Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City In the foreground is Lisa Trevor, a creepy character who has not previously been seen in any live-action Resident Evil film. She has only appeared in a few games in Capcom’s franchise, so her inclusion in director Johannes Roberts’ new Resident Evil film is a somewhat surprising (if sonically appropriate) choice.
If you don’t know Lisa Trevor and her tragic backstory in Resident Evil and are wondering who this leather-faced lady is, allow us to find her place in the canon of horror games.
[Ed. note: This story contains potential spoilers for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and the 2002 Resident Evil GameCube remake.]
Lisa Trevor first appeared in the 2002 remake of the original resident Evil, as an undeadable enemy, and in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, the 2007 on-rail shooter for the Wii. Lisa did not appear in the original version of resident Evil Released for PlayStation in 1996, but their addition to the remake helped add to the horror elements of the game environment, the Spencer Mansion, and its original evil inhabitant.
According to Resident Evil lore, Lisa’s father, George Trevor, was the architect of the Spencer Mansion, the location of the original game and much of it Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. After the villa was completed in the early 1950s, Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, George Trevor’s customer, invited the Trevor family to stay in the newly completed villa. But Oswell, fearful that George knew too much about the winding, enigmatic mansion, called the Trevors over on false pretenses and locked the architect in his own creation. Lisa and her mother Jessica were kidnapped by Spencer and tested for a newly discovered virus called Progenitor.
Lisa and Jessica each received a specific strain of the virus, and as her mother’s condition worsened, Lisa’s response to Progenitor gave her superhuman strength. However, her state of mind deteriorated; Lisa violently beat her kidnappers and even killed a Spencers employee who tried to impersonate Jessica. Lisa Avenges Lisa has made a habit of collecting faces and wearing them, hence her gruesome appearance in games and in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.
Lisa was imprisoned in the Spencer mansion for nearly 30 years when Umbrella Corporation researchers – including Dr. William Birkin, played by Neal McDonough in the film – experimented on her. Lisa became terribly disfigured and uncontrollable, and she was handcuffed and shackled in wooden handcuffs and leg irons. But her progenitor virus infection gave her not only strength, but also incredible regenerative abilities. Since she could not be properly executed, her kidnappers dumped her body somewhere in the nearby Arklay Mountains, where she lived in the wild. Desperate to reunite with her mother, Lisa roamed the woods and underground tunnels of the Arklay laboratory below the Spencer mansion for years.
In Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Lisa Trevor is less of a threat and more of a helpful, personable creature than she is in the games where Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Albert Wesker battled her in the Spencer Mansion and its underground catacombs. Actress Marina Mazepa who is also responsible for the physical performance of Gabriel in James Wan’s. responsible for Malignant, brought Lisa to life on screen.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Director Johannes Roberts told Polygon in an interview that Lisa Trevor was a very important part of film history from the very beginning.
“When I was thinking of how to tell this movie and how to appeal to an audience that may be littered with six [Resident Evil movies] already – and maybe an audience that wanted to be scared again or wanted a different access to this world – the only character I always found disturbing in the games was Lisa Trevor, “said Roberts. “From what she represented, her backstory and everything, there was something really weird about it [and] annoying about it. And I liked that it wasn’t touched in any of the movies or animated films, and I just want to explore this and the orphanage.
“It was so important to find a way to disrupt the audience,” continued Roberts, “and I find that difficult with zombies and large creatures. Big creature stuff is always fun, but it’s never that good[-level] disturbing … and I really liked the idea of this character who was haunted and haunted and not doing CGI but using a real actress doing amazing creature performances. It became a really good measure of how I wanted to record the sound. “
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is in theaters now.