Resident Evil is returning with a new film in 2021, and the idea of returning to the franchise that helped open the door for video games to films is something entirely energizing for longtime fans. Because Resident Evil is officially tangible as it's currently filming in Canada, it feels justifiable to discuss a few little changes that the franchise could use in a new cinematic world.
Somewhat isolated events
The first Resident Evil film explored The Hive, an underground facility where the T-Virus originated. The film went back and forth between a feeling of fear from isolation to being overwhelmed by chaos.
The sequels that came later began to follow the typical bigger-and-better concepts of Hollywood. We have all of Raccoon City, Las Vegas, Alaska, and an open-world video game (ok, not really, but I'm not sure how to describe Resident Evil: Retribution). The initial Resident Evil can really play with the early stages of the virus. The mansion depicted in the game is a great way to contain the story and focus more on creating horror than introducing too much. The 1998 setting will also give it a chance to dial back on making it a modern spin on the game, which could be an asset to separate itself from the initial Resident Evil film franchise's evolution.
Just a little less Sci-Fi in place of more horror
The previous Resident Evil franchise started with a lot of horror, much like the games, but saw a transition where it leaned towards more action and sci-fi. The recent games have learned from these instances, and Resident Evil: Biohazard and the upcoming Resident Evil: Village look to find that ideal horror energy that people fell in love with.
That's not to say that those avenues aren't worth taking for Resident Evil, but when the franchise gets the horror aspects right, it's nearly perfect. We've seen this from various chapters of the games, but the films themselves began to feel more like entertaining genre-hybrids that made it more like a Fast and the Furious kind of franchise than the zombie-survival story we know.
Zombies in dark corners of a mansion, the unknown of a younger Jill Valentine, Chris, and Clarie Redfield, and Leon Kennedy means there's an exciting level of unpreparedness that makes the film feel like there's more on the line.
Better Character Development
Alice was actually one of the stronger features of the Resident Evil films, with Milla Jovovich giving her all for a role that had no source material to follow. Alice was a strong asset to the franchise, but aside from her (and there were so many clones, it was hard to stay attached), there weren't any other characters that really stuck with you.
I did enjoy the Redfields, Rain, Luther, and others, but they weren't given many stories to work with aside from Alice's barrage of plot twists. Granted, in a zombie apocalypse, I'm not really looking to learn about someone's former life, but they need to make these characters stand out.
Because of the fact that the new film is bringing back a lot of popular characters from the game, that gives us hope that we'll get to follow a group right off the bat that we can root for — and hopefully see expand into a new franchise if the magic is there.
What would you like to see in the new Resident Evil film?