Since ‘Resident Evil‘ debuted in video games, there was already talk of taking the creation of Shinji Mikami to theaters, first with Capcom and Sony, who tried to make a movie in the 1990s and called on George Romero himself, creator of the zombies, to write a script and direct the production, however the Japanese developer did not like the result for finding the plot very different from the story seen in the games, dismissing the filmmaker.
In fact, the name itselfBiohazard‘, as ‘Resident Evil‘ is called there in Japan originally, it also came from the idea of working just as a single word, short and punctual, like the movie ‘Psychosis‘, or ‘Psycho‘ no original. E ‘Biohazard‘ in a literal translation would be biological risk, which is directly linked to the work.
Yes, the master’s classic Alfred Hitchcock‘Psychosis‘, was a great reference for Mikami. This one was easier to identify, like the matter of the mansion in the Ackley Mountains, which was also grand and scary, and inside was full of stairs and dark places.
By the way, what about the close-up on the eye of the actor who played Chris Redfield, in the famous opening scene in live-action. It is worth remembering that, years later, ‘Psycho’ was also a great influence for ‘Resident Evil Code Veronica‘, this time for the comparison between the Bates family and Ashford, in addition to one of the villains impersonating his own sister, due to a psychotic break. But this one of the references of ‘Resident Evil‘ is a conversation for another time…
But behold, finally, in the early 2000s, filmmaker Paul WS Anderson, who became known for bringing ‘Mortal Kombat’ to theaters, released ‘Resident Evil – The Cursed Guest‘, precisely in 2002. A completely original project, which was based on the tale Alice in Wonderland and borrowed only a few signs from the game franchise, in addition to presenting a new protagonist and a plot much more focused on science fiction than in terror.
There were six films in total, which together grossed more than 1 billion dollars and turned Milla Jovovich into one of the main actresses of action films. However, both specialized critics and especially fans of the franchise in games never really liked these films. With many always asking for a reboot and restart of the series, which was more similar to what was seen in the games.
And this happened even in 2021, with ‘Resident Evil: Bem-Vindo a Raccoon City‘, which, yes, brought all the elements seen in the first two games, but ended up being so literal and methodical that they called the feature a fan movie.
The recent series of Netflix so just call ‘Resident Evil‘, made some fans even miss the previous films starring Milla and leave the following question in the air: are these still the best films in the franchise? And which are the worst so far? That’s what we are going to list here, the best and worst adaptations ever made using the name ‘Resident Evil‘, whether with movies, series or animations. Come on!
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021)
Being the main bet of the fans of ‘Resident Evil‘, since in animations the series doesn’t usually make mistakes, and there were two more live actions to come out, a series and a movie, ‘Infinite Darkness‘ was held by many to be infallible.
Bringing the protagonist duo of the second game, Leon and Claire, the animated series starts well, but enters a crazy political story, almost prejudiced, and embarks on an unbelievable sequence of events and generic situations. In the end, even the graphic quality of the animation falls apart, with the show delivering embarrassing moments.
Resident Evil: Bem-Vindo a Raccoon City (2021)
Yeah, the fans of ‘Resident Evil‘ always asked them to make a story that was based on the plot of the original games in the franchise, especially addressing the events of Raccoon City. The new movie called ‘Resident Evil: Bem-Vindo a Raccoon City‘ not only brought the well-known characters of the franchise, Chris, Jill, Clarie and Leon, but also covered the events of the first two games in the series, that is, all the events of Raccoon City.
I mean, nothing could go wrong, right? Far from it, because ‘Welcome to Raccoon City‘ seems to take all the events of these games and throw them at random in a disjointed movie with scenes of involuntary humor. A catastrophe, pardon the pun.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
After the success of the first film, ‘the cursed guest‘, the sequel did not take long to make, so much so that two years later, Paul WS Anderson wrote the script for ‘Apocalypse’, although he did not return to direct. This time the film approached the main villain of the series, the Nemesis, featured in the third title of the franchise.
However, as fans had complained about the lack of fidelity of the previous film, the production team tried to remake several moments of the games in the midst of their own story, which resulted in something unattractive, not to say boring. ‘Resident Evil: Apocalypse‘ is considered by many to be the worst film in the franchise starring Milla Jovovich and undoubtedly the most “ugly” in terms of production.
Resident Evil – Netflix (2022)
After two failures in a row – ‘Infinite Darkness’ e ‘Welcome to Raccoon City‘ – everyone was waiting and hoping that the most original project and different from the franchise adaptations would work, what no one knew was that we would have this time the most vexing production that used the name ‘Resident Evil‘.
Taking only the original title, the series has so little to do with ‘Resident Evil‘ than anything produced by the SyFy channel, it’s so generic and nonsensical. The plot is generic, the acting line completely out of tune, the effects are grotesquely bad and some scenes will certainly be marked as the most bizarre moments in the history of the series. Glad they canceled the section quickly!
Resident Evil 3 – Extinction (2007)
After the dreadful ‘Apocalypse‘, the movie franchise needed to shake up and renew itself as soon as possible, that’s when the producers decided to kick the bucket for good and bet on an arid footprint, almost ‘Mad Max‘ – something never seen before in games. Speaking of which, the protagonist Alice now has telekinetic powers and can destroy her enemies’ minds just by looking at her. This is ‘Resident Evil 3 – Extinction‘, one of the most “different” films in the franchise.
In the plot, Alice and the survivors of the Raccoon catastrophe try to reach Alaska, crossing the Nevada desert. The group band together to fight the powerful Umbrella organization before the virus that turns humans into terrifying zombies infects the entire world.
Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
‘Resident Evil: Degeneration‘, released in 2008, was the franchise’s first CG-animated feature film, and was well received by critics and critics alike. Claire (Alyson Court) e Leon (Paul Mercier) try to contain the outbreak of the deadly G-virus, fans were excited to see the duo reunited for the first time since the second game – which fans have always been asking for.
Far from the adaptations starring Milla, ‘Degeneration‘ (in the original) received much better ratings and is the second best film of ‘Resident Evil‘ on Rotten Tomatoes. A lot of people actually wondered why it took so long to release an animated film when the live-action ones were so different from the tone of the games, since in these CGI productions they could follow the games.
Resident Evil: Damnation (2012)
Believe it or not, but ‘Resident Evil: Damnation‘ has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the lauded sequel to ‘Resident Evil: Degeneration‘, also functioning as a prequel to the sixth numbered game in the series. The film follows Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) that attempts to prevent deadly biological weapons from being used in a civil war.
Considered by fans to this day as one of the best films of ‘Resident Evil’, the film has top-notch animations and action scenes to take your hat off. Although, for those unfamiliar with the franchise, this might not be the best place to start, as there isn’t much introduction to the characters before getting into the story. But if you already know this universe, you will certainly find the film excellent.
Resident Evil: The Cursed Guest (2002)
A lot of people might disagree, but, as a matter of fact, ‘the cursed guest‘ is the greatest film franchise ever made ‘Resident Evil‘. We don’t have anything from the games being taken literally, but we do have a solid original story, which perfectly used the elements of the franchise to build a tactile and possible universe in a dystopian reality.
Paul WS Anderson was based on the tale of Lewis Carroll‘Alice in Wonderland‘, and set his Alice to fight the Red Queen and her underground hive. It brought in elements of biological terror, familiar monsters from the franchise like the zombie dobermans and lickers, as well as the brain eaters themselves. And filmed beautiful action scenes. It’s not a classic movie, but remarkable as an adaptation of the games.