Welcome To Raccoon City is a horror movie snapshot checklist



(15) 107 minutes


WHEN a movie is called “The Final Chapter”, it’s as absolute as Elton John’s “Last Tour”.

Five years after what was supposed to be the end of the Resident Evil film series, the survival-horror franchise has been relaunched.


This is one of those dreaded “origin” movies, taking us back to the beginning of the story.Credit: Alamy

Milla Jovovich and her character Alice are gone. In their place, Skins actress Kaya Scodelario plays the heroine of the original video games, Claire Redfield.

It’s one of those dreaded “origin” movies, which takes us back to the beginning of the story.

It is 1998, the American sprawl of Raccoon City still exists and the evil Umbrella Corporation has not yet unleashed its virus on the planet.

In place of Mad Max’s post-apocalyptic vibe from previous films is a must-see zombie flick with recently deceased humans clawing at blood-stained glass.

Even the living dead probably have the imagination to imagine something more original than this.

It’s a horror movie snapshot checklist. Sweaty guys portrayed as deserving of their grisly end? Check.

Did anyone say, “Let’s go apart”? Check.

Characters rescued by a bullet just in time from someone showing up behind them? Tick, tick, tick.

Kaya is the best thing in Raccoon City, trying to instill some emotion into her character in the brief moments when she’s not filming something.

But the British actress can’t fill Milla’s chunky leather boots.

She doesn’t have the icy killer attitude to stir up the ridiculously bad dialogue Jovovich did.

In the “Plot,” which is more empty than a zombie gaze, Claire returns to the town where she was raised in an orphanage so that she can warn her cop brother Chris to come out while he can.

But it is too late, the time for destruction is already ringing when it arrives.

As with all of these films, the question is who will be lucky enough to be saved from an infectious bite.

I started to hope that no one would make it out alive, as that would stop this reboot in its early stages.

There were a total of six Jovovich Resident Evil films. The prospect of six of them is as appealing as the dinner of a revived corpse.

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(12A) 111min


ACTOR Aml Ameen’s directorial debut offers a lot of seasonal joy, though the love triangle plot lacks originality.

Ameen plays Melvin, a soap opera star turned famous writer who left London after her parents announced their divorce on Boxing Day two years ago.

Much like Christmas itself, there are ups, downs and moments you could have done without.


Much like Christmas itself, there are ups, downs and moments you could have done without.

Now living in Hollywood, Melvin returns home to promote his book, so it’s time for his pregnant girlfriend Lisa (Aja Naomi King) to meet the family.

Sadly, Melvin didn’t tell Lisa that her ex was mega-star singer Georgia (Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock) and since her mom is her mom’s best friend, she’ll be spending the holidays with them too.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste, as Melvin’s mother, Shirley, adds weight to a flabby subplot about her secret white boyfriend, Richard (Stephen Dillane).

Family scenes, with black British culture lovingly portrayed, are the real crackers, as well as a cheery manger scene that fits into modern family dynamics.

Much like Christmas itself, there are ups, downs, and moments that you could have done without. But despite all this, it is still quite pleasant.


(15) 90 minutes


IN 2008, filmmaker Luke Holland began tracking down people who participated in Hitler’s Third Reich.

He filmed nearly 300 interviews with the now elderly participants of the Nazi regime.

It's more an essay on the subject than a masterclass in the art of documentary


It’s more an essay on the subject than a masterclass in the art of documentary

For over a decade he compiled confessions.

But it wasn’t until the last months of his life, last year, that Holland finished this powerful documentary.

Exploring how they rationalized their behavior and were able to live with themselves in the years that followed, he talks to former SS and Wehrmacht officers, as well as children at the time.

One of them remembers being a nine-year-old holding hands with other children outside a Jewish department store so customers couldn’t enter.

Another speaks of having been recruited into the Hitler Youth by a schoolteacher.

There are former officers who tell horrific stories of what they witnessed, with little emotion.

Many lie or distort the truth, while some cannot hide their pride in having been part of the Nazi elite.

Nestled between the seemingly endless talking heads of older Germans are interesting images from the era.

Although this passionate project is an important and precious document, it is more of an essay on the subject than a masterclass on the art of documentary making.

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