Two video game adaptations and a serious creature feature

A werewolf comedy, a battle with inner demons, and the Resident Evil reboot. My latest triple feature was a total mix of subgenres, so I can appreciate the variety. But did I appreciate the movies? Let’s find out.


I don’t know. Was the video game on which this was based more fun than the movie? This was the most disappointing werewolf movie I’ve watched since The Wolf of Snow Hollow, and only the last fifteen minutes saved it from going the way of that bogus werewolf mess. However, if you loved that one, which many people do, you should check this one out for sure.

So a dude comes to a rural town as the new park ranger. The nice postal woman gives him a tour of all the usual redneck suspects….plus a gay couple that includes Cheyenne Jackson, scoring this a spot on the does the gay guy die? page.

The good news is there are some excellent comedic performances here. The bad news is there’s not enough quality comedy to be performed. And the horror? We don’t see any werewolf for the bulk of the movie, and we are force-fed our scares by raucous orchestral stabs.

Meanwhile, the plot is about a divisive pipeline that is drawing a line between the libs and cons in town. Oh, yay. Just what I need. Social media wars played out in horror comedy form.

The townsfolk basically spend the film holed up together trying to figure out if there’s a werewolf in their midst.

Thankfully in those last fifteen minutes there is, and it’s a blast. If only those fifteen minutes could have been attached to the end of a better horror comedy.

ANTLERS (2021)

A dark, deep dive of a creature feature, Antlers explores themes of sexual abuse, neglect, and drug addiction in a small rural town, which is really what sets it apart from other films of this sort, because it’s a fairly templated plot otherwise.

Keri Russell has returned to her hometown, where she now teaches in the elementary school. One troubled student draws sinister pictures and tells disturbing stories in class, so Keri begins to delve into the details of his home life, which sparks memories of her own traumatic childhood.

Meanwhile, the boy is feeding something locked away in his house. Eek! Eventually, that something gets out. And the more it feeds, the more it begins to grow and morph.

As the body count rises, Keri is determined to save the boy from the type of childhood she ran away from, which means facing off against a very real monster steeped in legend.

The sad plot definitely elevates the typical backwoods horror material, and the film looks great, with eerie atmosphere, excellent performances, and a cool creature.


I feel like this movie is the love letter to fans of the video games who were hugely disappointed by the first movie over two decades ago. Welcome to Raccoon City is my Rocky Horror. As I watched the 4k disc with the hubby, I constantly called out what should or would happen next. This is the most fun I’ve had with a Resident Evil film since Apocalypse made up for the first film by giving fans of the games exactly what they wanted—scenes lifted right from the games. And yet they hated that movie as much as they hated this movie. The only thing I hate is people.

Welcome to Raccoon City mostly combines the plots of the first two games, taking place partially in the mansion and partially at the police station. For hardcore fans of the series, some exploration of other parts of the city also brought to mind some of the side games like Outbreak.

Many of the original characters are present: Carlos, Jill, Birkin, Chris and Claire, Wesker, and even Resident Evil remake addition Lisa Trevor, although her ominous presence has been drastically re-imagined for this simplified plot. I think they did a good job of streamlining numerous storylines from hours and hours worth of games to make things clearer for a 107-minute film, just as they did with the Silent Hill film (another great video game adaptation people hate).

Welcome to Raccoon City gives us a taste of iconic aspects of Resident Evil:

-zombie Doberman

-a crow

-the truck driver and his crashing truck

-the crashing helicopter

-a licker

-the parking garage in the police station

-re-enactment of the first zombie encounter from the first game

-a nicely replicated stairway in the mansion that had me going, “dude, there’s a save room right around the corner”

-the piano playing trick that opens a secret passage

-the dude locked in a cell down in the basement in the police station

-the blond twins

-the symbolic dragonfly

-the underground lab

-the timer to get out of the lab before it blows

-the underground tram

-the final boss that mutates and keeps coming back

-the knife

-the shotgun

-the handgun, which had me saying “he needs a grenade launcher” to the screen

-the movie hearing me and giving us the always crucial grenade launcher

Most importantly, we get zombies. There is some classic zombie action here, and we even see the progression as normal people become zombies. However, just as in the games, it doesn’t overwhelm the horror moments, leaving room for all the other kinds of horrors the Umbrella Corporation has to offer. And despite that, there’s still so much more material from the games left untapped: sewers, giant spiders, a giant snake, and nemesis, just to name a few. Not to mention an infamous character introduced during the closing credits…

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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