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The official trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City is finally here, and it's safe to say that fan reaction has been less than welcoming. From the visuals to the kitchy song choice, it seems many viewers feel the whole thing is not what they were expecting. The good news is there's another trailer, and this one is more on the money.
It begins by reimagining the intro to 2019's Resident Evil 2 (the best game in the series), where a truck driver is giving Claire Redfield (played by Kaya Scodelario) a lift to the eponymous Raccoon City. Sadly, the trucker knocks down a pedestrian - but the good news is he doesn't kill the unfortunate soul. The bad news is that's because they're a zombie.
Watch the alternative trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City here
Placing Claire front and centre, the upcoming movie seemingly blends the first two Resi games into one feature-length story. The trailer shows Claire returning to her hometown where the Umbrella Corporation has been up to no good. Pretty outlandish to depict a massive company causing trouble, hey?
Next thing we know, there are undead monsters causing chaos in the streets, while Claire and Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia) take refuge at the iconic Raccoon Police Department, along with Chief Irons (Donal Logue). Probably not going to find much salvation there.
Meanwhile, S.T.A.R.S. - an elite police team - investigates the Spencer Mansion. The team features Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen and Claire's brother Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell). From the looks of it, this mission is far from routine, with the terrifying and tragic abomination Lisa Trevor (Marina Mazepa) there to greet them.
There's more to unpack from the trailer in terms of apparent narrative threads, but I'll leave those there for you to discover at your leisure. What I want to talk about here is how this alternate cut is more along the lines of what fans wanted to see.
There's plenty of B-movie shlock, just like in the other trailer, but there's also more of Resi's identity on show. I mean the game series of course, not Paul W.S. Anderson's live-action movies, which start by missing the point and stray further from god with each title.
We see scenes from the game brought to a new medium with a mix of confidence and audacity. The illuminated RPD sign looks almost lifted from RE2, while the demonic licker is given a new level of reality with its disgustingly detailed flesh. But there's also things I never thought could translate to a movie, like the aforementioned mansion, which is a ridiculous structure filled with ludicrous puzzles. It's a fantastic place in the games and it's amazing to see it finally getting an authentic recreation (from the looks of it).
Then there's the dialogue which manages to honour the cheesiness of the older games with the more serious tone of the newer titles. Claire in particular walks this line well, managing to sound serious but just silly enough to remind us of how eccentric Resident Evil really is.
Most importantly though, we have the character reactions we want. When Irons stands terrified in the parking lot, we feel that. He backs away from an unseen threat, edging closer to a chain link fence that offers no escape, which is good because Irons is a scumbag who deserves everything he gets (if he's in the same mould as his video game counterpart).
When the Turnaround Zombie pulls his signature move, it's met with looks of shock, fear and disbelief. These are the same feelings we all expressed the first time we saw that in the original and remake games, from 1996 and 2002 and respectively. The grotesqueness of seeing a mutilated, once-human creature consuming a living being is nothing new for cinema-goers, but this scene channels the horror of those games. That's Resident Evil right there, and I love it.
Although the movie isn't out yet, the alternate trailer tells us we could be in for something good here. Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City may actually do the franchise justice by making use of the B-movie silliness, sci-fi horror and welcome poignance the games have honed over the years. Needless to say, I can't wait to see it.
Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City comes to cinemas worldwide from November 24, 2021.
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