Posted in: Op-edGaming News
Published:
February 3, 2020 9:55 PM UTC

What Netflix Must Do to Stop Its Resident Evil Series from Sucking

Resident Evil has an awful cinematic track record. Here's what Netflix needs to do to make sure its horror series doesn't suck too.
  • A new Resident Evil Netflix series is going into production.
  • Previous movie adaptations haven’t done well, putting pressure on this series-based adaptation.
  • The creators of the show need to lean heavily into the RE:4’s campy sense of fun.

While technically based on the books, the wild success of Netflix’s The Witcher series paved the way for a new generation of video game adaptations. That seems to be what Netflix thinks, anyway, because the streaming giant is finally moving forward on its Resident Evil series.

According to a leak published in Redanian Intelligence, the long-rumored series will have eight episodes and begin filming as early as June 2020.

But given how off the rails previous Resident Evil adaptations have gone, we can’t avoid this gnawing question: Is it going to suck?

Resident Evil Has a Troubled Cinematic Past

Paul W. S. Anderson brought the horror franchise to movie theaters back in 2002. It wasn’t exactly a critical hit.

Not that any of the sequels were either:

MetaCritic has not been kind to the Resident Evil film series. Then again, if you’ve seen the movies, then you can hardly blame them. | Source: Metacritic

And there have been a shocking amount of sequels – six in total. Yet not a single one of them has hit higher than 50% on Metacritic.

It’s clear that the filmmakers have bitten off more than they could chew when it comes to transforming the games into a non-interactive medium.

That’s probably because the best games in the franchise – titles like Resident Evil 4 – had a secret: They never took themselves too seriously.

Hey Netflix: Camp It Up!

Resident Evil 4 is a masterpiece. It’s not only the highest-rated game in the entire series [Metacritic]. It’s genuinely fun to play.

But there’s one thing it’s not – and that’s scary. It’s a hilarious, campy,  horror story filled with an over-the-top cast of characters.

That also explains why the movies have failed so miserably. They take those campy elements and try to play them straight.

For Netflix’s adaptation is going to avoid this poison trap, it needs to lean heavily into the hilarious extravagance that makes the “horror” themes work.

Not that we’ll get that. A Deadline scoop about the series from last year made that clear:

The drama series will explore the dark inner workings of the Umbrella Corporation and the new world order caused by the outbreak of the T-virus.

Let’s just hope that none of the plotlines from Umbrella Corps make an appearance.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: February 3, 2020 9:52 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com