Every Live-Action Movie To Watch Before The Netflix Series, Ranked
Released in 1996, the first resident Evil was a smash hit, selling like hot cakes while critics loved its brilliant combination of tense survival horror and tricky puzzles. A sequel was quickly commissioned and the series became one of the most important in video gaming.
The film industry saw the potential of the franchise and quickly acquired the rights to the film. The first movie was released in 2002 to mixed fan reception, and the Milla Jovovich-the centric series continued for five more sequels. A reboot followed in 2021. Now, Netflix is joining the party of the living dead with a new live-action series set to premiere on the service on July 14 as Mr. X in a police station. With its release imminent, here’s how things are going in the live-action space right now.
‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ (2016)
For a sequel dubbed the final entry, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is quite anti-climatic. In fact, the film completely bypasses the big battle for the White House that was set up in the previous film’s finale. In place, The last chapter find Alice (Milla Jovovich) team up with a group of characters who aren’t in the game (yet) to take down Umbrella once and for all (again). But hey, at least Claire is in!
There are still some great sets, like the one involving a huge industrial fan who just wants to be hugged. Wesker also returns, only to be finally defeated by his ultimate weakness *check notes* doors. At least let Alice do an uppercut with a rock on him or something. Despite being the weakest entry in the series, The last chapter has consistently done well at the box office and is one of the highest-grossing horror films of the past decade.
“Resident Evil: Beyond” (2010)
The fourth installment of the series finds Alice and her fellow survivors trying to reach Arcadia, a supposed refuge. Along the way, she reunites with Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and his brother Chris (Wentworth-Miller), which is significantly smaller than the living tree trunk that is the in-game version.
Resident Evil: Afterlife has enjoyable moments, such as the shower fight with the executioner and the final showdown with Wesker, which accurately captures the over-the-top action that resident evil 5 appeared at the time. Shawn Robert also gives a decent performance as a blonde villain.Resident Evil: Afterlifeis available to stream on Hulu and Tubi.
‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ (2007)
By removing the action from Raccoon City and placing it in a desert wasteland, Resident, Evil, Extinction is inspired by madmax as the survivors travel in convoys through the dangerous landscape. Alice leads a caravan of survivors to hopeful safety, facing new threats along the way.
The third entry, Extinction is a drop in quality after the first two films. There is also a character named K-Mart (Spencer Locke) because it was found in a, you guessed it, a K-Mart store. Hopefully she’ll be brought back in a future episode, so we can meet her sister Target.Resident, Evil, Extinctionis available to stream on Hulu.
‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ (2012)
Resident Evil: Retribution stands as one of the best entries in the Alice series. After being captured by Umbrella, Alice is held hostage in a testing facility, which houses a diverse range of biomes and creatures. This setting allows the film to move along at a good pace, as one minute our heroes are battling in rain-soaked Tokyo, while the next they’re in the suburbs at the start of the zombie outbreak.
The film attempts to win back jaded Resident Evil fans by finally introducing series favorites Leon S. Kennedy (John Urb), Ada wong (Li Bingbing), and Barry Burton (Kevin Durand). Siena Guillory also returns as Jill Valentine.Resident Evil: Retributionis available to stream on Hulu and Tubi.
“Resident Evil” (2002)
A film smaller than the sequels it spawned, the first resident Evil is the closest the series has come to horror before the franchise became a full-on action show, though Alice still literally punches a flying Doberman in the head. Waking up with no memory of who or where she is, Alice is soon captured by a team of elite mercenaries and forced to accompany them to an Umbrella facility that has fallen into dead silence.
A B movie from start to finish, resident Evil is still an entertaining zombie game that features a great horror soundtrack. Plus, the laser hallway is the best part of the entire series, and Capcom even referenced the iconic scene inResident Evil 4.resident Evilis available to stream on Hulu.
“Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004)
The strongest entry into the Milla Jovovich-directed series, Resident Evil: Apocalypse This is the only time they have attempted to directly adapt any of the games. An account of the events of Resident Evil 3: Nemesisthe film is set in Raccoon City as Umbrella’s T-Virus engulfs the city, causing an outbreak of zombies.
Jill and Carlos (Oded Fehr) are introduced, as they attempt to escape the nightmarish city while rescuing as many survivors as possible. Alice also helps their quest, while resident Evilthe most iconic monster in, Nemesis, stalks our heroes. Like the original, apocalypse is a joy to watch, and its bare-metal soundtrack (remember Killswitch Engage? They’re back, in BOW form) helps transport audiences to a time when a pandemic seemed wacky.Resident Evil: Apocalypseis available to stream on Hulu and Tubi.
‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ (2021)
Guaranteed to be the most controversial placement on this list, it’s fair to say that Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City didn’t meet with too positive a reception when it was released last year. However, the film is a true adaptation of the video game series and comes closer than any other film to recreating iconic moments from Capcom’s crown jewel.
Of course, the decision to combine the first two games into one film proved to be detrimental, but Welcome to Raccoon Citystill does an admirable job of bringing both storylines to the big screen. The film also refuses to insert new characters like Alice into the plot and instead puts the game’s Big Four (Chris, Jill, Leon, and Claire) center stage. Most of the portrayals are faithful, though Leon definitely leans on his rookie status far more than the game, and the film conjures up an oppressive tone as the virus sweeps through deserted city streets.Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon Cityis available to stream on Starz.
George A. Romero’s “Resident Evil 2” commercial (1997)
In the late 1990s, when resident Evil was beginning to invade the gaming space, the godfather of zombie movies George A. Romero, took an interest in the property. Originally hired to direct the first film, Romero’s script remained mostly faithful to the original game. The studio was put off by the script’s excessive violence and heavy focus on action. Despite numerous rewrites, Romero left the project due to creative differences.
The Zombie King still gave us this live-action trailer for Resident Evil 2 however, which only aired on Japanese television. A 30-second recreation of the game’s tense atmospherethe ad finds Leon (Brad Renfro) and Claire (Adrian Frantz) seeking refuge in the game’s police station as Raccoon City is overrun around them. This little ad is a fun glimpse into the reality of the classic survival series, set five years before the first film, and gives insight into how Romero would have handled the property.
NEXT: The Best Zombie Video Games Ranked From Worst To Best