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Resident Evil Changed Its Date, But Should It Have Changed Its Title?

Jill and Carlos arm up under a looming Nemesis in Resident Evil 3.

We’re still in a pretty early phase of action when it comes to 2021’s movie calendar, but some pretty huge moves have taken place. One of the latest pertains to the cinematic reboot of one of Capcom’s crown gaming jewels, as Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City has now moved away from its September 3rd release date, and even further into the fall. Honestly though, if the studio was going to change anything about this retelling of the Umbrella Corporation’s undead antics, shouldn’t it have been the title?

Go ahead and say it out loud: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Yes, I totally understand that putting the name of the iconic location in the title could be helpful for newcomers to the franchise and familiar for those of us who've been around a while. Personally, I still feel it’s an awkward mouthful of a title, which makes Sony Pictures’ official announcement that the movie will now open on November 24th all the weirder. Only a turkey of a title like this one would land on Thanksgiving weekend, bloating the table talk as if it were made of stuffing. Let’s carve this subject up a little more, and make a meal out of things, shall we?

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a name that is at odds with itself. The franchise title promises everything the Resident Evil name has held dear over its 25 years of existence. Thoughts of the undead roaming the streets, corporate malfeasance, and sick motorcycle stunts start fill your head. But when you read that subtitle, probably the next thought that comes into mind is, “Hey! Look at these raccoons! They have a city!” While a movie about adorable raccoons running their own municipality away from the human world kind of would be a tantalizing prospect, it’s not what Sony’s new bite at the franchise apple is trying to execute. (Again, I get it's the name of the city, but still.)

After a series of seven ridiculous-but-fun Resident Evil movies, there’s obviously an attempt being made at reeling this mysterious new reboot into the world of game loyalty. Using the first two games in the series, and employing a fantastic roster of actors to bring characters like Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield back to the big screen, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is already making some great steps forward. Somehow, it’s still not enough to push me past that discordant title, but that could very easily be changed.

Right now, all we’ve really got to tease Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a photo of the town’s welcome sign, and that’s it. There’s no trailer or official marketing materials that read with that the film’s current moniker; which means there’s still time to change things. For the sake of the brand, and this new era of evil so residential, I believe a name change should be heavily considered.

For a franchise that inspired subtitles like Apocalypse, Afterlife, and even the rather tame The Final Chapter, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City sticks out further than a Licker’s tongue. Sure, maybe that's the point, but even with a release date push now confirmed, I'd still like to point out they franchise is not locked in! There's plenty of time to change.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will now cut the ribbon to the new zombie apocalypse on November 24th. Doubtless zombie fans, action fans, and people who like better titles will show up on opening weekend. Although, much like the Umbrella Corporation’s experiments, it'll be hard to kill the horror of this really awkward title.

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Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.