Claire and Leon explore Raccoon City together in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

I’m Not Sure How I Feel About the Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Trailer

"Discover the origin of evil."

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The trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City has been released, giving us our first look at the upcoming film reboot of the franchise. Originally, the film was scheduled to release in September, but will now be released in theaters on November 24th.

The upcoming film, written and directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down, The Strangers: Prey at Night), will be separate from the “my name is Alice” run of Paul W.S. Anderson movies. Roberts is looking to make something that’s closer in tone to the games, as we can see with all of the nods to both Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2.

We’re getting more than just Raccoon City in name, there are moments in this trailer that come straight from the source material. From the truck driver who has no idea why that guy bit him to the slow reveal of a zombie being in Spencer Mansion, it’s clear that there will be plenty of moments that will have fans go:

via GIPHY

That being said, I … don’t know how I feel about this trailer.

I’ve been not-so-quietly looking forward to a revamp of the Resident Evil movies that were closer to feeling like the games. I have no problem turning my brain off for Milla Jovovich clones going in on Umbrella, but I’ve always wanted something that recreated the slow burn dread the original games did. There’s a reason why I watched Resident Evil 2 being played by a friend in the 90s, with all the lights on, instead of playing it myself at first, and I’ve always wanted that feeling on the big screen.

I got it, for sure, with the likes of Resident Evil 7 and even Resident Evil 2 Remake, I just wanted to get that in live-action movie form, too, after years of that laser beam trap and folks being cut apart into tiny flesh cubes.

This trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City has recreated moments that have stayed with me for decades. I will never forget the first time I saw a Licker, and this trailer has that claustrophobic hallway and “WTF IS THAT” moment, for sure. However, the trailer also does something that I feel takes away from the bigger draw the franchise had for me.

In the movie, Claire knows exactly how evil Umbrella is, and apparently, has had this “conspiracy theory” since she and Chris were children.

And I … kinda hate that.

What I used to love about Resident Evil is that it was always a slow progression of the main characters putting the pieces together on what the cause of all the terror they faced was, particularly in the first two games, which is what this new movie is based on. No one knew going in that Umbrella was conducting experiments that would lead to the “evil” in the title, so it was a surprise when they found out that their traumatic experiences had a face (or rather, corporation behind them).

After going through the nightmare of the first 2 games (3 if you include Jill’s attempt to escape Raccoon City) our heroes take it upon themselves to deal with Umbrella in their own way, but it’s always after surviving the horrific creatures that wander the street.

I’m not really into the idea of there being someone who already knows what’s up with Umbrella. I feel like that negates the biggest fear factor of these all being people who stumble into a literal nightmare, and through trying to survive it, uncover something a whole lot worse.

But according to the trailer, Claire already knows that Umbrella is corrupt, and has known since childhood?

It’s not that this can’t work as a narrative, as I’m sure it’ll lead to Chris finding out the hard way that his sister was right in some horrifying way, I just kinda wanted that “unknown” element that was at the beginning of the Resident Evil franchise. Chris going in with his team and finding out that there are zombies in the Spencer Mansion isn’t gonna feel the same if he knows, ahead of time, that there’s something to be suspicious about (beyond them just looking for the Bravo Team that went out to investigate before them). Even if he doesn’t believe Claire, if this is something they’ve been discussing since childhood, it’s gonna be in the back of his mind when he sees it.

This also means when Claire and Leon meet up, she’s gonna be in the know, instead of being new to this the same way he is. I’ve always liked that this was something they both discovered, randomly, as they both were going to Raccoon City for things completely unrelated to “corporation bad, zombies also bad.”

Frankly, I liked that this was something every character discovered randomly, with no one ever really coming in like, “I know what this is and who’s behind it.” The main characters of Resident Evil never really start out as experts on the subject, they just stumble into it until they can finally get to the part where the self-destruct sequence has been activated.

And I’m kinda bummed out that it’s being turned into “one of them knows the truth, no one believes her” instead.

Still, I am curious about this movie and how both Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 are on full display, I’m just not sure how I feel about this particular element of the film.

What are your thoughts on the Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City trailer?

(Image: Sony Pictures/Capcom)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)