‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ Director Tells Us 4 Ways the Movie Is Inspired by John Carpenter

Carpenter's fingerprints are all over Johannes Roberts' vision of 'Resident Evil.' Here, the writer-director shares a list of examples.

'Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City' 'Resident Evil' John Carpenter

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City director Johannes Roberts really loves John Carpenter. Ever since he first started talking about his new Resident Evil movie, he’s hinted at how much of his style and storytelling are straight out of Carpenter’s playbook, and he isn’t overstating the case.

Also Read: How Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Returns to the Games’ Scary Roots

From its approach to building tension through atmosphere, to the abundance of wide shots in its visual language, to its darkly comic sensibility, Roberts’ vision of Resident Evil is unmistakably cut from Capenter’s horror filmmaking cloth.

Here, Roberts tells Dread Central four ways that Carpenter and his films influenced the making of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.

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Johannes Roberts directs Hannah John Kamen (L), who plays Jill Valentine, on the set of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Photograph by Shane Mahood / Courtesy of Screen Gems

Assault on Precinct 13 Was the Blueprint For the Film’s Style

“The big thing that I took from Carpenter is, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is very much Assault on Precinct 13. It’s a siege movie. You have an ensemble cast; it’s a group of people coming and meeting at the police station. And I tried to make the cinematography not flashy. I love using widescreen anamorphic lenses, like a Carpenter movie, and I love taking his style of setting scenes up.”

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Leon S. Kennedy Is a Mashup of Three John Carpenter Characters

“The Leon character very much comes out of an amalgamation of Jack Burton [from Big Trouble in Little China], Napoleon Wilson [from Assault on Precinct 13], and MacReady [from The Thing]. They’re all built into his character.”

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Roberts Closely Studied How John Carpenter Balances Horror With Humor

“The biggest thing that I loved putting in this movie was the humor. Assault on Precinct 13 is dry, it is a suspense thriller. But I always find it to be one of the funniest movies. Even The Thing has really beautiful moments of humor, with Kurt Russell pouring whiskey down into the front of the computer. And obviously, you’ve got Big Trouble in Little China. I loved that, and I thought, ‘That’s how I’ll engage with Carpenter. He makes me enter a world through humor.’ I really tried to bring that in.”

Roberts Watched The Fog to Get Through the Worst Part of Production

“As a director, you always get that period where you’re like, ‘I don’t know if this is working. Have I fucked this up?‘ Any director reading this will know what I’m talking about—the low ebb.

I remember my low ebb: Coming home, we were shooting nights and I was just lost. It was such a tough shoot during the pandemic. It was so cold and everybody was in masks and coats, so you couldn’t communicate with anybody. The feeling was quite isolating; it felt like making The Thing. I was like, ‘Wow, how am I gonna get through this?

As I sat there, there was a copy of The Fog on my table. One of the producers had left it there for some reason. I put it on and everything came right in the world again. I just saw the wood for the trees, and I was just like, ‘Oh God, this guy…‘ It gave me my love of [filmmaking back] and I just understood how I should do it.”

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Watch our full conversation with Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City director Johannes Roberts:

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City opens in theaters November 24, 2021, courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing.

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