Oh, Resident Evil. What can you say about Paul W.S. Anderson's movie franchise that people haven't already highlighted? For starters, it's a franchise that's spanned six movies and 15 years, when three solid films over six years might have done better. It's gone from kinda scary to kinda action packed to paper thin, and to be completely honest it's kinda got to go. And yet, there's one simple solution for all of the series' various issues: it's time to reboot the Resident Evil franchise.
With Resident Evil: The Final Chapter allegedly closing the Anderson franchise, it's time to give the franchise the fresh coat of paint that it deserves. There's a good story in the source material, and there's even better angles that can be taken with the saga, with the right sort of thinking. Humbly submitted for your approval, here are our reasons as to why Resident Evil needs an undead refresh.
We Need A Proper Adaptation Of The Games
Before Paul W.S. Anderson gave us Alice, "The Mansion," and the Resident Evil that resembled the games on a surface level, George A. Romero was supposed to bring the action of the games to life -- and with an actual adaptation of the first game's events. If only Sony hadn't passed on that version of the story, we could have seen the Spencer Mansion on the big screen, in lavish, bloody detail. Now that Alice's adventures are wrapping up as we know them on the big screen, and interest in the series has been sparked up once more, we hope the folks in charge will take the opportunity to start a new save file, and play Resident Evil on a harder difficulty level.
It's Not Scary Anymore, And That's An Issue
The hardest thing to remember about the Resident Evil film franchise is the fact that, for at least one movie, it was actually kind of scary. While it wasn't necessarily so spooky that we were having nightmares, at least Paul W.S. Anderson's first installment styled itself as a horror film. But as time went on, the franchise became more of a buffet of action set-pieces and post-apocalyptic sci-fi, yet even that became stale. Out of the two genres that the films have dabbled in, Resident Evil probably has a better chance of surviving as a film series if it goes back to its horror roots by hiring someone who can handle modern horror / conspiracy stories.
The Story Is Broken Beyond Repair
Ok, you can have a moment to laugh at the headline. Yes, we know Resident Evil isn't the type of film you go to for a story-heavy experience. Well, as anyone who's played the games will tell you, it damned well should be. This is especially important after the Anderson series has had good guys turn heel, Wesker making side deals with the heroes in order to get things done, Alice losing her powers (only to get them back), and several characters that have fallen off the face of the films. (Where the hell was Chris Redfield in Resident Evil: Retribution?) Even with the customary introduction where Alice reminds us of her name and the last couple of movies that came before, the actual themes of the films are as thin as tissue paper. Bring back the shadowy conspiracy aspect of the Umbrella Corporation, with limited outbreaks cropping up to keep it interesting.
The Reboot Strategy Actually Worked For The Games
Much like the film franchise, the video game series for Resident Evil has taken a bit of a beating with more recent entries. By time Resident Evil 6 came around, there was some major griping with fans of the console based incarnation of zombie mayhem. So what did Capcom do? They took a step back, refreshed the franchise with Resident Evil VII, and went with a game teased as being a Texas Chainsaw Massacre variant of the horror classic. How it connects to the six games before it, we're not so sure, as the folks over in GamesBlend haven't relinquished their copies yet. But the buzz on the street pretty much says that taking a novel approach to the storied franchise worked for the video game side. The movies need just as swift a kick in the ass.
A Fresh Start Almost Always Helps
No matter how much evidence you put in front of the judges known as the viewing public, the scientific fact is starting over with a fresh draft gives you a lot of leeway with what you're creating. Even if Screen Gems didn't want to adapt the games outright, and just wanted to create a new series that ran parallel to the games, or was heavily inspired by them but took new twists, we could get behind that sort of action. The era that Resident Evil was born in has long since died, just ask the folks who winced at the idea of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. If the horror of Raccoon City is going to have any chance of returning to the multiplex, new creators and visionaries are going to have to give the series a modern revival. If Tomb Raider can get remade, Resident Evil surely deserves to be born again.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.