Roberts’ script instead puts its chips on mythology, foregrounding Claire (Kaya Scodelario) and Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), siblings with a dark link to the cruelties of Umbrella. When the plot grows more involved than mowing down waves of enemies, it’s to explicate their connection to villainous scientist William Birkin (Neal McDonough), who may not have the best interests of the orphaned Redfields at heart in their flashed-back-to younger years.

Audiences will overlook a lot of narrative-bungling if they’re scared out of their wits, but Roberts’ fundamentals of horror aren’t strong enough to pick up that slack. The cast of monstrosities—such favorites as Mutant Hound, Lots-Of-Eyes Guy, and Exposed-Brain Behemoth—look sharper than they ever have, even if there’s little inspiration in their mayhem. Roberts clearly landed this gig on the merit of The Strangers: Prey At Night, its standout swimming pool showdown set to “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” reiterated here in a handful of set pieces scored by ’90s one-hit wonders. Karaoke staple “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes doesn’t quite fit, just a shade too ironic for the occasion, though the mismanagement of space proves more problematic. Prey At Night turned a trailer park into a playground for a lethal hide-and-seek, its environment more interactive than the interchangeable rooms of the Spencer house.

In this sense, Roberts’ earlier slasher success may be a better video game movie than this one, mired as his latest is in jump scare convention over you-are-there intensity. This misbegotten brand refresh exhumes a franchise that had been laid to rest and jolts it back to life in a manner most frightfully unnatural, the result a ghastly, soulless husk of its former self. The film itself is a more disturbing zombie than anything it can put on screen.