Bare with me. I’m comparing Resident Evil: Red Falls with Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight. Why? Because it isn’t what the general audience expected from a Resident Evil fan film, but it is what the hardcore, faithful Resident Evil fans wanted, even if they missed the old puzzle solving days. The truth is, as The Joker says, "There's no going back"; likewise, Resident Evil can only go forward. Yes, the franchise has been missing its mark, but it has seen the error of its way. And, like Linkin Park critics who hated Minutes to Midnight because it was no longer Nu Metal, Resident Evil: Red Falls critics seem to be stuck on the fact that we don't have Resident Evil characters (despite the fact that such characters wouldn't make sense in the story which we told). Due to our budget, and what Travis Hayward—as a director—is good at, we had make it the way we knew best. Action-horror; action was what we knew how to succeed at, but we still attempted horror. And, with the assistance of a creepy score, we succeeded as much as we needed to. We had zombies, but the zombies were not the focus (they were only the obstacles); we had Resident Evil lore, but it wasn’t the focus (although BSAA badges can be spotted often). The Resident Evil mythology—while playing a very important role in the plot—was subtle.
But at least we had realistic action; we didn't copy-and-paste scenes from the games (although some of the "critics" suggested we should, despite its illogicalness); we didn't bastardize fans favorite characters by casting them poorly; we didn't spoof the series like many fan films do based on their fears of making serious fan fiction; heck, we got CAPCOM's stamp of approval.
But the critics, once in a blue moon, do have valid points. A sequel could be scarier. A sequel could have characters from the game (well, actually HUNK would be the only character I would write into the script). A sequel could have a female character (although not a BSAA operative, not to be sexist). A sequel could have more zombies. And finally, a sequel could have a bigger budget, allowing us to tell a grander story.
I only hope people can look past the budget and see it for what it is: a template for what we could do if we actually did have a budget.