Can game-to-movie adaptations ever truly work? Resident Evil begs this question with each adaptation. It is a Japanese video game franchise, first launched in 1996. Since then, the game has expanded into movies, shows, comics, novels, music, and almost every other media. It came to be known for the return of zombies and horror in the gaming world. Its movie adaptations have grossed more than any other video-game-based adaptations.
While Netflix has announced a new live-action TV series that is to come out on 14th July, 2022; fans aren’t too thrilled about it. There’s a central problem that the new series will have to face: Is it as good as the games?
What fans liked or disliked about the previous adaptations
George Romero, considered as the king of zombie fiction, was the inspiration behind the games. And so he was the first one to adapt the games in Resident Evil the film. That was a faithful adaptation and rather authentic because his horror-writing was the reason for the game’s birth. His detail to gore made some fans call it too violent.
After Romero, W.S. Anderson was the next to take a shot at adapting one of the world’s top games. His version of the films strayed away from the game plot and had a new storyline in the form of the character, Alice. Rather than the slow-burn of horror that the games feel, Anderson’s take was more thrilling and action-packed. But his films were the highest grossers in terms of gaming adaptation.
While most fans love the power package it comes with, some don’t like it for the lack of its connection to the games. It’s not a bad thing either because the films would always allow for more content on the same franchise. And Resident Evil fanatics could get more rather than it being a repeat of the game. But the last part, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, was as far from the game as it can be.
Later, in 2021, Johannes Roberts took the initiative of making Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, a movie that is authentic to the games. He was obliged to stick to the game plot because of his keen love for the games. But unfortunately, his films made way lesser than any of Anderson’s films. Some fans thought the costume design and the creative production for Raccoon City, were not up-to the mark which was worse than Anderson’s unauthentic plot.
With the 2021 Netflix release of Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, the fans were excited because it was a series. But it failed to please the masses because it had abrupt references of the game that non-gamers wouldn’t understand, and the creators didn’t think it was necessary to spoon-feed the audience.
The people who understood it too thought it had loopholes that weren’t answered till the end. Non-gamers’ love for the franchise is reflected in the box-office collections and so alienating them by not explaining them the plot is a major disheartening move.
Every variation to ace the adaptation has been tried by acclaimed filmmakers, yet it’s never the same as the game. Because these reasons are already rigged in the franchise’s being, it’s impossible for the fans to ever be satisfied with their content. The teaser for the new movie too was a subject to universal disapproval.
In this age of social media, flak is bound with creation. Critics and fans are always between a pull and it’s the majority that matters. The upcoming series doesn’t seem like it’s winning the positive side. Which side are you on? Do you think Resident Evil fans will ever be satisfied with any adaptation? Do let us know in the comments.