Movie Review

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  • DVD: Dead Space: Downfall
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Starring (Voices): Bruce Boxleitner, Kelly Hu, Keith Szarabajka, Jim Cummings, Kevin Michael Richardson
  • Written By: Jimmy Palmotti and Justin Gray
  • Directed By: Chuck Patton
  • Distributor: Manga Video
  • Original Year of Release: 2008
  • Extras: Deleted Scenes, Trailer, Game Trailer, Photo Gallery, Isolated Soundtrack and Cheat Codes
  • Series:


The Animated Prequel to the EA Game

By Robert T. Trate     October 27, 2008

Dead Space: Downfall, the animated prequel to the EA Game(2008).
© Manga Video


This is the disturbing opening chapter that reveals the back story for all the bloodshed and terror of the EA game Dead Space (Xbox, PS3 and Windows Vista / XP). On the planet AEGIS 7, in the Cygnus System, colonists have discovered an ancient artifact. Some believe that this is proof of a higher being and others just see as alien junk. Nonetheless the crew of the USG Ishimura is sent to remove it from the surface of AEGIS 7 and return it to Earth. Everything starts to go as plan until something starts killing off the mining team. In an attempt to reach the colony the Ishimura hails the planet and receives images of what can only be thought of as a plague of biblical proportions. There is of course a survivor and they are about to dock on the Ishimura.
In the classic zombie film set up, a lone colonist brings his deceased wife onto the ship and unleashes the horror onto a whole new group of unsuspecting people. Alien parasites start transforming the crew into Spider-like zombies and Dead Space: Downfall begins to run its course of destruction. It is an animated film about the perils of space exploration, following orders and having blind faith.
The plot is really standard. A lone group of survivors has to find a way off the ship to survive. All the while picking up and losing characters. As zombie movies go, the frontier of space is a refreshing change of pace. The isolated ship and alien parasite however is reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien. Much of the film becomes like Alien’s sequel with morons and back stabbers in charge that fail to see the ramifications of their actions. They are just, after all, following orders. 
The transformation into the creatures in Dead Space: Downfall is perhaps the only thing that keeps this animated film from mirroring much of cinema’s zombie and alien movies. In both of those types of films the audience places itself in that particular situation. The question, what would I do to survive, becomes a great game to play. In Dead Space: Downfall one is never really sure how the parasites and the voices infect the crew. This device creates uneasiness for not only the crew but the viewer as they try to figure out how to stay alive.
Where Dead Space: Downfall stands out is in its animation. It isn’t on par with most anime films of the day but this film’s intended audience is someone who plays video games. Several moments and situations occur where it feels as if a controller should be in your hands. With each daring escape or shoot out you feel as you are indeed part of Vincent’s security force. Following her in the story is easy because she is the only one who has a real sense of what is going on. The blood, gore and guts flow like a river in this animated film. The profanity however, seems forced. Swearing for swearing’s sake always ruins any good action/ horror movie and upon the screaming of another F-bomb I started to roll my eyes. At times I wished I did have a game controller to use one of those Lightsaber-like chainsaw on a complainer.
This was a great introduction to the Dead Space universe. It seemed strange that this animated film wasn’t included with the game and released a week after the game. It was, regardless, a blood soaked zombie mutant gore fest that not only told a decent backstory but made me want to pick up a controller and see the how it all ends.


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hanso 10/27/2008 9:19:48 AM

If I remember correctly this movie isn't the first chapter of the DEAD SPACE Saga.  There is a 5-6 comic book issue series that comes prior to the movie.

I think the order is 1. comic series, 2. movie & 3. game.

I got this movie on Netflix, so hopefully I'll check it out this week.  The game is awesome, saw a list the other day and it had already made the top 5 horror games of all time.  To me the game is classic, kinda short (around 10 hrs) so it might be a rental for some of ya.

themovielord 10/27/2008 11:05:00 AM

hanso, the press release I got said it was the opening chapter... I heard about the comic did you read it? I really want to play this game now. ~ Robert

hanso 10/27/2008 3:17:53 PM

I think that press release may be wrong.  I read some stuff saying the comic book was the first chapter of the Dead Space trilogy, followed by the movie then the game.

It was strange that the movie came released after the game.  However, I saw somewhere that a limited run package would be sold including comic, movie & game, so that's nice I guess.

The answer to your question though, No, I haven't read the comic.  I think they had something on Xbox Live/PSNetwork, but not sure if it was a trailer for the comic or if you could download it.

As for the game, definitely check it out if you can.  If you like Resident Evil 4, then I'm sure you'll like this game.

Whiskeymovie 10/28/2008 5:51:11 AM

This game is awesome. If you have full surround sound, it is the best. Play it in the dark and it will freak you out. It scared the hell out of me a couple times. I gotta watch the movie just to check out how it all began.

acidsquall73 10/28/2008 9:29:59 AM
I got the game too, so now I'm deciding if I want to watch this movie first or play the game first. Whiskey, I was hoping for that kind of game. I'm hoping it brings me back to the days when the very first Alone in the Dark came out back in the 90s. Playing that in the dark gave me nightmares for days. Love that stuff.</p>
jedi4sshield 10/28/2008 11:08:00 PM
I saw the trailer for the game. I like the look of it from the Alien /mutation perspective. What I didnt like was when they showed the Artifact. I was like, who the hell brings a freakin Alien Artifact onboard a ship with no Freakin quarintine procedures? Is this suppose to be in the future? If it is, I think theyve blow way too many Planets as well as their minds in my opinion. I'm watching as they lifted the damn thing in a crane and I was like, you know what they freakin deserve to have the whole crew killed for being so stupid!!! Other than this, I like the look of the game!


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