are two normal high school girls. In the future, the protagonist is a scientist with some apparent experience fighting zombies.
Because the leads are normal people, the show doesn’t have the same sense of seriousness; furthermore, it spends most of its time on dialogue and drama scenes, and little on horror, monster fighting, and mystery solving, which are the essential elements of the games’ narrative premise.
Investigate a specific crime/Solve a mystery
the plot of the demonic resident games is almost always the same. There has been a series of mysterious murders, a kidnapping or an apparent viral outbreak. The protagonists are military-style experts or police officers sent to solve the crime, find out what’s going on, and contain the monsters.
The gameplay usually involves a series of almost Indiana JonesStyle puzzles involving keys, gems, and riddles that must be solved as the characters descend deeper underground until they find the secret laboratory where the zombie virus was produced. They then kill an extra-large zombie, activate the self-destruct sequence, and escape by train, jet ski, or helicopter.
Very few of these elements remain in the Netflix series. Yes, over the course of 8 episodes, there is one scene infiltrating a mysterious secret lab, one solving some puzzles, and two discussing hidden secrets with an investigative journalist. Outside of this, however, there is not much. He spends equal time skateboarding, putting on plays, and talking about high school crushes. Without this central plot motivation, most of the series feels aimless and fails to capture the atmosphere of the games.
A zombie breakout in a small region/city (not the whole world)
Another consistent element of the games is that the zombie outbreak occurs in a small geographic region. This includes an abandoned mansion in a forest, Raccoon City, a rural town in Spain, a town in West Africa, a few cities in Europe, China, and the US, a Louisiana swamp, and a remote town in Eastern Europe. It’s crucial that the zombie outbreak is confined to a small region because the plot always revolves around military-style characters being sent in to save the day and contain the outbreak.
what separates demonic resident of other zombie properties is that it is not post-apocalyptic; the world can be saved, survivors can be found, and mysteries must be solved.
in the new demonic resident it shows, however, that the zombie outbreak in the future timeline spans the entire globe. This completely changes the atmosphere of the story and makes it virtually indistinguishable from other post-apocalyptic zombie shows like The Walking Dead.
The characters aren’t on a mission and aren’t solving a mystery, but rather aimlessly rummaging through the wreckage of society to survive. The uniqueness of the concept, the tension of containing the outbreak and the intrigue of the uncovered secrets are lost.
horror vs action
A central dynamic throughout the demonic resident series is the tension between terror and action. The first three games lean much more towards horror, but even by the end of these, the player has gathered so many high-powered weapons and healing items that the final bosses can take only seconds to beat.
After the fourth game, the series was much more like action than horror. the Milla Jovovich film serieswhich started in 2002 and developed alongside video games, also started with a horror movie and turned into over-the-top, ridiculous action movies.
The new Netflix show features a decent amount of action, some light and rare horror, and plenty of drama. A strong part of the show, especially the past timeline, consists of high school drama and family foibles, a very strange choice for a demonic resident property.
The interesting thing is that in the last five years, the demonic resident The games (7 and 8, plus the remakes of 2 and 3) have returned to their roots in pure horror, to incredible critical and popular acclaim. But unlike recent video games, the new show doesn’t go back to the series’ roots as a mystery-filled horror story. The characters, setting, story arc, and mood are all wrong and feel completely unrecognizable as a supposed demonic resident property.