In an interview with MCV, Resident Evil director Paul WS Anderson has laid down a few theories as to why he feels his movies have seen increase after increase at the box office, and why other video game movies seem to fall flat.
Although critical reaction to the Resident Evil film series has been, shall we say, mixed, the box office figures have indeed been on the rise and Anderson believes this is down to something that many video game movie directors lack: Love.
'Despite what a lot of haters on the internet might say, I love the Resident Evil games,' says Anderson. 'And these movies are made with a huge knowledge of the games and a real passion for the games. I think that translates into the movies we make and that’s why they deliver. A lot of video game movies are made by directors who don’t know the video games they are based on from a hole in the head. They don’t do justice to the games, they don’t immerse themselves in the games, they don’t understand what people liked from the games. And that is the wrong approach and clearly those movies don’t work.'
Anderson acknowledges that there need to be differences between games and films, and that doing a straight adaptation of a game simply wouldn't work - 'Imagine before you sit down to watch Alien, you know exactly which characters will die, how they will die and in what order...it is not going to be surprising, it is not going to be shocking, a direct adaptation is not going to make me leap out of my seat when the dog jumps through the window, because I know it is coming' - but he is adamant that his films have always strived very hard to stay true to the ethos of Resident Evil, to remain true to the original franchise, and that keeping it fresh but retaining that feel is what has allowed him and his team to produce five movies, where others have fallen by the wayside.
'[Y]ou can fool people once, you know. I was excited to see the Tomb Raider movie the first time it came out. I saw it, it wasn’t very good, I wasn’t very excited to go and see the second film, I felt that the first Tomb Raider movie promised a lot but didn’t deliver. People didn’t go back for the second one and it did substantially less business, and even though it starred Angelina Jolie there were no more movies. I think with Resident Evil it is very telling that each movie has done better than the one before. It is a franchise that doesn’t disappoint. It delivers and people enjoy them, which is why they come back for more.'