Over the last 20 years, Resident Evil has terrified gamers with grotesque monsters and jump scares galore. These are the 10 scariest moments in series history.
In 1996, Shinji Mikami unleashed Resident Evil on the gaming world, delivering his own twisted vision of survival horror, and changing the gaming industry forever. Over the years, the series has given gamers plenty of scares, with the following moments sticking out the most as the scariest in Resident Evil history.
Be aware that this article will contain spoilers for the Resident Evil video game series.
Ashford Reveal (Resident Evil Code: Veronica)
Alexander Ashford and his twin sister Alexia are the two primary antagonists of Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Alexander’s sinister laugh is the stuff of nightmares, especially coupled with his eccentric personality and violent ideations, but it’s clear from the beginning that Alexia is the brains behind the operation. Alexander reveres his genius sister so much that he deludes himself into thinking that he is her, taking on two personalities and occasionally playing dress-up like Norman Bates in Psycho. This reveal is one of the creepiest and most shocking moments in the series, and solidifies the Ashfords as two of the franchise’s most memorable villains.
Crimson Heads (Resident Evil Remake)
Zombies are scary enough on their own, but Capcom decided to make them even more frightening in the Resident Evil remake. No longer could zombies be defeated just by shooting them, but players also had to burn their bodies afterwards to keep them from coming back as stronger, faster, and deadlier Crimson Heads. Crimson Heads were made even scarier by the fact that the kerosene required to burn their bodies is a scarce resource in Resident Evil, so players had to be strategic about which zombies to kill and which to avoid.
First Zombie (Resident Evil)
Survival-horror was still in its infancy when the original Resident Evil launched in 1996, so many players weren’t used to battling grotesque beasts with limited resources. This sense of unknown combined with the horrific scene of a zombie gnawing on the corpse of fellow S.T.A.R.S. officer Kenneth J. Sullivan made players’ first encounter with the undead especially unsettling. The slow turn of the zombie’s head with Kenneth’s blood dripping down his jaw is a ghastly sight gamers won’t soon forget, and makes it one of the scariest moments in the series.
Hunter Decapitation (Resident Evil)
As if regular zombies and a variety of zombified animals weren’t enough, Mikami and his Capcom team decided to throw players a curveball in the original Resident Evil by adding Hunters to the mix. Another experiment from the Umbrella Corporation, Hunters are bipedal lizard-like creatures with powerful claws that can potentially kill players in one hit with a brutal decapitation. The first time players encounter a Hunter is right after a particularly trying section of the game, so those unprepared may lose significant progress if they are unfortunate enough to have their head removed from their shoulders.
Keeper’s Diary (Resident Evil)
One of the best ways Resident Evil builds tension and atmosphere is through its use of notes that players can find and read throughout the games. Perhaps the most disturbing of these is found in the first game, called the Keeper’s Diary. In the Keeper’s Diary, players read the inner-musings of an Umbrella scientist who becomes exposed to the T-Virus, and each subsequent entry in the diary becomes less coherent as he slowly transforms into a zombie. After reading this rather unnerving piece of literature, players are hit with the one of the game’s most effective jump scares, as the Keeper himself bursts from the closet, now a member of the living dead.