Well, it appears that we live in a world where one must differentiate as to which Resident Evil one prefers. How can this be. To me, it is so obvious which media is better. One is the ever-successful survival horror game and the other is a less than mediocre film series. Before going on a rant about these two completely different series, I will go into details about what makes each one different from the other and why they are so successful.
First, I will begin by explaining the Resident Evil games. Technically speaking there are seven Resident Evil games, but there are a few others. Why are there more games? Didn’t Resident Evil 7 just come out? The answer is yes. Resident Evil 7 did come out, but that is only in terms of the main story for the series. The rest of the games are side stories that take place in the same universe as the main games, but for the most part they are not considered part of the main series. I will not focus on them too much. We are talking about the main seven games. So, without further ado, let us begin the history of the game.
When the creator of the game, Shinji Mikami, began he decided to target the older gaming demographics. This is odd coming from a man that made games for Disney on the Nintendo 64. This was something completely different for him. Now, keep in mind this is back in 1994 when we were uncertain about the next wave of gaming consoles. SEGA had their own system and the PlayStation was probably still just an idea. Back in this time the horror gaming genre, which is my personal favorite, was lacking. The genre itself had been around forever, but they tended to lack a relatable aspect or they were focused much too strongly toward action to be truly scary. House of the Dead anyone?
This led Mikami to think of how to change up the horror genre to add a serious scare factor. Now, keep in mind that in 1994 this genre was not taken very seriously. He wanted to add something special to scary games. In an interview in 1996 he said, “I wanted to do a really scary game. Not ghosts or crap like that, but real monsters that you could see that would come and attack.” So, Capcom gave him six months to come up with an idea. Eventually the game was in production. Finally, after such a long wait the game came out in 1996. What did we get? A video with bad voice acting.
However, while the voice acting was less than stellar, the game play was unique. Also, the game was special because it was indeed scary for the time. It was different type of gameplay. It had actual consequences if you didn’t get the right item or you didn’t get that item needed to save a partner. It might have been cheesy, voice acting was the worst thing ever, and it might now be considered a horror cliché, but it is all about the delivery. They made horror amazing! It pioneered a genre that I know and love. I absolutely love this gaming series.
Yet, with popularity comes the inevitable live action adaptions to our beloved series because there is money in it. This came from the mind of Wes Anderson. Those who don’t know who he is, the man is a director who always manages to make back his films’ budgets. Now what does this film have in common with the game series? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The characters from the game are not there, the story is virtually not intact, and it makes no sense at all. What does this movie bring? A typical action pack Hollywood film. Nothing interesting.
You might be thinking why are there 6 of these movies. Because they always make back their budget. With the release of the first movie there was a 35-million-dollar budget. Domestically they made back their budget with 40 million dollars. This was the pattern with these movies until Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The movie had a budget of 40 million and while it should have been a good movie, it was nothing short of a disappointment only making 26 million back domestically.
Now why do people, such as myself, prefer the games? The series brings something new to every game they make. With the gaming franchise has been around since 1996 to 2017. Each game amazingly terrifying. They try to experiment with the gaming franchise. Evil the remake, had the same fantastic scare factor while introducing better graphics. One critic recalls that he can’t help being terrified of the Crimson Heads, a monster in the game. He even states this, “Even 12 years after I first encountered them, it’s genuinely frightening every time they spring back to life to try to tear a hole in my esophagus, but they’re also a great example of why Resident Evil still holds up.” I think a lot of us feel the same way.
I have enjoyed the games tremendously. I bought Resident Evil 7recently knowing that I was in for some really good scares. The movies, on the other hand, are boring. I find that they are terribly predictable, and I always get the impression they are just trying to ride on the popularity of the games. The movies are not especially scary. They certainly don’t represent the horror aspect of the game, only the action part. It takes nothing from what the source material was. It left fans bitter and disappointed, but at least it made back the budget so we can enjoy more of these movies of anyone is so inclined.
Overall these movies are a typical Hollywood film that tries to be “edgy” or tries to give us a “strong female character” without putting the effort into it. It leaves us sad and disappointed. There is no soul in the movies. It’s not like the games where people are passionate about the project, try their best to keep it scary (except maybe Resident Evil 5 and 6). But even then, you can tell there is some love put into it. This game has lasted since 1996 and the film series has been around since 2002. The game holds up, while the movies do not. There is history and passion in the games, while the movie has none. It is a simple comparison. Yet, we still have 6 of these movies. I don’t know if it is relying on fans of the games to provide just enough revenue or is catering to those who have never been exposed to the games. At the end of the day, there is really no comparison. The games dominate the movies easily. What do you all think?