Raccoon City

Vampire Owl: We have all been the fans of Resident Evil franchise, right?

Vampire Bat: Yes, the franchise about zombies coming over.

Vampire Owl: Well, these are surely not the zombies that we know well.

Vampire Bat: The zombies of science, not the kind of our realm.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that the zombies of science might be even stronger.

Vampire Bat: Yes, they have the technology to make zombies that strong.

Vampire Owl: Yet, they are will never be as strong as vampires.

Vampire Bat: But, you have never really battled a pure undead zombie.

Vampire Owl: The pure bloods have been dead and buried for centuries.

Vampire Bat: You don’t see them that often. They are like the vampire elders.

[Gets a vegetable pizza and three glasses of oreo shake].

What is the movie about? :: Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) returns to Raccoon City in 1998, where she and her older brother Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell) lived in an orphanage there which was run by the Umbrella Corporation. William Birkin (Neal McDonough) who ran the institute was using the children for his experimental research at the Umbrella Corporation, and Claire had noted a disfigured little girl in particular. Claire has returned to the city to find her brother, but Raccoon City which used to be the home of the Umbrella Corporation, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company had turned into a ghost town with the company moving to a new location. Only a small crew of the last few employees remained there. As Claire returns by hitchhiking in a truck, which accidently hits a woman in the middle of the road. But as the two argue over what is to be done with the body, the woman stands up and disappears without a trace. The woman seems to be walking strange, as if affected by some strange disease, and the trucker’s dog does drink some of the blood on the road and begins to act strange and bites him later.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Leon S Kennedy (Avan Jogia), a Raccoon City Police Department rookie officer who just got there visits a diner and finds the waiter having blood coming out of her eyes. The waiter dismisses is as nothing of significance, and is also not ready to see a doctor. She finds her brother Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), who is a member of the STARS Alpha Team along with Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper). Claire feels that there is something wrong with the city, and asks Chris to get out of there, but he feels that he owes to the Umbrella Corporation which looked after him after she had run away. Claire tries to convince him that there are many theories about what is going to happen to the city which has been abandoned by the corporation on purpose, but there is nothing that can make him change his mind, as he is also not happy about her leaving her as a child. Chris leaves for the police station after an alarm is activated by the Umbrella Corporation.

And what more is to happen in this world of some strange chaos? :: Claire is attacked by a strange woman who keeps saying “Itchy Tasty”. She manages to keep her away and escape on Chris’ motorcycle. At the police station, it is said that an earlier team had gone missing while investigating the Spencer Mansion which was owned by the head of the Umbrella Corporation – it is investigated by the team led by Chris. At the same time, the truck driver who was bitten by his dog is transformed into a zombie, and crashes his truck in front of the police station, soon dying. As the police chief tries to escape, Leon remains the only person in charge of the police station – he would also be forced to return to the police station as there seems to be no way out of the city now, with Umbrella Corporation guards trying to keep the people inside and contain what seems to be an outbreak. There is the zombie dog of the trucker and many zombie-like people outside the police station, and there seems to be no way out of there of the police station now. With the mansion also overrun by zombies, the team also struggles to find a way out.

The defence of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City :: I have always been happy about video games made into movies. As I was a gamer since my childhood, I would always feel some nostalgia when my favourite games of the past become movies of the present – it makes me go through the journey again. It is the same reason why I was only happy to hear about a reboot of this big franchise of adaptation. The movie does start well, and it does focus on Claire and Jill in the beginning itself – they are two of my favourite characters. There are some interesting shots of zombie attacks here, and a lot of shooting follows. There are some good-looking camera shots with the help of darkness, and some of the music also manages to come up with effectiveness, even though you know that there was the chance to do things better as we remember the original. The scope for a sequel is pretty much there too, but one might feel the need to add some more of interesting characters and have a better horde of zombies, as the audience has already seen so much. The performances are not that much, but fine.

The claws of flaw :: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is not that heavy in action in comparison to the original movie franchise or the games. It is also not that scary as the movie which started the movie adaptations with a similar setting. The waking up of Alice in the bath tub and the lift scene are only a few of them. That movie had a lot of stylish and iconic moments which we continue to remember. There were also some memorable dialogues to add to it. Even the costumes of the main characters lets the fans down up to an extent. Releasing so many years after the first movie, this one could have had better special effects. Some more innovation to the tale and its presentation could have suited the present scenario better. There is not enough strength in the attempts made around here. There are movies in the earlier series which are worse than this one, but for a reboot which had all the chances to start again in style, this one lags – remember that the games were the kind which kept us so much immersed in them. One really seems to lose the way so much while trying to make adaptations of video games.

How it finishes :: We have already watched so many movies of Resident Evil, and have played so many games in the franchise. The games have been integral part of our childhood, and still brings us the nostalgia about those which CDs which we received with the computer magazines – those were the demo versions of interest. If we go back to the first movie of a very long franchise, it was also something of a lot of interest – things started to change only with the third movie, as the second one had also continued the proceedings of the world really well. The earlier Resident Evil franchise starring Milla Jovovich was indeed something of interest, even though losing its way with the story at times – yet, we are happy to have a reboot which can also come up with some interesting titles as it progress. Well, we know that we are all standing close to a biohazard created by human manufactured viruses, and corona virus might only have been the tip of the huge iceberg. As we heard in that original movie long ago, everyone is going to die down here.

