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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Resident Evil can be found here.
Following the accidental escape of the T-virus in the Hive, Umbrella Corporation's secret viral weapons laboratory hidden under Raccoon City; an elite commando unit is dispatched to shut down the Red Queen, the supercomputer that controls the lab and has locked down all the scientists who live and work there. When the head of the commando team is killed by Red Queen, it becomes the mission of Alice (Milla Jovovich), who is suffering from amnesia due to exposure to nerve gas and doesn't know what she's doing there, policeman Matt Addison (Eric Mabius), and a few surviving commandos to finish the objective. Unfortunately, the virus has turned all the Umbrella scientists and employees into flesh-eating zombies. Alice and her team must make their way past zombies, mutated dogs, the Licker, and the Red Queen before the T-virus escapes and infects the rest of the world, and they must do this within one hour or be locked forever in the Hive.
Resident Evil is based on a screenplay by English film director, Paul W.S. Anderson, who based his story on a survival horror video game series, created by Japanese video game designer Shinji Mikami and released in 1996 as Biohazard in Japan and Resident Evil in English-speaking countries. Resident Evil is the first in a series of six movies, the other five being Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), and Resident Evil: Retribution (2012). Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is due for release in 2016.
You find out in the next movie (Apocalypse) that Dr. Ashford created this virus to help his "sick" daughter walk again. In the original game, it was created as a bio-organic weapon. The zombies were an unfortunate side effect.
You can only turn into a zombie after you die. Red Queen killed everyone but, as they were already infected, they turned into zombies. You can also see this with Rain (Michelle Rodriguez). She turns into a zombie the moment she dies, although she had been infected way before that. Red Queen kills everyone by releasing the facility's fire prevention system, which contains halon gas. It can put out fires in the offices without ruining any computers, like water sprinklers would. However, if a person is exposed to a great deal of the gas, there is also a risk of toxic and irritant pyrolysis products, hydrogen bromide, and hydrogen fluoride. Basically, Red Queen poisoned the personnel. Since they were already infected by the virus, they came back as zombies.
Most likely she killed them in the hopes that the virus had not yet infected all of them. Thus, to kill them before they inhaled the airborne virus was the safest move. Another possibility is that, being as how they were already infected, to leave them alive would cause the people to look for a way out of the hive and risk them escaping without knowing they're infected. Zombies, however, are relatively mindless and would not try to escape. Not to mention, some people would re-animate before others and to have them all trapped in a space together would just get them eaten alive. So to kill them all before they turned was a small mercy.
The zombies never entered that room, so it's assumed that Red Queen had some sort of "self-cleaning" feature for the hallway. It's a reference to the games where bodies will disappear if you leave a room and then come back to it.
Matt and his sister Lisa (Heike Makatsch) are environmental activists, planning to expose the illegal viral and genetic experimentation being secretly carried out by the Umbrella Corporation. With the help of a contact in the Hive, Lisa infiltrated Umbrella to smuggle out evidence. Alice was that contact. Alice and Spence Parks (James Purefoy) are security operatives for Umbrella. Their job is to protect the mansion, which covers the access into the Hive. As part of the cover, they are posing as husband and wife.
The antivirus works because it cures. It didn't work on Rain because Red Queen herself said, "This long after infection, there's no guarantee it would work." Also, she was bitten numerous times in vital areas, causing the infection to spread faster.
Alice and Matt carry the case with the T-virus and antivirus out of the Hive and into the mansion just as the doors go into lockdown. As they're sitting on the floor catching their breath, the wounds (caused by the Licker) on Matt's arm begin mutating. Suddenly, a group of Umbrella scientists in protective clothing burst into the mansion. Several of them tie Matt to a gurney and take him away, ordering him to be placed in the Nemesis program. Others subdue Alice and take her to Raccoon City Hospital to be placed in quarantine, while discussing how they're going to re-open the Hive to see what went on down there. Days (perhaps weeks) pass. Alice awakens in a locked room at the hospital, attached to numerous IV lines. She rips them all out and pounds on the window, but no one responds. She picks open the lock with an IV needle and makes her way outside to find the street littered with paper, dead cars, and small fires but no people or bodies. A newspaper headline reads "The Dead Walk", reporting that the T-virus has escaped from the Hive and spread to the city surface. In the final scene, Alice arms herself with a pump action shotgun retrieved from an abandoned police car and stands in the middle of the street, ready for action.
Yes. Toward the end of the movie, it's revealed that Spence overheard Alice talking with Lisa about accessing the Hive in order to get enough proof to expose Umbrella and shut them down, so he decided to steal both the T-virus and the antivirus himself. To insure that he would be the only one in possession of the virus & the antivirus, he released one container of virus inside the Hive, intending that it be shut down, making his virus & antivirus extremely valuable.
One theory is that CAPCOM (the game creators) were afraid that people wouldn't buy the games when they could just watch the movies, so they fired director George A. Romero because his script was too similar to the games, and they hired Paul W.S. Anderson to keep the atmosphere of the games but come up with a different story. However, CAPCOM Public Relations Personnel deny that Romero was ever attached to the project and that CAPCOM had no direct influence over the movie. CAPCOM claims that it was Anderson who did not want the movie to match the game because he feared that, if viewers played the game, they would not be scared watching the movie, since they would know what is going to happen.
Yes. Resident Evil: Genesis (2004) by Keith R.A. DeCandido is a novelization of Resident Evil (the first movie). DeCandido has also written novelizations of the other two movies: Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). There is also a Japanese novelization of the first Resident Evil film by Japanese writer Osamu Makino titled Biohazard (2002). Makino's novel is unrelated to DeCandido's version. There are also a number of novelizations of the videogame series, writen by S.D. Perry, but these are unrelated to the movies.
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