Franchise Recap: The Resident Evil Story So Far…


Explore the Resident Evil story in our Resident Evil story guide!

Explore the six-film saga that makes up the complete big screen Resident Evil story!

Based on the video game series of the same name, Resident Evil started as a film franchise in 2002. The action-horror film series stars Milla Jovovich as Alice, a one-time security operative for the evil Umbrella Corporation who turns against them when their T-virus causes the zombie apocalypse. So far, there are five installments in the franchise, with a sixth, The Final Chapter, set for release on January 27, 2017. Here is a quick rundown of the cinematic Resident Evil story to get you ready for The Final Chapter!

The Resident Evil story begins in the first Resident Evil.

Resident Evil (2002)

Alice wakes in a mansion, naked and with no memory of who she is or what happened. The mansion hides an underground train, which leads to The Hive, the super-secret genetic lab owned and operated by the Umbrella Corporation. There she finds the similarly-amnesiac Spence (James Purefoy), who was Alice’s partner in guarding The Hive. The Hive is operated by artificial intelligence known as the Red Queen. An Umbrella creation, the T-virus, had been stolen and released (we later find out Spence did this), so in order to prevent the virus from spreading, the Red Queen shut down the facility and released a gas that killed everyone infected. This same gas is responsible for Alice and Spence’s amnesia. The gas may have killed the infected, but the T-virus caused the dead to reanimate as zombies.

The Zombies are here as the Resident Evil story continues!

Alice and her team must escape to the train, where the anti-virus is hidden. Only Alice escapes unscathed (Eric Mabius‘ Matt Addison survived, but was put into the mysterious Nemesis program), and finds herself a prisoner of Raccoon City Hospital. She escapes, only to find Raccoon City in ruins.

Apocalypse is the first sequel and a necessary continuation of the Resident Evil story.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Raccoon City is on lockdown to contain the infection which has escaped The Hive. Alice wakes in the empty hospital, and flashes of memories tell her she was experimented on. She now has superhuman strength and agility. Alice teams up with a few survivors, including Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory),  as she tries to find a way out of town. Dr. Charles Ashford (Jared Harris), creator of the T-virus, offers evacuation to whoever can find his missing daughter, Angela (Sophie Vavasseur), and Alice accepts because she knows Umbrella Corp. is planning on nuking Raccoon City to prevent the virus from escaping. Alice finds Angela, and also discovers that Ashford created the T-virus to cure his daughter of a genetic disease. He also created the anti-virus because of the T-virus’s tendency to cause mutations.

Apocalypse is when Jill Valentine enters the Resident Evil story.

As Alice and her team make their way to the extraction point, they are confronted by Umbrella supervisor Cain (Thomas Kretschmann) who kills Ashford in order to bait Alice into battling Nemesis. It isn’t until she impales Nemesis and he regains a hint of his former humanity that Alice realizes Nemesis is actually Matt. He joins with Alice, Jill, and the other survivors to fight Umbrella’s forces. Nemesis dies protecting Alice from an exploding helicopter; Cain is thrown from a helicopter and eaten by the zombies; Alice and her crew escape in a helicopter. The helicopter isn’t fast enough though, and a nuclear bomb blasts the city. The helicopter is caught in the blast and crashes, killing Alice in the process. Her badly-burned body is recovered from the crash site, and three weeks later, she wakes in an Umbrella research facility in Detroit. Jill, Angela, and the team, disguised as Umbrella employees, show up to take Alice into their custody. As they escape, the scientist who was in charge of Alice, Dr. Isaacs, says “Program Alice activated.”

Extinction continues the Resident Evil story.

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Umbrella’s plan to nuke Raccoon City in order to prevent the virus from spreading didn’t work. The world has been ravaged by zombies, and Umbrella Corp. has created clones of Alice, hoping to find one who has the same powers Alice had. The real Alice is searching for survivors, and eventually meets up with a group led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), which includes Raccoon City survivors Carlos (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps). The group plan to head to Alaska, after a quick pit stop in Las Vegas for supplies, in the hopes of getting to a place called Arcadia, which is said to be a safe haven.

The Resident Evil story continues as a team forms!

In Vegas, the group are ambushed by a group of super zombies created by Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen). Isaacs is bitten by one of his super zombies, and uses an extra-large dose of anti-virus in the hopes of curing himself. Instead he turns into a Tyrant, a massive creature with regenerative powers. L.J. and Carlos both become infected, but Claire evacuates the rest of the survivors into helicopters and they head towards Alaska. Alice stays behind to fight Isaacs, but before she can find him she finds the White Queen (the Red Queen’s “sister AI”) who informs her that her blood is the cure to the T-virus. Alice also discovers her clone, who seems to die from shock after seeing her. Alice and Isaacs fight, and he is eventually killed by a laser grid. Before Alice can be killed by the same grid, her clone — no longer dead — deactivates the system. It is revealed that there are countless Alice clones in various stages of development.

The Resident Evil story enters the third dimension with Afterlife!

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Alice and her clones attack the Umbrella Corporation’s headquarters in Tokyo. She fights with Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), who destroys the facility and with it, the clones. He injects Alice with a serum to take away her super-human abilities and the helicopter they are on crashes, with only Alice walking away. She searches for survivors on her way to Alaska, where she finds only Claire with an Umbrella device controlling her, and her memory wiped. Destroying the device seems to normalize Claire, and the two head to Los Angeles, where they find some survivors in a prison. One of the survivors is Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), Claire’s brother.

The Resident Evil story comes to its penultimate chapter with Retribution!

Alice, Chris, and Claire are the only three to escape after zombies attack the prison, and they head to Arcadia. It turns out Arcadia is a tanker off the coast, and while it is fully functional, it has been abandoned. Claire remembers that the tanker was an Umbrella Corp. trap to get fresh test subjects. Alice finds Wesker in the bowels of the ship, having been revived by the T-virus. Fighting ensues, which Wesker escapes in an airplane, setting off a bomb on the Arcadia. Alice is too smart for him, and hid the bomb on the plane, blowing up Wesker and leaving the tanker safe. Alice is determined to make Arcadia a true safe haven… but a squadron of Umbrella aircraft approach, and is led by Jill Valentine, wearing the same mind-control device Claire was wearing.

Resident Evil: Retribution offers the penultimate Resident Evil story.

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Alice is back in an Umbrella facility, being interrogated by Valentine. A power failure allows Alice to escape, and she meets up with Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), who assures both she and Wesker are no longer part of Umbrella. The Red Queen now controls Umbrella, and wants to destroy the world. The facility is made up of rooms that create simulations of places like Raccoon City, New York City, and Moscow.

The Resident Evil story is nearly at an end in Retribution.

As Alice and Ada fight their way through various simulations, they encounter a number of survivors including characters from previous installments of the franchise. They also find clones of deceased friends, and Becky (Aryana Engineer), a young deaf girl who may or may not be Alice’s daughter. Escaping the facility, Alice faces off against Valentine and removes the mind control device, returning her to normal. The survivors find Wesker in his new headquarters, the White House, and he gives Alice another injection of T-virus, returning her superhuman abilities. It is humanity’s last stand, as most of the population is now zombified.

The Resident Evil story concludes in RE: The Final Chapter!

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

Picking up where Retribution left off, Wesker unsurprisingly turns against Alice. She must return to where this nightmare started, Raccoon City, and attempt to save humanity, which is on the brink of extinction.

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