Quick review: CUT OFF THEIR LIMBS!!!
Dead Space: Downfall does what it’s supposed to do very well, meaning it’s a story prequel to a video game and in that respect it works perfectly. As a stand-alone movie it’s not that great, I could say it’s at best decent, but then again, it’s not really meant to be viewed as a stand-alone movie but as an introduction into the world of Dead Space the game.
From the animation point of view it isn’t anything I haven’t seen before, and neither the direction nor the plot line will break any boundaries of innovation, but when it comes to blood and gore…oh baby yeah! This piece of western animation can hold its own next to most anime stories that tend to go a bit overkill on the blood quota.
Here’s the skinny of it: the human race has interstellar travel and it mines other worlds by destroying them with the aid of big-ass space ships called Planet Crackers, quite the original title. Apparently Earth’s life is a fluke and every planet they’ve ever found was dead, so instead of mining them traditionally, they break them apart since there is nothing worth saving or studying… until they find Planet Aegis 7 in the Cygnus System.
On this planet they find an artifact of supposed alien origins, and decide to move it from its place and transport it to Earth because – and here is the place where the storyline goes a bit for a real-world feel in my opinion – apparently the overwhelming number of people in the future adhere to the Unitology Church, which has some interesting beliefs regarding space artifacts or Markers as they call them. This Unitology Church resembles a real-world quasi-religious movement…they don’t mention Lord Xenu anywhere but the resemblance is there. However, you won’t find out many of the details of the Unitologist Church unless you finish the game (or you know, read up on it on the Dead Space wiki). Nor find out why exactly the Cygnus System was off limits, or what’s the deal with the artifact, those things you find out from playing and finishing the game.
So anyway, this is the story prequel to a survival horror game so you can guess what happens; once the artifact is removed people start going crazy, hearing voices in their heads telling them to kill other people or to kill themselves, then the dead are reanimated and brought back as alien killing machines. The mining colony on the surface of Aegis 7 is dead in no-time, and the Planet Cracker Ishimaru – which is stationed in orbit – is next on the list and pretty much doomed. I mean we know it’s doomed, because that’s how the movie starts with the sole survivor of the crew sending a last message, no spoilers there.
The movie mainly follows the exploits of the doomed ship’s doomed chief of security and her doomed team as they try to save as many people on the ship as possible, but that doesn’t really happen since we know they’re all doomed from the beginning.
Now I have to underline that this is in no way a movie for children, nor for most adults either, like I said earlier the blood and gore level is up there with the best of them – Ichi the Killer comes to mind, even though that is live action – and there is a lot of graphic killing as well as language, but I don’t know if a couple of four letter words will be more disturbing than a man’s jaw being cleanly ripped from his head by an infested human with bone scythes for limbs. Now I love that kind of stuff, but most people don’t, so you’ve been warned.
In conclusion, if you plan on playing the game then you know what you’re going in for and I suggest you see the movie, it’s not necessary because you can put together most of what happens on the planet during the game but it’s nice to see it anyway. If you do see the movie and like it, despite its sometimes crappy voice acting, and really suspended ending, and it makes you want to play the game, then go right ahead, the video game is an above average experience and the atmosphere, oh man I suggest you play it with a light on even in daylight.