Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dead Space: Downfall (2008)

To quote Nathan Rabin in his review of "Glitter", "Call me a hero if you must (no really, you must.)" To be fair, I don't want you to look at me as a hero, but I do want you to know that this review wasn't originally meant to be. Originally, I was going to review "Vlog", but after watching the trailer, I went "to hell with that" and decided to review "Dead Space: Downfall" instead. This is apparently a prequel movie to the hit video game that I've never played (I'm not what you'd call a gamer), as well as the first animated movie I've ever reviewed.

In the Ishimura spaceship, a strange stone relic called the Red Marker is being transported to Earth. However, the people within the ship are slowly going mad, and something is infesting the ship. Now, Alissa Vincent (Nika Futterman) must stop the infection, and what do you know, that Red Marker has something to do with all of this.

Though a prequel, this is a movie that wears it's influences on it's sleeve. Here, you get rather obvious nods to "Alien" and it's sequel, "The Thing", George Romero's "Dead" films, the "Resident Evil" movies and "Event Horizon." On the plus side, this sucker is gory as hell, with mauled and mangled corpses, bloody monster death, bisection, dismemberment, decapitation and fountains of blood filling the screen. It's also got a few genuinely suspenseful scenes, and a decent score by Seth Podowitz.

That out of the way, the end result isn't what you'd call a fulfilling experience. This is partly due to the fact that you don't care about anyone here, as the characters are as thing as a thread of tissue paper, and about as deep as a puddle. It sure doesn't help that the voice acting is so hit-and-miss, and that much of the dialogue ranges from bad to awful. There's also a lot of themes touched upon, such as corporations and how they impact religion, but that feels unexplored, as we know nothing of the religious people (Unitologists or something) on the ship other than the fact that they believe the Red Marker has some sort of significance. Add some choppy animation, irrational decisions and an all around weak, sequel ready conclusion, and you have a miss.

If I were 15 and watching this, I'd tell 28 year old me "Hey man, this movie's awesome! Stop being such a dick!" However, I'm not 15 anymore, so I'm going to tell that 15 year old "Someday you'll learn." Oh, and there was a sequel, and yes I will be reviewing it. As I said earlier, call me a hero if you must (no really, you must.)

Rating: 3.5/10

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