A Guide to the Resident Evil Film Order


The world of Resident Evil is a sprawling franchise encompassing video games, novels, and a series of live-action and animated films. For newcomers venturing into this zombie-infested universe, the question of film order can be a daunting one. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the outbreak and experience the Resident Evil films chronologically and by release date.

The Milla Jovovich Era: A Universe Built Anew (2002-2016)

This series, spanning six films, takes a significant departure from the source material, introducing Alice (Milla Jovovich) as the central protagonist. Here’s how the action unfolds:

Resident Evil (2002): The inaugural film throws us into the heart of the Hive, a subterranean bio-weapons facility owned by the Umbrella Corporation. Alice awakens with amnesia, surrounded by a team tasked with retrieving a stolen sample. The mission goes awry, unleashing a deadly T-virus that transforms humans into flesh-eating monsters. Alice joins forces with survivors to escape the quarantined facility.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004): Picking up shortly after the first film, Alice finds Raccoon City, the town above the Hive, overrun by the undead. She reunites with familiar faces like Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) to reach safety.

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007): The world has succumbed to the T-virus, with Alice leading a group of survivors across a barren wasteland. They encounter new threats, including mutated creatures and the power-hungry Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen).

Resident Evil: Afterlife (3D) (2010): Alice discovers a haven in Los Angeles, only to find it overrun by infected crows. She reunites with her former nemesis, Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), and embarks on a mission to reach Arcadia, a rumored safe haven.

Resident Evil: Retribution (3D) (2012): Alice delves deeper into the Umbrella Corporation’s secrets, uncovering a hidden facility in New York City. She navigates a series of deadly tests while encountering familiar faces and battling powerful new adversaries.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016): The final chapter of the Jovovich era sees Alice returning to Raccoon City to confront the source of the T-virus outbreak. She teams up with old allies and faces the ultimate showdown with the Umbrella Corporation.

A Deeper Dive into the Milla Jovovich Era: While this series presents a loosely connected narrative, it takes significant liberties with the source material. The films are best enjoyed for their action sequences and Milla Jovovich’s portrayal of Alice. Fans of the video games may be disappointed by the deviations from the established storyline, but the films offer a thrilling cinematic experience nonetheless.

Returning to the Roots: The Reboot with Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

This 2021 film serves as a reboot, drawing inspiration directly from the first two video games in the franchise. It follows a group of S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) members investigating a mansion on the outskirts of Raccoon City, unaware of the horrors that await them within. The film features characters like Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Leon S. Kennedy, offering a more faithful adaptation for fans who prefer the lore established in the video games.

Reboot vs Original Series: This film offers a fresh take on the source material, featuring characters and storylines more faithful to the video games. It serves as a good entry point for newcomers unfamiliar with the franchise or those who prefer a narrative closer to the established universe.

The Animated Films: A Separate but Connected Universe (2008-2017)

The universe also encompasses a series of CG animated films:

Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008): This film takes place after the events of Resident Evil 2, following Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy on a mission to stop a bioterrorist attack.

Resident Evil: Damnation (2012): Set between Resident Evil 5 and 6, this film follows Leon S. Kennedy on a mission in a war-torn Eastern European country.

Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017): This film features a team-up between Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, and Rebecca Chambers to stop a new bioterror threat.


Q: How many Resident Evil movies are there?

A: There are currently eight live-action films:

 The Alice Chronicles (6 films): Resident Evil (2002) – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

 Reboot Route: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

 Additionally, “Resident Evil: Death Island” (2023) just released.

There are also four CG animated films set within the universe. 

Q: What is the difference between the Alice Chronicles and the reboot?

A: The Alice Chronicles (2002-2017) is a six-film series following the original character Alice (Milla Jovovich). It takes a significant departure from the video games, offering a unique story arc.

The reboot, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), stays truer to the video games, particularly Resident Evil 1 and 2. It follows a group of characters familiar to fans, like Chris Redfield and Claire Redfield.

Q: In what order should I watch the Resident Evil movies?

A: There are two main approaches:

Chronological Order by Release: This is the order the films came out in, offering a chance to see the franchise evolve. Start with “Resident Evil” (2002) and follow the Alice storyline through to “The Final Chapter” (2017). Then, if you’re curious, jump to “Welcome to Raccoon City” (2021) and “Death Island” (2023).

Start with the Reboot: “Welcome to Raccoon City” (2021) offers a more faithful video game experience.  Then, if you want more action-packed adventures, you can delve into the Alice chronicles.

Q: Are the animated films essential viewing?

A: The CG animated films (Degeneration, Damnation, Vendetta, Death Island) are not essential viewing for the main live-action plot. However, they offer unique stories set within the universe, featuring characters from the games. They provide further lore exploration for die-hard fans.

Q:  Where do the animated films fit in the timeline?

A: The animated films don’t have a strict chronological order within the live-action universe. They tend to be standalone stories set between the gaps of the live-action films.

Q:  Should I play the games before watching the movies?

A: You don’t necessarily need to play the games to enjoy the movies, especially the Alice Chronicles. However, familiarity with the games will enhance your appreciation for the characters and references in the reboot and animated films.

Q:  Where can I watch the Resident Evil movies?

A: Availability can vary depending on your location and streaming service subscriptions.  You can check popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max, or do a quick internet search to find where the films are available for purchase or rental.

Bonus! Q: What’s next for the Resident Evil film franchise?

A: With the success of “Welcome to Raccoon City” and “Death Island,” there’s a good chance we’ll see more films in the reboot universe. There haven’t been any official announcements yet, but fans can stay tuned for future developments.

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