ByDavid Opie, writer at
Editor @DavidOpie / [email protected] Still waiting for a Marvel Zombies Ghibli movie directed by Xavier Dolan...
David Opie

Zombie apocalypses were never meant to be easy, but Resident Evil protagonist Alice has had it tougher than most, battling the undead in kick-ass slow-mo for the better part of 15 years. Fortunately for everyone's favorite action heroine and her undoubtedly frayed nerves, the Resident Evil movie franchise finally came to an end this year with the sixth installment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

Although we're disappointed to see Milla Jovovich hang up her handguns and that redolent red dress, The Final Chapter is arguably the franchise's most impressive entry yet, tying up loose ends while still leaving us hungry for more.

However, before you devour The Final Chapter like a horde of ravenous Lickers, join us for our comprehensive recap of the film franchise. It's of vital importance that you keep up to date with all the Umbrella Corporation has done since it first installed that gruesome laser grid system all those years ago.

1. Resident Evil (2002)

"Resident Evil" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil" [Credit: Constantin Film]

The first installment in the franchise opens with security officer Alice awaking naked in the shower, unable to remember where she is or what has happened — but still managing to look pretty damn fine all the same. Soon it becomes apparent that the Umbrella Corporation is responsible for unwittingly releasing the T-virus in the company's underground research facility known as the Hive, turning Alice's former colleagues into .

With the help of Spence (James Purefoy) and Umbrella soldiers Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) and James Shade (Colin Salmon), Alice tries to prevent the virus from reaching the surface, escaping laser grids and kicking zombie dogs in the head along the way.

"Resident Evil" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil" [Credit: Constantin Film]

After the soldiers die and Matt (Eric Mabius) mutates into a creature called the Nemesis, Alice manages to defy the Red Queen A.I. system to survive, successfully escaping into the streets above with nothing but a shotgun for protection. But despite their best efforts, the T-virus has now spread and infected the city outside the Hive. This is not ideal.

2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

"Resident Evil: Apocalypse" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil: Apocalypse" [Credit: Constantin Film]

In "Trash Panda Town" — more commonly referred to as Raccoon City — Alice explains to the audience that she needs to save a girl named Angela (Sophie Vavasseur), the daughter of Dr. Ashford (Jared Harris), the scientist responsible for creating the T-virus in a bid to cure his daughter's genetic disease.

At the end of the first film, the Umbrella Corporation had swiftly destroyed Raccoon City in an effort to cover up all traces of its involvement in the outbreak, which kind of sucks for Alice, seeing as Angela is hiding out somewhere in the rubble. With the help of L.J. (Mike Epps), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), Alice fights off the infected townsfolk and the mutant Nemesis, who returns from the first film.

Alice does eventually manage to find and save Angela, although she seemingly dies in the process, crashing a helicopter while escaping Umbrella's nuclear blast. Fortunately, Alice is resurrected by Umbrella scientist Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), complete with nifty new superpowers. For reasons that are somewhat unclear, the doctor then allows a superpowered Alice to escape with the help of Carlos, L.J., Jill and Angela. See ya later, Project Alice!

3. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

"Resident Evil: Extinction" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil: Extinction" [Credit: Constantin Film]

Extinction opens with a throwback Alice from the first film, waking up naked in a shower before slipping into that familiar red dress — before she's fatally shot by a bounding mine. When her body is thrown into a pile of duplicate Alices, we discover they are in fact clones created by Umbrella and designed to help Dr. Isaacs reverse the T-virus. Unfortunately for our heroine, it turns out that Umbrella needs the real Alice in order to complete its research, and she's currently living in the wastelands of southwest US.

Alice has ditched her friends from the previous film because she's afraid that Umbrella is tracking her. It's not like our heroine needs much help, though, seeing as her psychic powers are now more than a match for both the evil corporation and the zombies it created. Oh, and Alice can now kill undead crows like a badass motherfucker, too.

Eventually, most of Alice's newfound survivor friends succumb to infection or grisly deaths in their Mad Max-style surroundings. The film ends with a final conflict between her and a mutated Dr. Isaacs, who has become a superpowered and rather unattractive monster called Tyrant.

4. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil: Afterlife" [Credit: Constantin Film]

Afterlife jumps four years ahead following the events of the previous film. Discovering her clones toward the end of Extinction, Alice assembles the superpowered duplicates into an army of sorts, busting into Umbrella's Tokyo headquarters to kill chairman Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts). Unfortunately for Alice, Wesker takes some time out from modeling sunglasses to inject her with a serum that inexplicably strips her of her powers.

Several months later, Alice is on a search for the safe haven of Arcadia. But surprise, surprise! Arcadia is a trap designed by Umbrella to lure Alice and the remaining survivors for experimental purposes.

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil: Afterlife" [Credit: Constantin Film]

Along the way, Alice comes across a mind-controlled Claire Redfield as well as Claire's brother Chris (Wentworth Miller), former basketball star Luther West (Boris Kodjoe), and jocular film producer Bennett (Kim Coates). Together, the group fight off the typical Resident Evil monsters and eventually take down Wesker. The film ends just as a swarm of Umbrella planes descends, ready to take out a shipful of survivors, because Umbrella is just the meanest.

5. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

"Resident Evil: Retribution" [Credit: Constantin Film]
"Resident Evil: Retribution" [Credit: Constantin Film]

The penultimate chapter in the Resident Evil franchise opens where Afterlife left off, following Alice as she escapes captivity on Umbrella's ship the Arcadia. Knocked out during the attack, Alice wakes up in a testing facility, only to discover that Wesker and his Umbrella colleague Ada Wong (Bingbing Li) no longer work for the corporation following the Red Queen's takeover.

Ada and Alice then team up to fight through a series of simulations alongside a herd of clones and a girl named Becky (Aryana Engineer), who may or may not be a duplicate of Alice's daughter.

In the end, Alice ventures to a now heavily fortified White House, where Wesker is holed up. As hordes of the infected advance on the presidential house, Wesker injects Alice with the T-virus once again, reinstating her powers so that she can protect them from the onslaught. Probably should have thought of that before you ruined the whole world with the T-virus, eh Wesker?

See also:

Now that you've enjoyed our extensive franchise recap, ready yourself for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter by slipping on your favorite red dress and combat boots —and make sure you continue playing the video games once the final credits roll. There's still life in the undead franchise yet.

Now available on Digital and on Blu-Ray May 16! Pick up your copy here!


Which Resident Evil film is your favorite?

[Main image credit: Constantin Film]


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