Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D

Undead action franchise sets new a standard for Full HD 3D thrills and chills

Resident Evil: Afterlife finds writer/director Paul WS Anderson getting back behind the camera to continue the adventures of Alice (Milla Jovovich) as she fights against the undead in her mission to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation and find a safe home for the human survivors following at her heels. In other words its business as usual then – fast-action, countless nods to the original video games (whether they make sense in the film world or not) and idiotic plotting – but this time it’s in 3D!

Picture: Given its exploitation movie credentials, it’s rather fitting that the use of 3D in this latest Resident Evil flick is as much about firing bullets or throwing shuriken at your face (‘that whole poking-your-eye thing’ as production designer Arv Grewel describes it in one of the extras) as it is about creating depth in the picture. What’s truly remarkable though is how well it works in a home environment; with the MVC 2.40:1 1080p encode delivering an image of incredibly stability and sharpness.

Colours tend to edge towards the muted anyway, so even the slightly dulled image caused by wearing 3D glasses doesn’t cause any major headaches. All told, this is a fantastic demonstration of how well live-action 3D material can work on Blu-ray (the slow-motion water-soaked scrap with the Executioner filmed using Phantom HD cameras is a particular highlight), and Sony Pictures deserves huge plaudits for pulling it off so well. Oh yes, it also looks pretty damn spectacular in 2D as well.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: The disc’s immersive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix works as the perfect complement to its 3D visuals. All thoughts of subtlety are thrown out of the window almost immediately as Anderson and his team crank up the action and the music to overwhelm you with a thrilling assault on your ears. Bullets crack across the soundstage, mutant zombies chase you from behind and all the time the dialogue remains pin-sharp and cleanly rendered.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Unlike some other 3D discs we’ve seen, Resident Evil: Afterlife doesn’t skimp on bonus features (and nor does it sacrifice image quality to fit squeeze so many in). In addition to the choice of 2D or 3D playback (providing you have the right kit, of course), the disc also offers up an audio commentary from Anderson and some of the producers, a PiP viewing mode packed with interviews, animatics and behind-the-scenes footage (although the PiP window itself is a little small, meaning the imagery feels cramped at times), three extended and five deleted scenes, an outtake reel and seven short featurettes focusing on different aspects of the production (shooting in 3D, the cast, production design, etc.). There’s also MovieIQ functionality and a BD-Live link.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: It may not be Shakespeare, but this latest Resident Evil is a fantastic 3D Blu-ray showcase.

Sony Pictures, All-region BD, £30 approx, On sale now