The Rise and Fall of the Resident Evil Movie Franchise

The Rise and Fall of the Resident Evil Movie Franchise

The Resident Evil movie franchise has had its fair share of ups and downs. Based on the popular survival horror video game series of the same name, the film adaptations sought to bring the thrilling and terrifying world of Resident Evil to the big screen. However, despite initial success and a loyal fan base, the franchise eventually saw a decline in critical reception and box office performance, leading to its eventual downfall.

The Resident Evil movie franchise kicked off in 2002 with the release of “Resident Evil,” directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich as the iconic protagonist, Alice. The film introduced audiences to a post-apocalyptic world infested with zombies and other monstrous creatures unleashed by the evil Umbrella Corporation. It was a major hit, grossing over $102 million worldwide and establishing a successful formula that would be followed by the subsequent films in the franchise.

The first few films in the series, including “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004), “Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007), and “Resident Evil: Afterlife” (2010) expanded upon the world and lore of the video game series. They combined action-packed sequences with horror elements, featuring intense zombie battles and heart-stopping moments that thrilled audiences. While the movies received mixed reviews from critics, they were mostly well-received by fans of the video games, who appreciated the faithful adaptations and the inclusion of iconic characters from the source material.

However, as the franchise progressed, it began to lose its originality and freshness. The later installments, such as “Resident Evil: Retribution” (2012) and “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (2016), relied more on elaborate action set pieces and CGI effects, sacrificing the atmospheric tension and horror elements that defined the early films. Critics and audiences started to grow weary of the repetitive plotlines, excessive use of slow-motion sequences, and the lack of character development.

Despite its decline in quality, the Resident Evil movie franchise remained financially successful for some time. Its global appeal, particularly in international markets, helped the films to generate significant box office revenue. However, as the years passed, the diminishing returns became more apparent, with each subsequent film earning less money than its predecessor. This downward trend, combined with the lukewarm critical reception, eventually led to the franchise’s demise.

One of the contributing factors to the franchise’s downfall was the departure of Anderson and Jovovich after “The Final Chapter.” Anderson had been the driving force behind the series, serving as writer and director for many of the films. Jovovich’s portrayal of Alice had become synonymous with the franchise, and her absence was keenly felt by fans. The subsequent reboot, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” directed by Johannes Roberts and set to be released in 2021, aims to take the franchise in a different direction by returning to the horror roots of the video games.

In conclusion, the rise and fall of the Resident Evil movie franchise is a tale of initial success followed by a gradual decline in both critical reception and box office performance. While the early films embraced the horror elements and storytelling of the video games, the later entries relied too heavily on action and CGI, losing the atmospheric tension that made the original movies so compelling. The departure of key creative forces and repetitive plotlines led to the franchise’s eventual downfall. However, with the upcoming reboot, there is hope that the Resident Evil movies can once again recapture the thrilling and terrifying essence of the video games that inspired them.