At the end of the 2000s and at the turn of the 2010s, the Resident Evil the multimedia franchise was in a strange place. Resident Evil 4 had been a huge success for video games, moving from the stiff, spooky horror of the PlayStation era to something bigger and more action-oriented (albeit slightly less scary). But the critical reception of Resident evil 5, an attempt to do more of the same, has only fell further over time, at least in part because of the fact that he’s a white man who travels to Africa to kill predominantly black zombies. Meanwhile, a declining critical reception couldn’t even remotely hold back Paul WS Anderson’s Resident Evil film series, who was going stronger than ever when Resident evil 5 out of.
When is the time to do Resident Evil 6, the developers at Capcom followed what worked for a full, world-wide apocalypse adventure that looked a lot like the movies, meaning any plot he had was just an excuse to launch virtually invincible professional zombie slayers together without even the slightest hint of horror. The films decided almost immediately that IIt was a lot of fun watching a woman effortlessly kill monsters, whether she had explicit superpowers or not, and when the folks who made the games saw how good it was, from a point of view. money, they conceded that it looked like it would. a lot of pleasure. Resident Evil 6, perhaps unsurprisingly, is terrible. Or at least boring, which could be even worse for a game that mostly focuses on cool zombie backgrounds.
Apologies for the history lesson, but this brings us to Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, the new computer animation from Netflix Resident Evil limited series. Endless darkness takes place explicitly just before the events of Resident evil 5, right before the games start to go wrong, making it a fascinating time capsule in an era of Resident Evil it’s long gone. With 7 and the recently released Village, the games have gone from bombastic action to more edgy first-person horror, while the film series receives a 1990s reboot that director Johannes Roberts says will be closer to the John Carpenter-esque tone of the original games.
With so much work against this, it would be easy to assume that Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is also bad, since it’s a throwback to a time that no one wants to remember, and yet… it isn’t. No one is going to confuse it with great art, admittedly, but what didn’t really work in video games and what didn’t make sense in films directed by Milla Jovovich surprisingly Is work as a four-episode CG television show. Endless darkness has room to get through a somewhat complicated plot involving multiple government conspiracies, biological terrorism, and war in a Middle Eastern country, but it also doesn’t exhaust its welcome by relying too much on diminishing returns bigger and coarser zombie monsters.
The program does not assume that you have prior knowledge of the Resident Evil lore, but it doesn’t really require one either. All you need to know is that zombie viruses are an established thing in this world, there is a woman named Claire Redfield who has survived a few zombie adventures (her brother Chris and series villain Albert Wesker are not mentioned, however) and is friends with a guy named Leon S. Kennedy, a former cop, also survived several zombie adventures and is forever in the good graces of the President as he saved his daughter. The plot-specific rhythms are all pretty predictable, especially if you’re familiar with zombie tropes (and the tropes of that). Resident Evil back then, like someone getting a rocket launcher just for the final boss fight), but the plot makes the difference between not being meaningless and not being convoluted, allowing you to recognize the main beats and go from a cool moment to a cool moment – of which there are actually quite a few.
A first sequence is practically over as soon as Resident Evil 6 (a zombie attack on the White House), but it’s much better played out here, so to speak, because the TV show makes the smart choice to pitch everything in total darkness. The recognizable rooms of the White House are lit by fleeting flashes of flashlights, and when the zombie shit hits the fan, flashes of gunfire are the only light of the carnage. It’s cool! Later, there’s a scene in a submarine that would likely be too narrow and constrained for a video game, but it’s a perfect setting for a zombie story that at least didn’t get killed.
Endless darkness is not the ultimate expression of what Resident Evil could or should be, which brings up the “Who is it for?” Question that hangs over all video game adaptations and links. However, rather than giving video game fans what they want or ignoring video game fans and just doing what Paul WS Anderson wants, it looks like the team behind it. Endless darkness just ignored everyone and found a place in the Resident Evil canon where they could tell a story about government conspiracies and zombie related PTSD and cute adorable boy Leon Kennedy. It’s not a crucial part of the story going, as the games are doing something totally different now, and it won’t set any useful context for the future of the films. But breaking free from those expectations has resulted in a TV show that, while far from a masterpiece, exceeds most expectations of a video game adaptation.