To celebrate Women in Horror Month, I will be highlighting some of my favorite undersung female characters in horror films each day this month. These posts will contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movies mentioned do yourself a solid and check them out before reading all the way through.
Today I’m celebrating Rain Ocampo from 2002’s Resident Evil – a film I have mostly bad feelings about for what it did to my favorite video game franchise. That’s right, today’s pick is controversial even to myself.
One of the main reasons I love Rain despite my ambivalence to Anderson’s approach to Resident Evil is Michelle Rodriguez. I find it inexplicably endearing when an actor really wants to be involved in something that might be considered nerdy to the masses (e.g. Ryan Reynolds wanting to play Deadpool; Channing Tatum wanting to play Gambit). It gives you a fun little insight into the actor, and it is cool to think they are nerding out about something as much as you are. So I found it absolutely charming that Michelle Rodriguez, hot off some critical acclaim for Girlfight, really loved the Resident Evil games and told her agent if she ever saw a script for Resident Evil she definitely wanted to be part of it.
Rain is an original character but she comes across as the most video game-y character in the movie. If you asked someone who had never played the games “which of these characters is based on the game?” I’d bet *insert something of moderate value* they would say Rain.
She is definitely the proverbial badass woman trope, but she just keeps stealing scenes because you never know what sarcastic thing she is going to say next.
Despite sometimes being quick to anger and sarcastic, she is also incredibly dedicated to her mission. She offers to be decapitated for the sake of her team when the lab’s defense system demands it as a condition for them to leave because it knows she is infected with the T-Virus.
I also love that you really don’t learn anything about her or any of the other Umbrella soldiers. About the most personal detail you get is her mumbling, “when I get outta here…think I’m gonna get laid.”
Even though she gets bit approximately a million times, dies, and becomes a zombie, they still found a way to bring her back in the fifth movie Resident Evil: Retribution because…well basically because these movies do whatever they want. But also because she is awesome damn it.
We get clones of Rain – including a pacifist civilian version. I actually like the fifth one for what it is, so it was nice to see the character back in some iteration. And it’s hilarious watching Michelle Rodriguez playing against her action hero typecast as a bumbling civilian who somehow gets caught in a science fiction horror action movie.
But hey, I’m not trying to sell you on watching a series of six movies for a character who is only in two of them. Or am I? I’m not. I’m just saying hats off to Rain Ocampo for putting the video game-y character in the video game movie.