The missing element in the Resident Evil movies

The missing element in the Resident Evil movies

There is a constant problem in franchise media that stems from the studio’s predilection for planning their paths years in advance. Due to the overarching narratives and marketable characters, no viewer will ever walk in with a sense of tension or fear for the fate of their favorite characters. This problem is more substantial in horror, where the fear of death is the attraction. The resident Evil The franchise is probably the most popular survival horror game series of all time, with eight main games and countless spin-offs. The film adaptations are among the worst-received video game movies in an already despised medium.

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seven main line resident Evil movies, followed by last year Welcome to Raccoon City. The original series relied heavily on new main character Alice and a regularly changing cast of newcomers. Those movies slowly introduced faint facsimiles of most of the fan-favorite characters from the source material, but most of them turned out to be unrecognizable bad guesses.

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The most recent film, however, was based on a semi-direct adaptation of the first and second resident Evil games. The main characters are pulled directly from the game, scenes are recreated wholesale, it’s chock-full of references and callbacks, and most of the praise the movie received mentioned its fidelity. It’s debatable to what extent a new character helps the film adaptations, Welcome to Raccoon City it’s probably the best thing about the franchise, but it has a big problem.


every fan of resident Evil he walks in knowing the movie won’t kill off Leon Kennedy, Jill Valentine, or any of the Redfield siblings. Alice subverted that problem, but not for long, by the second or third movie she becomes too important to kill as well. This completely weakens the tension of a horror story. What do the Umbrella Corporation’s zombies and monsters have to threaten the main cast with if they can’t be killed for brand recognition purposes?

The main characters should be fighting for their lives, the odds should feel stacked against them. The main cast of Welcome to Raccoon City they are not superhuman, they are police officers of various ranks. Alice becomes some kind of mutated human weapon for about fifteen minutes, but she’s too human for the vast majority. This is a problem that is not uncommon among popular movies, but it is one that evi residentI is singularly bad at adapting to.


The resident Evil the movies fail in their attempts to be terrifying. They’re not really horror movies, the original series gives up on that concept around the third act of the first entry and Raccoon City develops as Assault on Precinct 13 with CGI monsters. They’re action movies pitting their opponents against zombies and monsters, only occasionally slowing down to talk about the terrible state of the world. This is in no way a problem of the actors, it is entirely behind the screenwriter’s back. Savvy viewers will know long before the violence begins which characters are important enough to survive the carnage, which ones will die without a word, and which ones will die importantly. It’s that predictability that kills any semblance of tension or suspense and lulls the audience to sleep in the face of most anticipated scares.


The standard horror protagonist is innocent, above their heads and against forces they may not be able to fathom. movies like The Exorcist watching trained professionals enter a situation beyond their capabilities and fight for survival. The average slasher is populated by unaware teenagers with no remarkable survival skills. Look at Laurie Strode, originally just a random babysitter. In the sequel she turns out to be a direct relative of murderer Micheal Myers, but even that tenuous connection was scrapped in the recent remake. By now, she is heavily armed and actively pursuing The Shape. Characters grow and change, and the default track leads from a terrified innocent to an action hero. The resident Evil the protagonists start out as cultural supersoldiers, so the movies never treat them for what they are. Fragile and deadly human beings struggling to survive an impossible situation.


resident Evil it needs to master tension to create horror, and it needs to create horror to be a good movie in the franchise. Survival horror is all about fighting to survive when faced with an unstoppable enemy and a bracing lack of resources. Jill and Leon have some pretty impressive feats under their belt, but the game sells how difficult it is by making it hard to pull off. Movies don’t have that luxury, but plenty of other horror films portray characters who rise above the odds. Through better writing, smarter characters, and a wholehearted embrace of horror elements, the most popular horror game franchise can finally have a real scary movie to its name.

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