Dark and Shiny: Our Review of ‘Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - November 24, 2021
Dark and Shiny: Our Review of ‘Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City’

Sometimes you’ve just got to dial it back…

In theatres today, Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City takes us back to the beginning as we get a dark and grimy look into the underbelly of the Umbrella Corporation that started a franchise.

In Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, once the booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland . . . with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and contain the danger, while trying to make it through the night.

While none of the movies in the Resident Evil will ever be accused of being high art in line for awards season, this prequel actually holds our interest as it toes a dark and seedy line to it all rather than slo-mo action sequences of Milla Jovovich killing zombies.

In going back to its roots we get something that actually feels a little more akin to the video game then the movies.  It’s dark, grimy and a little bleak.  Writer/Director Johannes Roberts was a solid choice to guide audiences back into a world that was supposed to be a little skivvy and forgotten about in the first place.   He makes this universe simple but highly effective.

The team behind all this has craft something dark and genuinely left behind.  This town is supposed to look like something that time forgot about and it works well.  While he’s aping some beats lifted from the likes of John Carpenter movies to get us through the narrative, the film is ultimately true to the narrative and moves pretty well from beginning to end.

Despite the fact taking place entirely at night to give it a HIGHLY stylized feel which can feel a bit forced this story is going a different direction then the shiny corridors and slow-mo action from the original films.  It’s different, but it still works thanks to some solid performances from a well assembled and cast ensemble.

Robbie Amell and Kaya Scodelario fit into the skin of Chris and Claire Redfield like a glove and its fun as we piece this back story together.  Hannah John Kamen feels ready to carry a franchise on her own here as Jill Valentine while Tom Hopper as Albert Wesker and Neal McDonough make this feel like an all star B Team of actors for a genre movie as the fun factor gets ramped up and everyone knows EXACTLY the kind of film they are making.  Even Donal Logue and Avan Jogia get to chew up some scenery as they round out the ensemble.

At the end of the day, it’s important for everyone involved in a project to know exactly the kind of movie that they are making.  This is an all-star B-Movie action, zombie horror thriller that looks like a million bucks and gets you where you need to go.

Just butter up that popcorn and buckle the fuck up.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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