I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m a horror movie junkie. There’s just something about the cheesy dialogue and bad acting that keeps me coming back for more.
For many years, one of my favorite franchises has been Resident Evil, a series of movies based on the wildly successful survival horror video game franchise with the same name.
Like most movie franchises in this genre, they’re not all created equal. First came the original Resident Evil in 2002 and then five sequels, each one (mostly) taking place after the previous film.
Over time, Resident Evil became less of a bona fide horror franchise and more of an action series with some horror elements—and it seemed like every movie had a plot hole you could drive an undead truck through.
If you’re looking for a definitive answer for how to watch these movies without going insane from plot holes or inconsistencies between them (or both), your prayers have been answered!
1. 2002: Resident Evil
The 2002 version of Resident Evil is the first movie in the series, but it’s also a prequel to all subsequent installments.
It takes place before the other films and explains how an experimental virus got out into the world, causing an outbreak that leads to hordes of zombies.
This is also the only installment where Alice isn’t the main character; instead, she appears as a brief cameo at the end (and even then, only her voice is heard).
This movie doesn’t feature any company called Umbrella Corporation or mention them, and there aren’t any zombie hordes, either!
2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is the second movie in the Resident Evil franchise, set six months after the original film. It was directed by Alexander Witt and produced by Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt.
The movie follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) as she tries to escape Raccoon City with her daughter Becky (Ashley Laurence).
Unfortunately, they’re again caught up in a series of zombie attacks that threaten to kill them both—this time, it could also spell disaster for humanity!
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is 1 hour 29 minutes long, so you can watch it while waiting in line at your favorite theater or exercising at home on your elliptical machine!
3. 2007 Resident Evil: Extinction
This movie is set shortly and follows a virus that turns people into zombies. It’s not the most original premise, but this film does an excellent job of telling a story with some heart and action.
The plot focuses on Alice, who is immune to the zombie virus. She leads a group of survivors as they try to find a cure for the infection and escape from monsters called Lickers (they look like lizard-men).
The group also has to deal with humans who want to take advantage of them—including Umbrella Corporation employees who are hoping for an antidote so that they can save themselves from being turned into zombies.
While there isn’t much depth here, this film gives a good backstory about how Alice became famous among her fellow survivors when she was first introduced to Resident Evil 4.
4. 2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife
The fourth film in the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was released in 2010 and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil: Degeneration).
This movie sees Alice and her friends battling the Umbrella Corporation in Los Angeles.
The cast includes Milla Jovovich as Alice, Ali Larter as Claire Redfield, Wentworth Miller as Chris Redfield, Kim Coates as Luther West, and Spencer Locke as K-Mart.
5. 2012 Resident Evil: Retribution
The fifth film in the series, Resident Evil: Retribution, follows a group of survivors attempting to save humanity from a virus that has turned most of the population into zombies. The film is set in China and stars Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious).
Although this movie was set chronologically before Resident Evil 6, it was released after that game came out. So if you want to watch these films in order, watch this one last!
6. 2016 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
The final movie in the series, this film concludes the story of Alice and Umbrella. The corporation is destroyed, and Alice thwarts their plans for world domination.
With no more zombies to hunt down and kill, she can finally rest easy…or so she thinks.
It’s got plenty of action and drama to keep you engaged from start to finish!
Watch the Resident Evil movies in this order
- 2002: Resident Evil
- 2004: Resident Evil: Apocalypse
- 2007: Resident Evil: Extinction
- 2010: Resident Evil: Afterlife
- 2012 (or 2014): Resident Evil Retribution 6. 2016 (or 2017): Resident Evil The Final Chapter
So there you have it, the Resident Evil Movie Timeline! Have fun watching this action-packed saga, and don’t forget to protect yourself from any zombies.
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