A look into the many genres of horror in The latest Resident Evil
Major Spoilers ahead;
With eight main games, plenty of beloved remakes and spin-offs, Resident Evil at its core has always been survival horror. Resident Evil Village continues this tradition but in its own way, utilizing different types of the genre throughout its many locations. It’s all with one goal, to scare the hell out of you. In this latest chapter, Ethan is looking for his baby, Rosemary, and ends up at The Village. Coincidentally, there are Four Lords preventing you from saving your daughter, and each of them encompasses these genres of horror, providing you an amusement park experience of hell.
As you begin Ethan’s story, you are forced into an encounter with werewolves. The entire Village is being raided by these beasts, a clear homage of monster horror icons like the Wolfman. You’re overrun by hordes of them with nothing but a shotgun and a pistol. Escaping the Village leads you to the castle, where you’re taken prisoner by the extremely popular Lady Dimitrescu and her three daughters, all of them vampires continuing the classic monster horror theme. You’re exploring the Gothic castle, escaping its horrific dungeons, sneaking past its ravenous tenants.
Lady Dimitrescu herself, stalks you ferociously, her anger growing as you dispatch her daughters one by one. She stands over 9 feet tall, with large talons growing from her once human hands. You’re afraid of walking down the wrong hallway, running into her is certain death. Encounters with her feel like dealing with Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Her knife hands gave me serious Kruger vibes. Slasher horror icons that simply won’t stop. They stalk you, they chase you down and won’t stop until they ruthlessly slaughter you. You can’t win, all you can do is run. However, I know some of you nasties want her to catch you, and I don’t know how to feel about that.
Once you manage to escape the giant goth vampire lady, Ethan’s journey leads him to the Beneviento mansion. Your walk there is chilling, with broken decayed dolls and mass graves along your path. The fear that any one of these toys for Satan would take life and attack you only worsens when you realize there’s dolls literally everywhere. Suddenly, inside the mansion, you’re ambushed. You wake up with nothing. No weapons, no way out. The game forces you to solve various puzzles within an autopsy room in the basement. You’re forced to dissect a wooden doll replica of your own wife.
You see Ethan’s fear come to life. He is attacked by something completely horrific. A gigantic creature straight from Ethan’s nightmares stalks you throughout the hallways, with no way to protect yourselves you’re forced to run and hide. Under the bed or in closets. You hear the chilling cries it makes as it calls out for you. It’s your child, a disturbing nightmarish version that’s looking for her father. Ethan’s fears of losing his daughter, Rosemary, to the evils within the Village come to life.
Psychological horror at its core, with elements of the supernatural frights, make exploring the Beneviento manor quite possibly one of the scariest Resident Evil Locations in the franchise’s history. Look at Donna Beneviento’s doll, Angie, and tell me that’s not creepy.
Salvatore Moreau and Moreau Reservoir literally ooze with homages to lovecraftian horror. A decaying fishing village, strange tentacle creatures of the deep? That’s pretty Lovecraftian. The entire location is simply gross with the biggest obstacle in your way being Moreau himself.
Transforming himself into an aquatic abomination and stalking you within the depths of the reservoir, he stalks you as you attempt to traverse the decaying structures to sanctuary. One misstep and you dive into the putrid depths where you become nothing more than his next meal. His transformation isn’t the only example of body horror in the series, Resident Evil is literally filled to the brim with that, but he is one of the grossest. That’s a guarantee.
Heisenberg’s factory is a workshop of hell. The enemies you encounter there are evil amalgamation of machinery and monsters. Each encounter gets progressively scarier as the creatures you face become even more machine, and more powerful. From looming giants equipped with drills for hands, to creatures that shoot lasers and fly on jetpack.
You really see the sci-fi horror that inspires this locale. It reminds me of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, a japanese horror film and a cult classic. You’re even chased down by a ridiculous yet intimidating Fan man, who is literally a propeller connected to a torso that just chases you down every chance it gets. It’s only goal is to cut you into pieces and that’s more than enough to get me to watch my back. Heisenberg clearly got a couple of screws loose coming up with that.
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