RESIDENT EVIL (2002) Dir. Paul W.S. Anderson
Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in a mansion with hidden access to The Hive, an underground biological research facility in Raccoon City. The enormous underground facility is owned by the Umbrella Corporation and operated by an artificial intelligence called The Red Queen whose holographic image is represented as a child who looks and sounds uncomfortably like climate alarmist, Greta Thunberg. When an outbreak of a genetically produced T-Virus occurs and overruns the facility, the people in The Hive mutate into monsters with a hunger to feed on the living.
Resident Evil is ripe with Alice in Wonderland programming which is purported to be a triggering mechanism for victims of MKUltra mind control programming. There is speculation that The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars can also function as triggers to those under their associated programming.
The heavy symbolism of Alice in Wonderland would be lost on the casual viewer, save for a couple of the character names that give it away, but it runs deep and leaves you wondering what the real purpose for it is. What does all the symbolism really communicate? I’ll give my thoughts on this at the end.
Alice regains consciousness in a room with a black and white checkered floor, symbolic of Masonic temples and dual nature. To each side of her are two pillars which represent a gateway to the unknown and mysterious. They are the pillars of the Temple of Solomon, Boaz & Jachin, the same pillars that flank the High Priestess on the tarot card that represent among other things duality, polarity, balance. Our Alice is The High Priestess, keeper of secret knowledge and memory, something that will eventually come to her.
Upon waking, she finds she is stricken with amnesia and goes directly to a mirror (looking glass), wiping it to gain some clarity, but she doesn’t even know who or where she is and like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, she soon finds herself tumbling down her own rabbithole as she goes deep underground to discover the secrets of The Hive.
Our first view of the workings within The Hive revealed a quick shot of a white rabbit, splayed out on a lab table, symbolically suggesting that we are to remain off-balance, just as Alice. Once Alice and her group enter The Hive, the controlling AI known as The Red Queen does her best to emulate Carroll’s Red Queen who famously said, “Off with her head!” and does in fact, decapitate two women in relatively quick succession.
Our Alice braves the conditions, regains her memory and eventually makes her way back into the mansion where she started, but once there she is captured and taken prisoner. She again wakes up, this time in a surgery room with needles in the side of her head and evidence of invasive testing having been done to her. When she gets up, like the first time, she walks to a one-way mirror, this time more cognizant of something going on behind it. She has become conscious.
When she makes her way above ground, we might expect something more peaceful and right side up after experiencing the underground, but here the Alice in Wonderland programming is reinforced and we see that this place above ground is just as upside down as the last and that Alice has walked, once more, through the looking glass, but this time she is prepared and hardly reacts to the End Times scene she discovers and accepts the Upside Down as reality.
Acceptance of an inverted world is how I expect this type of programming to work on the viewer. I’ve written often about inversion and the normalization of things that make no sense and have no reason. The Alice in Wonderland programming here and Alice’s casual acceptance of the unexpected is a reinforcing trigger that tells us not to question what doesn’t make sense and that 2+2 does not equal 4. We should be like Alice and accept the horrors, even if our eyes tell us otherwise or they are too unbelievable to be true—or not true.
This review first appeared in the print version of Victims of Cinema. The first 50 reviews can be obtained here.