On the set of what we’re told is the last Res­i­dent Evil movie, with our good friends Dickie Davies, Chinny Reckon and Tu­tankhamun.


AS THE NAME sug­gests, Res­i­dent Evil: The Fi­nal Chap­ter marks the con­clu­sion of the zom­bie ac­tion fran­chise. “We’re tak­ing the au­di­ence back, like a Möbius strip, to the be­gin­ning,” writer/direc­tor/pro­ducer Paul WS An­der­son tells Empire on the South African set. “There’s a whole bunch of se­crets, that we’ve had in mind for a long time now, that pay off in this movie. I want it to end on a high.”

Go­ing back means a re­turn to Rac­coon City, site of the out­break five films ago in 2002’s orig­i­nal Res­i­dent Evil (loosely adapted from the video games). Early-days sets such as The Hive — the lab com­plex of the evil Um­brella Cor­po­ra­tion — have been re­con­structed, but for tonight, we’re in a wind-blasted quarry in the hills out­side Cape Town, where Alice (Milla Jovovich, back for the sixth time) and her band of sur­vivors are be­ing at­tacked by slaver­ing hounds. Those will be added dig­i­tally later, but the wrecked street the cast are run­ning-and-gun­ning down is vis­cer­ally real. “I felt with the last one [2012’s Res­i­dent Evil:

Ret­ri­bu­tion] we went very hi-tech and it was all very clean and stylish,” ex­plains An­der­son. “This one is re­ally a re­ac­tion against that: I wanted to make it su­per-gritty, which meant a more lo­ca­tion-driven pic­ture. It gives this movie a re­al­ity that some of the oth­ers have lacked.”

“It’s a fun set,” laughs a breath­less Jovovich between takes. “It’s go­ing to get even fun­ner to­mor­row when we’re in that freez­ing lake over there.” She ges­tures to­wards an omi­nously dark and filthy-look­ing la­goon and shud­ders. Real lo­ca­tions re­quire rather more ded­i­ca­tion than a com­par­a­tively warm and com­fort­able stu­dio.

She’ll miss it though, right? “Of course,” she beams. “I never thought we’d be mak­ing the sixth movie, 14 years later. I never thought we’d be mak­ing a sec­ond! I hate to say good­bye to Alice.”

“There are still some unan­swered ques­tions,” An­der­son winks. And when an es­tab­lished movie fran­chise places a “Fi­nal” in one of its ti­tles, you can of­ten rely on it be­ing noth­ing of the kind…

Clock­wise from

above: Milla Jovovich (cen­tre) preps a scene with stunt ac­tor Caprice Masinga (stand­ing on the roof) and the crew; Jovovich with fel­low sur­vivors Ali Larter and fran­chise new­bie Ruby Rose; Jovovich’s Alice, still kick­ing ass six films later; Exit pur­sued by zom­bie hordes.

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