In physiology, dead space is air that is inhaled by the body in breathing, but does not take part in gas exchange. Not all the air in each breath is able to be used for the exchange of oxygen, in fact about a third of every resting breath is exhaled exactly as it came into the body. Dead Space: Downfall is based on the videogame Dead Space, but actually takes place before the game, showing us all the horrible events leading up to the game. It is an animated film about the perils of space exploration, following orders and having blind faith.
Set on a remote mining planet, Aegis 7, Dead Space opens with the discovery of a large alien artifact. The crew eventually return it to the ship and debate it to be a mystical, religious artifact, while others believe it’s a product of an ancient alien culture. Shortly after this relic is removed, an unusual spike in violence and suicides ravages the colony and soon spreads to the ship they are all inside, the Ishimura. This might not be a genuine anime film per say, but it still has roots in animation and heed my warning when I say this: Dead Space: Downfall is unflinchingly graphic and violent.
Although there are gallons of blood and jaws being ripped off, the animation makes it hard to enjoy these things. The humans, aliens and everything in between move very robotic-like. Artistic short-cuts are taken, like panning around a room which is just one drawing, and having a ship come closer by just making the ship bigger, that kind of stuff. I really felt that the creators of this project felt lazy at some points. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from Dead Space: Downfall. Granted, had the visuals been cloaked in deeper shadows, it would have increased the film’s scare factor but, like the game, the film prioritizes action and gore over chills and shivers. EA should have hired some real talent for this, my first suggestion would be MadHouse studios who handles gore and animation really well.
EA has committed to crossing over into film and Dead Space is a logical first step for the publisher. Despite the rather routine characterization and dialog, however, Downfall is still quite an enjoyable flick. It’s got some morbid humor and there are a few memorable scenes. On the whole though, it’s good stuff. I’ve never played Dead Space for Playstation 3 yet, but this film got me pretty excited to, now that I am familiar with the back story. Final verdict however, is when you get down to it, Dead Space: Downfall is nothing but gratuitous gore, and I can support that kind of film.