Who Is Lisa Trevor In Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City? The Tragic Character Explained

The "Resident Evil" franchise has a long, storied history across a variety of mediums. The whole thing started as a relatively simple survival horror video game created by Capcom in 1996, but has since blossomed into a multimedia behemoth, encompassing movies, TV, video games, merchandise, and everything in-between. It's been around long enough that a big screen reboot has come for us, much like the T-virus once came for the residents of Raccoon City. To that end, Sony has released "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City," a fresh cinematic take on the games that brings the action back to the '90s. It also brings in a notable and tragic character from the games named Lisa Trevor, who actually has quite an important role to play this time around.

For those who are only passingly familiar with the games themselves, we're here to do a deeper dive on Lisa Trevor, explaining her unique origins within the franchise, her brutal backstory, and how she factors into the latest movie. Let's dig in, shall we?

Lisa Trevor's Unique History In the Resident Evil Games

Director Johannes Roberts used the original "Resident Evil," along with "Resident Evil 2," to fuel the story for "Welcome to Raccoon City," though it wasn't in that game that Lisa Trevor came to be. At least not in its original form. The remake of the first game, which was originally released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, is where she first made her way into the series. And for many players, that game is truly the way to experience the first entry, as it updated the controls and graphics and expanded upon the story. This character's introduction serves as a prime example of that.

What is perhaps most impressive about Lisa Trevor in the remake is that she only appears a few choice times to interact with the player. Yet through her character design, looming presence, and servicing of the game's story, she became truly memorable. Much like Boba Fett in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, a little can go a long way.

Lisa was later brought into a sequel/spin-off within the video game series with "Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles," released in 2007. More important than her lingering appearance — which leaves a haunting impression — this is a character that has her roots tied directly to the lore of the games. And now the new movie as well.

The Tragic Backstory of Lisa Trevor

In the games, Lisa Trevor's backstory is nothing short of tragic. She was born to parents Jessica and George Trevor back in 1953. And it just so happens that her father was contracted by Ozwell Spencer, as in the Spencer behind the Spencer Mansion from the original "Resident Evil" game, to design said mansion, which would ultimately house a secret underground laboratory. This lab would go on to become the genesis point of the T-virus, the thing that leads to the zombie madness that ends up going worldwide in the game series down the road. Lisa had no small part in making that happen, though not of her own free will.

Ultimately, Ozwell locked George away to rot in a secret room in the mansion to protect his secrets, while Lisa and Jessica were taken prisoner and experimented on. They were used as test subjects for the Progenitor virus. Jessica and Lisa reacted differently, with Lisa exhibiting signs of mutation. Hence, her horrific appearance. But it wasn't just her physical appearance that was altered — it was her mental state as well. Jessica was eventually killed by Spencer's goons, and Lisa became obsessed with reuniting her parents. The Umbrella Corporation went so far as to hire an impersonator to play Jessica at one point, only that didn't go so well. Lisa thought this person stole her mother's face. So she stole it back.

This is why Lisa has the bizarre and unsettling skinsuit/facemask, as this became a theme for her. Albert Wesker and William Birkin, also important figures in the new movie, eventually became interested in Lisa's ability to endure these cruel tests, and she proved to be a huge bridge in creating the G-virus, another creation of Umbrella and Spencer that makes monsters out of humans. After making off with her exhumed mother's skull, Lisa made her way off into the Arklay Mountains following the events of the game, and was somewhat unceremoniously killed during the events of "The Umbrella Chronicles." In a word? Brutal.

How is Lisa Trevor Incorporated in Welcome to Raccoon City?

What is remarkable about the inclusion of Lisa Trevor in "Welcome to Raccoon City" is that the filmmakers were quite faithful in bringing the character to life, at least in terms of her appearance, with Marina Mazepa taking on the role. While her backstory is not fully explored, tragedy is largely hinted at throughout the movie, as Lisa ends up being a pivotal character who is connected to Jill Valentine (Kaya Scodelario). The two have a chance encounter in Jill's youth at the Raccoon City Orphanage, as Jill sympathizes with Lisa after initially being frightened by her.

Later, in her adulthood, Jill encounters Lisa with Leon Kennedy at the orphanage as they are trying to escape the city. We get to see a bit more of her raw strength, the result of those cruel experiments. The biggest difference between Lisa Trevor in the games and her depiction in the movie is her alignment. Lisa is most definitely an antagonist for the player to contend with in the "Resident Evil" games. Here, she is an ally who helps Jill and Leon escape from Raccoon City before Umbrella levels the place to try and cover its tracks. With Roberts not exploring her backstory within this movie, that does leave the door open for further exploration of the character down the line, should this iteration of the franchise find a path forward beyond this initial entry.

"Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" is in theaters now.