The new Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City trailer offers a fresh take on Zombies but fails to inculcate the long-term fans of the franchise as it tries to make a mark, but the arrow was astray to the point of discontentment.
If you expect zombies from Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, that’s precisely what you get. But what if you want something more? The trailer does offer all the ingredients that such an iconic zombie franchise has always provided. But this time, we will not turn to look back at the previous films and join the dots unless necessary. So, this trailer review will be spoiler-free (almost). But if you haven’t played the games, some mentions will remain unknown to you. Nevertheless, let’s go ahead.
As you may have noticed, the trailer’s opening shows the sign “Welcome to Raccoon City,” and the date mentioned is September 30, 1998. For those who do not know, this date is close to the beginning of the Resident Evil 2 game, i.e., September 29, 1998, the exact date of the breakout in Raccoon City.
The Resident Evil gaming franchise has produced the iconic horror genre games, and the characters in them have a separate fanbase. The latest iteration is the Resident Evil Village, where we see the virtual spectacle with a narrative that might put some films to shame. The iconic duo, Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia). We also have Claire’s brother from the games, Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell).
Evidently, Redfield will be the star of the show, riding into Raccoon City, donning her classic red jacket. The original Resident Evil 1 and 2 games keep Claire and her brother Chris apart; however, this trailer heavily suggests they’ll finally be teaming up to expose the Umbrella Corporation, the source behind the breakout of the G-virus.
In the gaming scene, the narrative has room to breathe, and the virtual world redeemed the characters present in Resident Evil 1 and 2. In virtual storytelling, whilst the player is doing side-quests, that allows him to explore different aspects, characters and the subplot has ample time to execute it. We might witness the G-virus and the expose of the Umbrella Corp. As in the games, the execution by Claire and Chris was flawless. But filmmaking has certain limits to the amount of content that can fit into a screenplay that resonates with fans of the genre. Patience is the key as the players love a big reveal or an event that wasn’t discussed on Reddit.
The trailer also has one of Resident Evil 2’s most scary and difficult villains, a Licker. The infamous fleshy quadruped uses its long tongue as a weapon. We also have our beloved zombie dogs, the perfect jump-scare machines with the traditional Doberman look. And the way the police fought against the hordes of zombies, it seems that we are definitely getting back a lot of the original breakouts and chaos.
If you are a fan of the Resident Evil games, you will find multiple Easter Eggs in the trailer. “Itchy, Tasty” are the words we see written in blood on a window. This is an apparent reference to the journal of an animal researcher from Resident Evil. The journal describes the experiences of an infected researcher slowly losing his mind, and the last entry in his journal is “Itchy, Tasty.”
Again, remember the first zombie that our protagonists find in the trailer? We see the zombie feasting on a body and then slowly turning to reveal its gross face. This little scene is a clear nod to the first zombie encounter in the first Resident Evil game. The movement, the shot, and the setup all are the same. In both cases, this scene is a clear sign of what’s to come.
As for the quality of the trailer, it seems to be following the same trend found in many horror productions, i.e., low-grade visual effects. The zombie dog appears fake, and so does the Licker. Furthermore, the zombies seem clumsy now and then. Finally, we have the song for the trailer, which is a slowed-down version of “What’s Up?” by 4 Non-Blondes. Such usage of songs can be said to have been brought about by Suicide Squad (the first one). Remember Bohemian Rhapsody as Joker laughs? Though the songs of Suicide Squad did have a grandiose effect on its trailer, they merely took the trailer higher on the hype counter. This later resulted in the movie’s fall from that greater height.
With Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City using the same technique to give its trailer a unique niche, let’s hope it doesn’t serve like Suicide Squad. And if we are to follow the logic of trailers wherein it is said that the shots in a movie trailer are pretty much chosen from the best shots in the movie, you should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. But keeping in mind how much it is believed to be based on the games, we are indeed in for a zombie-full ride.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a 2021 Live-Action Horror film written and directed by Johannes Roberts.