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Thursday, October 7, 2021

‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ Trailer Breakdown – The Game Nods and References Explained

Director Johannes Roberts promised to bring the franchise back to the horror roots of the video game series with Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. The official trailer released today confirms that he wasn’t exaggerating; it’s packed to the brim with fan service moments, characters, and nods to Capcom’s classic Resident Evil games.

“Once the booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland…with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, the townspeople are forever…changed…and a small group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night.”

The cast includes Kaya Scodelario (Crawl) as Claire Redfield alongside Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Jill Valentine, Robbie Amell (Upload) as Chris Redfield, Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy) as Albert Wesker, Avan Jogia (Zombieland: Double Tap) as Leon S. Kennedy, and Neal McDonough (Yellowstone) as William Birkin.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City heads to theaters on November 24, looking to kickstart a new universe inspired by the games. And based on the brief trailer drop, they’re leaning in hard on the game series for inspiration. 

We broke down some of the most significant game moments from the trailer.

The Date – September 30, 1998.

The trailer opens with a date card of September 30, 1998. Fans of Resident Evil 2 will recognize this as the date on which most of the game’s events occur. The trailer places Welcome to Raccoon City directly in the timeline of Resident Evil 2, which makes sense considering that Claire seems to be the lead and driving force of this reboot.

The Infected Truck Driver

In RE2, an unnamed truck driver gets attacked at a gas station near Raccoon City on the night of Tuesday, 29 September. He’s unaware that he’s been infected with the T-Virus and keeps driving his rig until he succumbs to infection, loses control, and crashes the rig near the police station.

The Ashford Twins

Resident Evil 2 might be the prominent influence on this movie, but The Ashford Twins first appeared in Resident Evil CODE: Veronica. Alexia and Alfred were modified clones, but Alexia injected herself with the t-Veronica virus, eventually causing mutations. In the trailer, it appears that the movie will connect them with William Birkin.

Lisa Trevor

Much like the Ashford Twins reel that appears in the trailer, a file with Lisa Trevor’s name also pops up, connecting her to Birkin. In the Resident Evil remake video game, Lisa Trevor was a new addition with a tragic story. Along with her parents, she was detained at the Spencer Mansion and subjected to testing with the Progenitor Virus. Only Lisa survived, but it mutated her and regressed her mental facilities.

Resident Evil’s Iconic Zombie Encounter

The trailer pays homage to that iconic slow reveal of the video game’s first zombie encounter, found in a hallway munching on flesh.

“Itchy Tasty”

In the original game, the player discovers a diary by the animal keeper, an Umbrella employee assigned to care for the t-Virus creatures. The keeper gets infected, and the diary entries are increasingly disturbing. The keeper’s mental unraveling and subsequent hunger for flesh results in a terrifying but memorable entry that reads, “Itchy Tasty.” In the trailer, this appears in blood on the glass.

William Birkin, is that you?

William Birkin was a virologist and Umbrella employee in the games, but a lethal falling out resulted in Birkin injecting himself with the G-Virus. He sought out his blood relation, daughter Sherry, as a viable carrier for his parasitic larvae, and his continued mutations made him a massive thorn in the player’s side. He was the final boss for Claire Redfield, which looks to be the case in the movie. The tell-tale indicators? The extra eyeballs on the shoulder area.

Licker in the police station

The trailer closes with another massive dose of fan service; the first encounter between Leon Kennedy and the wall-crawling creatures dubbed Lickers.

That still doesn’t touch on the locations, ammo storage, R.P.D. gear, helicopter crashes, and iconic imagery straight out of the game.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City appears to be a feast for fans of the games.


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