Release date: 24th November 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, Donal Logue, Neal McDonough

<<< Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Vampire Owl: There is no shortage of movies which have these people fighting the creatures and surviving.

Vampire Bat: Yes, they fought and survived a group of alligators in Crawl.

Vampire Owl: Two people survived in that movie, right? So, maybe two of them will survive this one too.

Vampire Bat: The movie had family bonding between a father and a daughter. It seems that this one has sisters.

Vampire Owl: The first movie had sisters, and it is just natural for the second movie to have sisters too.

Vampire Bat: The immediate setting seems to have some changes being made, but not the complete location.

Vampire Owl: I think that this one is a vampire shark.

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that there are vampire sharks because we, the vampires are not fond of water.

Vampire Owl: Maybe, it can walk on the land after becoming a vampire.

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that they can be included in our schemes.

[Gets a ghee cake and three cups of mixed tea].

What is the movie about? :: Mia (Sophie Nélisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx) are stepsisters who have just moved to a new school in Mexico, and they don’t really have much of an interest in each other’s matters, living like random acquaintances in their houses and going to school together without talking much. One day, Catherine (Brec Bassinger), one of the well-known bullies and proud girls of the school pushes Mia into a swimming pool in the campus while Sasha just looks, and moves on. Mia’s father Grant (John Corbett) and step-mother Jennifer (Nia Long) who understands the situation, plans a boat ride for the sisters in a glass-bottomed boat, during which they can see the great white sharks, and spend some sisters’ time together. Grant reminds Mia of the moments when they used to scuba dive together, and also leaves her with the tooth of a shark. Sasha is not really happy about this adventure, as she was planning to go out with her friends from school.

So, what happens with the events here? :: While waiting for the tour to open, Mia is depressed to see Catherine and her friends also there for the tour. It is then that Sasha’s friends Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone) arrive, and ask them to come with them to an unexplored place instead of going for this usual trip which everyone in the town are taking during weekends. They go a long way outside the town to what they called a secret lagoon, and spends their time at the place. It is then that Alexa tells them that the lagoon has a secret entrance to a Mayan city which was submerged in water, a long time ago. Grant and his two assistants, Carl (Khylin Rhambo), and Ben (Davi Santos) are working to make the place suitable for a group of archaeologists who are going to visit the place during the following week. Ben who is also Alexa’s boyfriend had taken her there during one of their secret adventures. The girls decide to see the place, but they don’t realize that there is something more than a city down there.

The defence of 47 Meters Down: Uncaged :: The movie seems to be directed towards one aim, that which is more or less about the sharks, and the environment also adds to it. It works even without the shark not given that much attention with the CGI. The Mayan city underwater with its walls and sculptures are all well designed to catch our attention – there is a certain underwater beauty here with the design. Even outside, with the girls enjoying the short amount of time, there is a beautiful world all around, and it is the kind of place where everyone would want to go with all the natural beauty around. There are some nice moments out here, which are related to not just danger, but also concerning people and the surroundings. The final moments show elements of real danger, as they seem to move towards death, and then towards escape, but then we know that they are not out of it yet – it goes on till the final moments.

The claws of flaw :: Just like many other movies which has a creature crisis at the core, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged remains predictable, and you can easily guess who all are going to survive the attack of the shark – at least that could have been arranged to be changed. In a movie which focuses on the shark, the humans and the story-line related to them suffer, because that goes just the usual way, with two sisters bonding – sometimes, it is the father and daughter, at other times, we have son and mother, or maybe two brothers, or one brother and one sister. These are times when we end up thinking that the shark came with such a beautiful motive of uniting them. In the case of this movie, it could have had the girls having more fun rather than taking them to the submerged city and the shark just after they get to the place.

Performers of the soul :: The movie, just like the previous film comes from Johannes Roberts who is going to direct the upcoming reboot of Resident Evil series, and we can be sure that the new version will bring more horror unlike the earlier versions which were more of action thriller flicks. Sophie Nelisse leads the way here, and the common audience hasn’t known her much except for playing the child in Mama. We can say that she is only beginning, and we need her in a full horror movie. Corinne Foxx, the daugher of Jamie Foxx manages to be okay. Sistine Stallone, the daugher of Sylvester Stallone also has her first movie here, and its a good work for a debutante. Brianne Tju plays the next friend, and she also does well, making the supporting cast do very well, almost the same as the main characters here. John Corbett’s short stay is good.

How it finishes :: Being someone who didn’t watch the first part, I would leave the comparisons behind, even though we do know what happens with the sequels as they struggle to bring more in the next title, and fails to do so. Sharks have always tried to bring more out of horror, and other than crocodiles, alligators and large snakes, nothing have inspired such huge survival flicks – we have seen how well The Shallows turned out to be even though there was one young lady and a shark in the sea for the most of the time. You cannot expect 47 Meters Down: Uncaged to be that good, but within the world of these man-eaters, being caught with one inside a space connected only through tunnels through which escape seems near impossible, the movie will keep you interested. After all, we are all facing crisis of survival more during these days.

Release date: 16th August 2019
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, Davi Santos, Khylin Rhambo, Brec Bassinger, John Corbett

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.