For Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Johannes Roberts took over the direction from Paul W.S. Anderson. And he has done a pretty good job. Well, this Resident Evil installment is able to offer a more graphic real-life representation than that of a video game, something which the previous movies haven’t done. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City‘s zombies are more akin to the Army of the Dead, with fewer special effects and more practicality. However, what we do miss are the hoards of zombies, don’t we? Or maybe it’s just the way we have always seen them, i.e., running and plunging towards the camera.
Be that as it may, this movie more faithfully retains the flavor of the Resident Evil games. Alice is gone, and we get our favorites, Chris and Claire Redfield (Robbie Amell and Kaya Scodelario), Leon Kennedy (Avan Jogia), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), and finally William Birkin (Neal McDonough).
‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ Plot Summary
As for the storyline, all the events in the movie occur in a span of approximately 6 hours, from midnight till 6 in the morning (the time at which Umbrella Corporation decided to nuke the city). The movie picks up pace as the clock ticks towards 6, almost like a ticking time bomb. Events speed up, there’s more ruckus, and, of course, more of the undead turn up.
Just like in the game, the outbreak occurs in September 1998, precisely on the 30th of September. Chris and Claire Redfield are back from the games, and so is the Spencer Mansion. The makers have efficiently adapted the look and feel of the mansion from the game, which is clearly evident. In fact, the film in itself gives away a plethora of references from the Resident Evil Universe, some of which are listed below.
- Raccoon City Orphanage: This place is an operations unit for Umbrella Corporations, the same pharmaceutical company responsible for making the T virus. Children were raised as candidates for tests for viral weapons.
- The T Virus: Umbrella Corporation aimed to create a virus that would turn people into biological weapons. The result would not be an army, but a horde of weaponized undead. When such an undead kills, basically bite, another normal person, it transmits the virus to him or her. In this way, the “soldiers” increase their numbers.
- Lisa Trevor: Lisa Trevor hails from the 2019 remake of the original Resident Evil game from 1998. She, too, was subjected to a virus called “Progenitor” that granted her superhuman strength. Her grisly appearance is because she collects faces and wears them.
- The Monsters: Welcome to Raccoon City gave some of the most renowned undead characters from the video game. Yes, we got zombies, but we also got infected crows, the Cerberus, or the zombie dog, i.e., a Doberman infected with the T-Virus. We got the Licker, another fan-favorite mutant human with an exposed brain, no eyes, and a long tongue. Finally, we got William Birkin, the “boss” of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. If you have played the original Resident Evil or its remake, you will recognize him immediately. Just like in the game, he injects a vial of G-Virus and turns into perhaps the ugliest monster ever.
The Technical Aspects
One very important aspect of a horror film’s color grading is to emphasize the atmosphere. And any famous horror movie will depict a strong color grade. Think about the Insidious franchise, The Grudge, and IT. These are only a few names where color played a significant role. In Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, color wasn’t emphasized, which indeed is an added drawback. Gloomy surroundings would have added so much more to the movie’s effects. Thankfully, much like in Army of the Dead, the director didn’t rely on CG for the zombies but went for practicality. Clearly, they had prosthetics, which added to the gruesome appearance. Special effects, if at all, were added only for details.
‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ Ending
The ending wasn’t really satisfying. Yes, Claire and Chris survive, along with Leon Kennedy, Jill Valentine, and Sherry Birkin, daughter of William Birkin. However, what makes a good ending in a gruesome movie such as this is the gruesome death of the “boss.” It may sound childish, but there is a certain coolness to killing monsters the way they deserve.
Most of the Resident Evil games ended with a rocket in the face of the monster boss, and the movie did this too. But it could have borrowed more from the Resident Evil 2 game’s remake in 2019. The final level, with William Birkin’s monster form, lasts around 25 minutes. The sequence has a screen time of 6 to 7 minutes approximately in the movie. Basically, there could have been more of William Birkin.
On the other hand, Umbrella Corporation manages to contain the zombie outbreak by destroying Raccoon City. As for our heroes, the mid-credits scene is proof of what is coming their way.
The Mid-Credits Scene
The mid-credits scene proves that another movie is on its way, one that fans of the franchise will never want to miss. Treacherous Albert Wesker, who was shot towards the end of the film, is brought back to life by none other than Ada Wong (antagonist of Leon Kennedy in the Resident Evil games), played by Lily Gao. Wesker is the main antagonist of the video games in which Chris Redfield is the lead. Both of these characters are significant in the Resident Evil franchise. The scene comes to an end with Ada handing Wesker his signature glasses. Clearly, these two will pose as the antagonists in the upcoming project. It will undoubtedly add more to the Resident Evil lore, now that we pretty much have the protagonists and the antagonist in one place.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a 2021 Action Horror film written and directed by Johannes Roberts.