Downfall is a horrific movie, but in all the bad ways possible.
The original Dead Space was a revelation not only for third-person shooters, but also for horror games. What the game achieved in terms of atmosphere, creative enemies and tense soundtrack didn’t cease to amaze for the 12 or so hours that it took to complete the campaign. As a way to expand the franchise, developer Visceral Games released two direct sequels and spinoffs (Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3, Dead Space: Extraction and Dead Space Ignition,) but what some people tend to forget is that there’s also an animated film that serves as a prequel to the first game and takes place during the events of Extraction.
Here’s a summary of the story without making reference to specifics: a toxin from a recently discovered planet called Aegis VII is infecting the inhabitants of a space colony. The mining ship known as the USG Ishimura witnesses the massacre, but a rescue shuttle gets inside the ship with an infected, spreading the infection among its occupants. From there on, the members of the crew need to survive the necromorph attacks before the alien force wipes them off.
In terms of presentation, Downfall uses traditional animation similar to what you could see in a Batman animated film. The style of animation may work well for a dark action film, but I don’t find it fitting for a movie that’s all about killing ultra-realistic aliens inside a space station. Sadly, the animation blends traditional animation with computer generated imagery which doesn’t give a cohesive look.
The sound department also has its fair share of problems. I found the voice acting forgettable and woefully uninspired which is a shame because some of the found footage videos from the first Dead Space sounded great. Moments that are suppose to have a strong impact on the viewer (a scene where a woman commits suicide in front of their husband due to the hallucinations comes to mind) fall flat on their face because of the flat animation and bland voice acting.
I’m also not a fan of the film’s attitude. The movie’s recommended for mature audiences (there are violent scenes, nudity and a lot of swearing), but it all feels contrived and forced. The characters swear a lot, but if feels like they do so because they can and not necessarily because they are being genuine and honest.
Downfall is a horrific movie, but in all the bad ways possible. The animation in bland, the voice acting forgettable, the plot predictable, the characters plain and I could go on and on. Not even fans of the Dead Space franchise will find something to like here.