Horror always dabbles in childhood imagery for scares: it’s why creepy dolls, animatronic toys and horrible sentient toys that hug you to death are basically genre cliches. So it’s not particularly surprising that Resident Evil 4’s latest promotional trailer pillages the breezy sanctity of children’s anime towards its own grizzly ends. I’ve played the RE4 Chainsaw demo and can confirm that this trailer is much, much creepier.
Dubbed ‘Leon and the Mysterious Village’, the one minute romp has a gun-toting, baby-faced Leon wandering around a quaint Spanish countryside in search of Ashley. Starry-eyed and naive, Leon approaches a group of folksy locals to ask after Ashley, but I think you know where this is going: a guy with tentacles growing out of his back whacks the poor boy in the head with a hatchet. Damn! Mum would never have let me watch this.
It doesn’t tell you anything about the game, really, though it does feature adorable anime versions of some of Resident Evil 4’s most memorable foes—burlap sack guy is there, tentacle head guy is there, and massive-spikes-for-hands guy is there. It’s probably the best promotional video I’ve seen since that Dark Souls 3 one, which turned FromSoftware’s cerebral RPG into a schlocky ’80s horror film.
Resident Evil 4 remake releases on March 24, but reviews dropped late last week. Richard Stanton dug it, even if he wasn’t quite as hyperbolic as some other outlets. “Resident Evil 4 re-invented thirdperson action, and ever since it came out I’ve been waiting for another game to blow the bloody doors off in the way it did,” he wrote. “But this is not the heir to Resident Evil 4, so much as a tribute.”
But while you wait, why not sit back and imagine what a full-length anime based on RE4 might look like. I’d kinda prefer to see RE7 made into an anime, but maybe that’d be too creepy.