I will go in with an open mind and wallet no matter what, but there’s only so much one can take after Paul W.S. Anderson’s shitshow of a franchise and 2020. I need a win with this new Resident Evil reboot movie. Especially after the announcement that the Netflix series will be about… *drumroll*…the Wesker children?!
At least Netflix is also working on an animated series focused on Leon and Claire. But all I want is to see these characters in a live action movie that actually focuses on them. So here are my top 5 hopes for the new Resident Evil reboot movie.
For It To Actually Be Based on Resident Evil
Right out the gate, this is how low of a bar Paul W.S. Anderson set with his franchise. I understand that there is science fiction and action and an evil company in Resident Evil. I question focusing on those aspects at the exclusion of horror, suspense, and mystery. So my first wish seems likely to come true, but I just want these to actually be based on the games they allege to be based on. The three minutes of Alice walking around a creepy, mysterious mansion in the first movie? I want that, but with the characters from the game, for nearly the whole damn movie.
This fan video clip is a better Resident Evil adaptation than the actual live action Resident Evil films:
Although most people might think “zombies” and “bad voice acting” when they think of Resident Evil, if you played these games you remember being scared. There was a tiny bit of atmosphere in the first Paul W.S. Anderson Resident Evil film (basically the aforementioned Alice in the mansion and two seconds of the initial zombie reveal), but that was quickly consumed by the science fiction action elements set to a pulsing Marilyn Manson soundtrack. The films just weren’t horror.
I really hope that the attention to settings and detail will pay off with at least one or two scenes that really pay homage to the scariest parts of the games, with a strong undercurrent of dread throughout. That is a tall order, but at the bottom rung all I want is a an honest to goodness horror movie to honor an atmospheric survival horror game. I’ll deal with some cheese and humor to cut the tension, but these should have palatable tension. With the games, the minute you got comfortable with one thing, they would throw something else at you. This film will hopefully do that.
Also some music and sound design that honors the games. The haunting, eerie piano music when exploring a new place and shocking shrill sounds of a startling event. The echoing clack of footstep on the hard floors of the police station and muffled steps on thick carpet in the mansion. The distant shooting or crashing indicating a simultaneous struggle somewhere close by in the labyrinth like setting.
The dim lighting and flickering flames of certain set pieces. The tight corners and angles hiding horrors around every corner.
Just give us some of that.
Authenticity to the Characters
As my post about Jill’s character description details, I’m more than a little worried they are going to mess up the iconic characters we all know and love. There are a lot of directions you can go with some of these characters. Leon is a nervous but promising rookie in Resident Evil 2 (likely the time period this movie is set), but in Resident Evil 4 he is a cocky action hero type badass.
To me is he should be the naive nice guy thirsty on main for Ada Wong but secretly destined for Claire Redfield since the film is set in 1998 when Resident Evil 2 took place. But to many his Resident Evil 4 persona is his defining persona. I have a feeling the later will win out but who knows at this point.
There are rumors Claire will be the focal point of the film, but at least this article states Chris will also be a cop (presumably a S.T.A.R.S. member) and not a civilian.
But hopefully these characters will retain elements of how their characters were depicted in the early games. Maybe some iconic lines (…yes I’m looking at you Jill Sandwich…) will make it into the film if the level of fan service in the set design is any indication.
And costume design. Jill can drop the shoulder pads and beret (see I’m not a total monster), but it would be nice to see the costumes we know and love in some way, shape, or form in the film.
Any you damn well know Ada will be in it too. Still have seen any casting news yet but it is a lock if they are focusing on the events of the first two games.
Spencer Mansion/Arklay Mountains Scenes are a Flashback
Given the leaks of images of a S.T.A.R.S. helicopter crash and Spencer Mansion, I’m hoping the movie focuses on the second game’s storyline and uses these elements of the first game for an extended flashback scene instead of trying to cram both games in one movie. Either film has plenty of material for one movie, and if they cram both into one movie I’m worried we won’t get enough detail and attention played to the rich storyline. In a perfect world, I would love to have a movie dedicated to each game, but an extended flashback would be a nice way to include some great nods to the first game without overstuffing the movie.
No Resident Evil 3/Nemesis
There are already two games in this movie. I don’t want them to do a hat trick. Please leave some story and elements for sequels.
And there you have it. A bonus sixth hope will be a VOD release alongside a theatrical one depending on where things are with COVID. I love Resident Evil and the set photos I’ve seen so far are giving me a lot of hope against my better judgment, so hopefully there will be some payoff with this promising new movie.
For more Resident Evil check out: