2021 was a good year to be a fan of Resident Evil. Capcom released the critically acclaimed Resident Evil: Village, the much anticipated eighth installment in the video game franchise. Combining the best of combat skills along with terrifying environments, the game proved survival horror was still alive. In November, director Johannes Roberts gave us a new live-action iteration with Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. While the Milla Jovovich-starring franchise was a fun ride, it strayed further and further away from the source material. Welcome to Raccoon City gave fans of the games some service with several easter eggs and based its script on the original two games. There’s more to come for the franchise with another sequel to the game, especially for those who paid close attention to the ending of RE: Village. Netflix has a new live-action series due next year, utilizing characters from the games in an entirely new storyline, but had also given us the CGI miniseries RESIDENT EVIL: INFINITE DARKNESS.
Set in the video game universe between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, Leon Kennedy is ordered to investigate a hacking incident at the White House in the year 2006. Almost immediately, his visit is interrupted when zombies storm the halls in an obvious attack for political means. Fan-favorite Claire Redfield stars in a parallel storyline where she becomes with finding out the meaning behind a child refugee’s drawing. This drawing could possibly be linked to Kennedy’s White House fiasco and the two find themselves working as a team.
INFINITE DARKNESS is told as a miniseries, but it’s apparent the four 25 minute episodes were originally one full-length movie. Maybe selling it as a series proved to be more marketable for Netflix, but it still moves fast and that’s always a positive. The franchise has delved into CGI animation before with a handful of movies that sometimes felt more effective than their live-action counterparts, but these takes always felt a bit too serious. Plenty of political overtones make the experience a bit more grim, but some of the games too fell into that hole. The timelines are difficult to follow even for some of the biggest fans, but they keep cranking them out as people like me will continue to watch.
In rare form, Netflix and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have given INFINITE DARKNESS a Blu-ray release. The video presentation meets all standards as the CGI made me feel like I was watching extended versions of the cinematics from the games. Still, the high-definition transfer captures all the color palettes and details, especially the fun gore moments. The 5.1 audio track is a fun one to keep at full volume as surprise zombie attacks bring the rear speakers to life and help make this an exciting roller coaster ride. There’s one special feature, a 35-minute making-of featurette. It’s a pretty detailed behind-the-scenes look at how the story came about and plenty of footage of how the motion capture technology was utilized. Now, I’m not sure if this is an issue with all the Blu-rays, but there’s a lot of interviews in Japanese with no subtitles. I watched this on the Playstation 5 and couldn’t figure out if there was a subtitle option here.
RESIDENT EVIL: INFINITE DARKNESS won’t give birth to new fans for the franchise, but it will fulfill some fan service until we get something new to obsess about.
The first series in Resident Evil history – RESIDENT EVIL: INFINITE DARKNESS – is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.