Resident Evil – Welcome to Raccoon City 4K

Resident Evil place events at Raccoon Citya once thriving Midwestern town fallen from grace after the multinational Umbrella Corporation it has relocated elsewhere, but not without having left a heavy legacy. The pharmaceutical giant has for a long time conducted multiple devastating experiments not only on humans, infesting the subsoil, poisoning the aquifer as well as flora and fauna. A large-scale biological disaster now irrepressible that transforms living creatures into bloodthirsty beasts, with which a handful of survivors are forced to deal. Among them the policeman Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell) and sister Claire (Kaya Scodelario), racing against time for escape before the city is destroyed at dawn.

Cinema or video game?

After six films dedicated to the Capcom franchise (and four animated ones) we start again with this one Resident Evil – Welcome to Raccoon City. In the intent of the Johannes Roberts, who has already traveled far and wide in horror (47 meters, The Strangers: Pray At Night) with mixed fortunes, a real nostalgia operation dedicated tobeloved survival horror that has been going wild on consoles around the world since the mid-90s. Writer and director, he succeeds without fail in the intent of recreate the atmospheres but above all the settings of the first two video gamesfrom which he draws heavily without paying much attention to the chronological aspect of events.

The shadow of the past

What Roberts’ approach soon ends up colliding with is precisely there heavy videogame inheritance underlying his story. Evidently sinful of artistic presumption, it really seems impossible that a director who is very passionate about the genre has not reflected on the past of such operations. When trying to translate a video game to the big screen based solely on it we lose sight of the basic needs that a cinematic narrative needs to work, risking heavy slips.

Obvious tributes for anyone who has even approached the first two chapters of the video game. After all how not to praise the many references and attention to detail: an example above all the tanker truck driver and even the hamburger he is eating appear faithful copies of the original seen on the first PlayStation. Not even the Palm Pilot and the discovery of the secret passage by playing the notes on the piano. However effective the effect is soon nullified, on the contrary it ends up being overshadowed by one narrative with a rambling rhythmwith a lackluster and increasingly suffering adaptation. Better to leave out paradoxical situations like Leon’s bazooka shot that was supposed to wipe out good Chris.

Passion for horror

Of course we’re not on the side of obscenities like House Of The Deadprequel to Sega’s 1996 arcade saga of the same name and probably the worst zombie movie ever. Roberts is clearly a fan of John Carpenter’s cinemathe captions that occur in the story are a litmus test, as well as the echo of his cult works including District 13 – The Death Brigades. Anyone who knows nothing this Resident Evil perhaps it will also be a little less empty and flat.

As you can see

Shot entirely digital at native resolution between 3.4K and 4.5K (Arri Alexa LF, Mini, Mini LF, SXT cameras) then came to a 4K masterused for the making of this UHD Blu-ray. Quite noticeable leap in quality compared to the Blu-ray Full HD counterpart (disc included here), with a greater degree of overall incisiveness, deeper blacks, chromatic extension and more precise and detailed textures. The level of sharpness and precision is not afraid of large screens. Image format 2.40: 1 almost identical to the original 2.39: 1 (3840 x 2160 / 23.97p), HEVC encoding on double layer BD-66. To make the fortune of the photography of the film, curated by the Belgian Maxime Alexandre (Shazam!, Maniac 2012), the presence of Dolby Vision with dynamic metadata thanks to which it was possible to properly dose the dynamic range between lights and colors, varying it according to the change of the most significant shots. The show remains level even through the HDR-10 alone, albeit less vibrant.

How does she feel

Excellent quality for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1ch (even if only 16bit) Italian. Mix with a multitude of ideas and a dynamic richness that do not fail to make you jump in the armchair on more than one occasion. Elements full of substance from all channels with an emphasis on the presence of deadly creatures, echoes, musical accompaniment and explosive transitions starting from the overturning of the tanker, passing through the helicopter that crashes up to the desperate race of the train on the rail. To step up further, you need to switch to the original Dolby ATMOS: aggressive, total and devastating it has much more to offer even from the vertical channels, emblematic of the attack of the “Licker” against Cape Irons.

Interesting supplements

The extras are present on both discs: “Replicate DNA” (11 ‘) with focus on history and the close link with the first two chapters of the videogame between sets, cast and characters. “Cops, corpses and chaos” (8 ‘) on direction, location, influences of the franchise and genre cinema also here with interventions by part of the cast and crew. “Zombies, Lickers and the horrors of Resident Evil” (6 ‘) on the horrifying creatures and zombies between make-up, design and computer graphics. Subtitles in Italian.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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