resident Evil is a fundamental saga for the understanding of the survival horror, because although it was not the originator of the current, it is the one to which its formal establishment and subsequent boom is attributed. The thematic roots of the franchise are stranded in tropes of the horror cinema -like zombies and monsters product of biological experimentation- and for this reason it is ideal to move to the big screen.

resident Evil was adapted to theaters from 2002 to 2016 through six films starring Jovovich mile and directed (or supervised, when this was not the case) by Paul WS Anderson and that make up what, to this day, is the most successful video game-based tape series in all of history. Despite the figures – and without resorting to the flimsy argument that they do not respect the source material – the truth is that they are movies of very poor narrative and visual qualityNo-personality, shocking style exercises performed for the sole purpose of being vehicles of showmanship for Jovovich.

That is why the arrival of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, a film reboot of the franchise, it seemed like the adaptation that such an important brand for the video game industry deserved, a sensation that increased when those responsible confirmed that the tone would be horror and in line with that of the first games.

But we are facing a film that, although it moves away from the current effects of the Anderson-Jovovich duo, shows a total lack of leadership and an alarming conviction that a film based on a video game is made with fan service and incessant winks to the source material, and not with an efficient unfolding of its narrative.

It’s 1998. Raccoon City has become a ghost town since the pharmaceutical giant Umbrella withdrew from there. Claire redfield He returns to meet his brother again Chris and to share the secrets he unraveled about the corporation. Parallel, Chris, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker and the rest of the Alpha team of the STARS division of the Raccoon Police go to investigate the disappearance of the Bravo team in the vicinity of a mansion.

In the same night, each group of characters will meet the monstrosities created by Umbrella and he must fight to stay alive.

Since its inception, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City makes it clear that he had a markedly lower budget ($ 25 million) than any of Anderson’s films, a situation that is certainly not an impediment to creating a product in tune with the essence of the saga – after all, the first game of 1996 relies more on horror and not in the action of subsequent deliveries.

In effective hands, the lack of budget in a horror film is covered with construction of atmosphere and tension, but the screenwriter and director Johannes Roberts -Responsible for tapes of the genre such as 47 Meters Down and The Strangers: Prey at Night– it shows be unable processing the edges of this principle and opts to reduce the lighting in the photograph and make the characters move slowly through the corridors of a mansion and a police station.

The intention of the Roberts libretto is to mix in a single film the plots of the first two games, a decision that is interesting on paper and that even in the final product presumes adjustments that will take more than one fan out of their comfort zone. Adaptation work, then. But it is in its execution that the tape is only a sample of clumsy sequences in which there is not the slightest notion of rhythm and exposure.

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Roberts assumes that the sense of atmosphere and tension increases in proportion to how much two isolated groups of characters achieve move slowly between rooms and corridors from two different locations, but all it achieves is that a film based on resident Evil somehow be disconcertingly boring. Of the films of the Anderson-Jovovich duo, it can be stressed ad nauseam how ridiculous and shocking they are, but at least they managed to maintain the same rhythm from beginning to end to prevent the viewer from throwing away the yawning that this new adaptation provokes in abundance.

The most unfortunate thing is that Roberts is only interested in talking to the audience familiar with the games and with this he makes a double mistake, because on the one hand he makes this film a endless succession of winks that for a general audience do not make sense and for another neglect the natural progression of the plot, because his attention is focused on putting as many references as possible -even to deliveries that go beyond the remakes of Resident Evil 1 and 2 on which your script is based.

unocero - Resident Evil Review

The referential desire of this filmmaker is so much that he incurs absurdities in order to include up the puzzles that both characterize the first games.

By the third act, when the viewer had already spent too much time watching two groups walking slowly in the dark, is that Roberts picks up the pace and – with 20 minutes to go before the final credits run – proposes express resolution that rest in more winks to the games and that enter fully into the plane of deus ex machina, resource lacking argument support, but used for the plot to advance or culminate.

It is likely that the $ 25 million went to the sequences with the main monsters alone, since the visual value of the film is neglected and matches that of a related independent production of a low-quality CGI, immediately perceptible in settings such as the police station lobby or the main hall of the mansion.

unocero - Resident Evil Review

The only genuinely salvageable aspect of this production is the soundtrack from Mark korven, a composer who has given us nightmarish sound walls like those of The witch or minimalist pieces like those of Cube. In fact, his work for this film is what would result from combining the sinister choruses of The witch with punchy synths to accentuate the on-screen action, an interesting mix we’ll be hearing on the sidelines of this failed tape.

That said, it is likely that Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City not as shocking as those of the Anderson-Jovovich duo, at least for fans of the franchise who want to see a more faithful adaptation to the games, but the truth is that does not work as a movie by itself, not effective within the horror film spectrum And ultimately, It is not the live-action that resident Evil he deserved on his 25th anniversary.

Rating: 4.0 / 10
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Year: 2021
Country: USA, Germany and UK
Direction: Johannes Roberts
Script: Johannes Roberts
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, Donal Logue, and Neal McDonough.