Big budget horror films have seen something of a renaissance with the success of IT and its upcoming sequel, IT: Chapter Two. Now, another popular horror franchise, Resident Evil Reboot, is gearing up for a big screen release. The bestselling zombie horror video game has already tasted success on the big screen with the Milla Jovovich series of films based on the game. But the last movie from that franchise came out in 2017, and was considered a failure both commercially and critically.
Now, director Johannes Roberts is preparing to pump fresh blood into the zombie soaked franchise. Roberts has previously directed 47 Meters Down and its sequel, and is no stranger to the ‘running away from a mindless enemy’ genre of horror-action films. Here’s what he had to say about the upcoming feature.
“We are in active development of that at the moment. I pitched them a take, and they really loved it. So, we are just gearing up on that as we speak, really. I’m in the office all the time there. So, yeah, it’s great. It’s gonna be super scary. It’s super, super scary. And it’s just getting back to the roots of the game. I think, at the moment, I’m not really allowed to say much more than that. But it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
So expect plenty of horror, and a return to the roots of the franchise. With the earlier movies starring Jovovich, the major plot points were created from scratch, and only the horror zombie elements of the video games were transferred to the big screen. The major protagonists of the games, such as Leon and Jill, were not the central focus of the movies, with Alice being a new protagonist created specifically for the movie.
This was a major reason why fans of the Resident Evil video game had difficulty embracing the movies. It often felt like its own zombie movie with only passing similarity to the games and a few supporting characters with the same name. Even though later movies tried to reach out to the gaming fans with a movie where Leon was the protagonist, it was a case of too little too late.
Related: Resident Evil Reboot Brings in Producer James Wan
The Resident Evil movies were eventually consigned to the list of schlocky video game adaptations that might make enough money to warrant sequels, but would never be considered a major franchise. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. There won’t be a lot of mainstream hype for the new Resident Evil movie outside of gaming and horror film circles. But on the other hand, it takes the weight of expectations off of the film that every new movie about a superhero has to contend with.
A well-made Resident Evil movie that stays true to its roots and focuses more on atmospheric horror than action could well become the breakout hit that video-game adaptation movies so sorely need. And Roberts has proven he understands the nature of close-up horror with 47 meters down, which was a movie about two girls getting trapped under the ocean in a cage with a killer shark circling the perimeter. Now replace the girls with Leon, the underwater cage with a deserted barroom, and the shark with a horde of mindless zombies and boom, you’ve got a Resident Evil movie.
With the original Resident Evil video game, the focus on creating a sense of horror instead of mindless action was so effective that many kids refused to play the game alone or at night. If the upcoming movie can create that sense of tension, it will be well on its way to becoming a horror classic, just like the game its based on. This story comes from Screen Rant.