Resident Evil Village is on a roll, but if you are wondering whether the Infinite Darkness Netflix anime comes close, check out this review.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a 3D CG anime. With only 4 episodes, each lasting under 30 minutes, it may be rather short, but will it continue to linger in your mind like Nemesis?
Let’s dive into this Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness review to find out!
Plot and writing
Rest assured, this review will not be going into any spoilers for Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. Chronologically, it takes place between the fourth and fifth Resident Evil games. Thankfully, even if you didn’t play Resident Evil 4, you won’t be left hanging from Infinite Darkness‘ story.
Anyways, the 4-episode anime doesn’t exactly break new ground for the zombie genre. It focuses on Resident Evil 2 protagonists Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield’s as they uncover a conspiracy surrounding the events of a zombie outbreak that took place in a fictional Middle Eastern country six years prior.
As a result, Infinite Darkness feels more like a mystery or thriller with action and horror elements, instead of being a full-blown horror experience. A large chunk of the series is spent on characters talking to each other rather than them shooting zombies or being eaten alive.
The problem with the show’s writing and how it presents all the information leading to its climax is that it is just too all over the place. Towards the middle and end, the story jumps around too incoherently, switching between Claire’s investigation in the US, Leon’s mission in a different country, and the events that took place in the past. It can take an entire episode for Leon to travel to another country via submarine, then the next episode, he is magically back in the US. The plot and pacing are just too incoherent to set up a satisfying mystery.
On top of this, the writing for the dialogue is average at best and cringe at worst. I find it hard to relate when two battle-hardened veterans discuss philosophy right before a top-secret mission, for example. Characters spend so much time talking to each other, it is quite disappointing that there is no meaningful relationships or bonds being formed. The show uses dialogue and flashbacks as its primary method to deliver facts and information, nothing less, nothing more.
Another issue is character motivation. Leon and Claire are our protagonists, yet the series never really explores their motivations and what is in it for them. Instead, we spend a large portion of the show looking into the backstories and motivations for its supporting characters. By the end of the show, I can understand the supporting casts’ actions and motivations, but not Leon’s and Claire’s. Leon and Claire are just doing their job and because it is the right thing to do. Since they do not really have any real emotional stakes, it becomes difficult to root for them and I found myself turned off when they are on screen.
Where are the zombies?
With so much time spent on humans talking to each other, I found myself craving to see more zombies. The zombies are also the best part of the show for me. In episode 1, we got to see someone who was bitten turn into one. Once a zombie, this character moves very freakishly and does a great job at building suspense. I was praying to see more of this in the coming episodes, but that is pretty much it. Heck, in episode 2, we saw someone being bitten in a flashback. Episode 3 and episode 4 do not show any zombie biting at all!
The zombie genre of film and television series is not particularly known for its quality writing. While you do have engaging pieces of media like Train to Busan, zombie fans basically just want to see zombies. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness should have sacrificed some of its lacklustre dialogue in favour of mindless zombie scenes. Resident Evil 4 had Leon suplexing infected people. Why can’t Infinite Darkness stick to what makes the series so fun in the first place?
Visuals and Audio
The show looks pretty good, overall. Lighting effects and shadows are on point. From the shining of flashlights to scenes that take place in night-vision, the horror video game roots of the series are pretty apparent.
Characters’ faces are also really pretty. Characters like Leon and Jason have very detailed facial hair and stubbles. Considering that we spend most of the show looking at characters having conversations with one another, having the characters look good is a consolation, at least. Occasionally, you do have side characters who look too generic. For example:
In terms of sound, the show did surprisingly well. There is a soft piano tune that plays during suspenseful scenes which really helps set the mood. Sound effects, from the crackling of fire to gunshots, were also quite crisp. Imagine my surprise to see Yugo Kanno, the composer for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Parts 3, 4 and 5 also doing the same role for Infinite Darkness. Granted, there is nothing too bombastic or iconic in terms of the music for Infinite Darkness, but the sound is still pretty strong all in all.
Also, while watching Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, I watched it with both English and Japanese voices for this review. Safe to say, the English dub is superior to the Japanese dub. The English voices carry more subtlety and fit the characters’ expressions a lot better than the Japanese voices.
In some ways, I can respect what Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is trying to do. It is not trying to be another post-apocalyptic zombie show. Rather, it tries to paint a mystery of how zombie outbreaks happen in the first place.
Sadly, its disappointing writing and poor pacing make this mystery largely forgettable. Maybe if it was a 2-hour long movie instead of a 4-episode series, it might have been paced better. Heck, just throw in more zombies. They are the best part of the show, yet their screen time is so little.
In a nutshell, I would not recommend this show to anyone, even Resident Evil fans. We do get to see new bioweapons, but you will probably learn more from reading a wiki page.
If you still want to watch the show, you can do so on Netflix.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
An attempt was made to explore more Resident Evil lore.
- Visuals and lighting are good
- Great audio
- Boring, meandering plot
- Pacing is all over the place
- Significant lack of zombies
The games are better.