Despite how the rest of the series is the first film is rather solid and creepy. Anderson does a fine job of building up the film’s atmosphere and not revealing the monsters until later. There is a strong feeling of doom and menace surrounding a covert team sent into an underground lair to deal with a terrible situation. Only until its too late do they realize the serious danger they are wrapped up in.
This movie is also really entertaining although Anderson is a bit obsessed with slow motion. I did like the action scenes, as all of them are well executed and even a bit outrageous at times. The zombie dogs were cool and I laughed when Alice roundhouse kicked one in the face. Oh and there is a twist, flashbacks and your typical gigantic ugly creature. It would have looked better if less bad CGI would have been involved. But I did think the zombies were freaky looking.
The ending merely serves as setup for the rest of the series, and its clear that this is the origins film where Alice develops into unstoppable badass. I did like the train sequence and I imagine this movie is one of those films you can watch again on a bad weather day. I will check out the rest of the series even though looking them up I’m disappointed that Anderson didn’t direct them all. He has a campy feel and a distinctive visual style that fits these kinds of movies really well. Although I do wish George A. Romero would have directed this for obvious reasons.