Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Parent Guide
Based on a video game, this film faithfully recreates both its evocative visual design and its terrible dialogue and excessive violence.
Parent Movie Review
Raccoon City is a desperate husk of a company town, drying up as its sponsoring company, pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, relocates. Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario), a survivor of the town’s substandard orphanage, has been away for years, but she’s heard some highly suspicious rumors about the possibility of a major chemical leak into the water supply, and is coming back to get her brother, Chris (Robbie Amell). Her plans are going to have to wait because Chris is preoccupied with trying to find police officers who went missing while investigating a chewed-up corpse found in the ominous Spencer Mansion. Claire will need to fend for herself until he gets back – if he gets back.
This is far from the first film to be adapted from the Resident Evil video game franchise – I’m sure most of you remember the (deeply awful) Paul W.S. Anderson films, which finally finished up in 2017 with Resident Evil 6: The Final Chapter. Thankfully, this film is a reboot, and has nothing to do with that series apart from the shared source material.
It’s also a much more faithful adaptation, especially in terms of visual design. Raccoon City and the Spencer Mansion are remarkably faithful recreations of the original games and provide a lot of atmosphere – everywhere you turn there’s some shadowy corner, some dramatic architectural piece, some rain-soaked street flanked by silent houses. Unfortunately, the film might be a little too faithful.
The original Resident Evil game is notorious for its awful voice acting and dialogue, and while the movie’s acting quality is a little better than the game’s, the dialogue is just as bad as the original. The game has an excuse, in that it’s a Japanese game from the mid-90s. The movie is just lazy. Characters walk around muttering exposition aloud to themselves, but since that’s not enough, the film also includes a somewhat verbose title card about the history of Raccoon City – ten minutes into the movie, after it’s already been explained in dialogue. I guess director Johannes Roberts really, really wants to make sure we understand the backstory.
The film also maintains much of the gore. People are devoured by the infected, shot, hit by trucks, bitten by animals, and in one case, vivisected. There’s also a deluge of profanity, including over 80 f-bombs, which doesn’t make the film any more suitable for young viewers. I’m sure devout franchise fans will have fun picking out the easter eggs and soaking in the foggy ambience, but for the rest of us, this is a film best watched on mute or not at all.Directed by Johannes Roberts. Starring Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Donal Logue. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release November 24, 2021. Updated November 25, 2021
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Rating & Content Info
Why is Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City rated R? Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence and gore, and language throughout
Violence: An individual is struck by a truck. Various animals are shown being shot, crashing into windows, and being beaten to death. A person is bitten by a dog. One character is shown burning alive before being shot. Many people are shot and killed, most of whom are shown suffering physically deleterious effects from a dangerous virus. A person is shown attempting to speak during a vivisection.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 81 sexual expletives, 24 scatological curses, and frequent use of terms of deity, along with occasional mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking and smoking tobacco.
Page last updated November 25, 2021
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Parents' Guide
Claire is concerned about potential contamination of the water supply. Why is that so critical? How secure is your watershed? What can you do to ensure that your community’s water supply remains safe?
Clean Water Action: 10 Ways to Protect Our Water
Safe Drinking Water Foundation: Source Water Protection
Clean Water Cataraqui: How Can You Help Protect Drinking Water Sources?
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Earlier adaptations of the Resident Evil franchise were directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and star Mila Jovovich, including Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution, and Resident Evil 6: The Final Chapter. Paul W.S. Anderson also attempted an adaptation of the Monster Hunter video game franchise. If you want a marginally better adaptation of classic Japanese horror games, you may enjoy Silent Hill or Silent Hill: Revelation. Better zombie films include I Am Legend, 28 Days Later, World War Z, Quarantine, and The Crazies. Zombie comedies include The Dead Don’t Die, Shawn of the Dead, Zombieland, and Zombieland 2: Double Tap.