Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Ted By Dawn on December 13th, 2021 | Movie Review | Survival, Zombie, Virus, Military, Apocalypse

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It's about the inhabitants of a dying small town banding together to uncover the cause of their sickness at the hands of the sinister Umbrella Corporation.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City was directed by Johannes Roberts (who also directed The Strangers: Prey At Night47 Meters Down and The Other Side Of The Door) and stars Kaya Scodelario (from Crawl and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile), Robbie Amell (from The Babysitter and The Babysitter: Killer Queen) and Tom Hopper (from Knights Of Badassdom).

Witness the Beginning of Evil.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

If you wanted a Resident Evil movie before 2021, you were kinda trapped between a rock and a hard place. The live-action hexalogy had Milla Jovovich kung fu kicking her way through lazy ripped off sci-fi horror plots that spent half the time retconning themselves (and still not making any sense). Meanwhile, the animated movies struggled to balance video game action with mountains upon mountains of plot that never paid off in either movie or game form.

Basically, Biohazard: 4D Executor was where it was at.

But now we have Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, courtesy of Johannes Roberts, who boasts that his adaptation is more faithful to the spirit of the games. And, you know what, he's kinda right? Just not in the way that he thinks (maybe, it's honestly hard to tell).

Sure, he crammed the plots to the first two games into one movie and removed a lot of the more elaborate set-pieces (presumably to accommodate the meagre $25 million budget). Sure, he gave the characters backstories that weren't present in the games (managing to outrage a whole bunch of fans in the process, go figure). Sure, he ever so slightly changed the race of two of the characters (which I'm honestly surprised still bothers people, but this is the internet after all). If you're looking to cross-reference this movie with the Resident Evil wiki to gauge its accuracy to the games, you're bound to be disappointed.

That said, Roberts nails the tone perfectly by bungling it spectacularly. Much like the games, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is the perfect mix of tense horror set-pieces and delicious shlock. This is an unapologetic silly movie full of the B-movie charm that the games absolutely ooze, and Roberts is aware of that, giving this movie a playful, jovial quality that's so utterly infectious (puns 100% intended).

And there is a commendable level of effort here. Roberts' story is surprisingly coherent, his characters endearingly well-developed and his Raccoon City feels authentic and lived in thanks to some elaborate production design, and his movie feels like it fits right in the 1998 date of the Raccoon City incident thanks to some inspired cinematography and editing. Even his take on zombies is refreshing and a ton of fun to watch.

Sure, this isn't a great movie. The villains in particular get the short end of the stick (We'll have to start a support hotline for Wesker fans so they can air their grief) and there are some scenes with some absolutely delectable unintentional hilarity.

But fun is the operative word here. How do you adapt a video game into something the audience can enjoy, even though they're not playing? You make it fun, and that's exactly what Roberts did.

Worth Watching?

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is absolutely worth a watch, as it lovingly recreates aspects of the games and imbues them with classic horror homages. However, don't take that as a guarantee that you will love this movie. Its shlocky execution has split horror fans down the middle, with some having a great time and others hating every second of it. Ultimately, if you're the kind of person that doesn't get offended by loose adaptations and you just want trashy B-movie fun, you might just find yourself enjoying it.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Review (2021) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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