Dead Space: Aftermath Reviews
Dead Space: Aftermath is the second anime film take on the Dead Space video game series. Only this time, it's presented quite differently in terms of animation style throughout the film. There are several stories for each character to tell, only there happens to be a different animation style with each story, which is definitely interesting. Only major complaint I have with this, is the ugly, poorly rendered 3D animation we get between each story that is being told. Which is unfortunate, for such good story telling there is to appreciate here. Especially if you yourself are a Dead Space fan.
It was basically non-linear storytelling and the game developers created a new form of a terrifying outer space killer-alien project
what worked so well was the constant dark shadows aboard the Ishimura, the design of the Necromorphs able to take so many freakish shapes, and having the same feeling as John Carpenter's The Thing
except where that mutant-alien story took place on earth this game series takes place in the vacuum of space with no escape
the first game was scary, gory, and heart-poundingly intense from start to finish even though the controls were a bit flaky and ammunition and health were limited
this film takes place just after the events of Aegis 7 when Issac Clarke escaped and right before the events of the 2nd game
a new crew from the Obono stumble upon the ruined landscape of the desolate planet, find a shard of the Marker artifact, and accidentally unleash more of the terror that befell the Ishimura crew
a majority of the film is told in flashbacks from creepy-looking CGI to traditional hand-drawn anime
the anime portions are way better and with more thought and construct explaining each of the crew's encounter with the Necromorphs and the corruption of the Marker
the film zips by without wasting a single moment delivering much of the same scares and bloody scenes the game first spawned
there's also a much deeper conspiracy surrounding the discovery of the alien race and the artifact meaning that the nightmare may not be far from over
fills in several gaps and opens the way for a much bigger storyline for the rest of the series
The four main characters that are giving their sides of the story are pretty much your standard cookie cutter characters in horror survival films. Let's see; you got the troubled tough guy who's trying to get over the loss of his child, the wounded hero who has seen too much in his short lifetime, the religious zealot who thinks an ancient death machine is a sign from the Heavens, and most importantly your Asian scapegoat...er, I mean the female medic who assists her group. You also have a bunch of other characters who are easily forgettable because they're your standard military guys who say things on their dying breath like, "Leave me and take this to the ship! That's an order!" and "I'll be taking youse sons of bitches with me!" The animation in here is also a huge disappointment in here as well. Like the poorly CG characters that look like the graphics were done in 2001, but the anime cartoon side was okay to say the least but I have a feeling that the people who made the animations didn't actually communicated with each other when making this movie. The reason I say this is because there are many inconsistencies between the stories. Like the paranoid black guy who keeps seeing his dead daughter in his mind, who is black wearing a pink dress, and then when he tells his side of the story she is Asian wearing a white dress. And then there is the Captain of the spaceship whose beards tend to change between stories from full beard to short beard and even a goatee at one point. Overall, this movie is one big mess and should not have even been made with the 2.5 million dollar budget that to make it. You can take this film out of the Dead Space continuity and no one would have missed it and that is why I give it only a one star.
Dead Space Aftermath is horrible, horrible CG, horrible pacing, horrible directing, horrible self advertising, horrible characters.
Everything in this movie is horrible.
I want to make this review short because I am just telling you to stay away from this movie, if you like horror movies; you're gonna hate this movie, if you like the Dead Space games; you're gonna hate this movie...a little less, but you'll still hate it.
Dead Space Aftermath focuses too much on it's incredibly forgettable characters rather than the actual element of the Dead Space series; Horror and Necromorphs, speaking of which, the Necromorphs don't appear till the last twenty minutes of the movie, and they don't do much, I should also mention that half of this movie is done in CG, awful, low budget, PS1 cutscene CG, it is perhaps the worst CG I've ever seen, and I know that bad CG can make something even more scary than it is made to be, but no, they hardly take advantage of it.
Dead Space Aftermath is a horror movie without any scares, I don't remember anything positive about this movie, just watch Dead Space Extraction, it's mediocre but it's much more entertaining than this, nobody should watch Aftermath, ever.
In my personal opinion, the choppy 3D computer generated animated scenes looks like something that you would see in an old PlayStation One or Nintendo 64 (N64) game. With all do respect, this is one of those movies where it doesn't work. The Nercomorphs however did looked very different and very unique but it just kind leaves wishing that you saw them more. In Dead Space: Downfall, you saw the Nercomorphs throughout the entire film and they were nicely hand drawn and you could tell that they putted a lot of effort into the drawing and making of the Nercomorphs.
This movie just doesn't work. I can understand that they wanted to do something completely different and take some risks but there are times when trying to do something completely just does not work and this is one of them.
It's not bad but Downfall is a lot better. In Downfall, they didn't use any crappy 3D computer generated scenes and it was not throughout the whole movie like this one did.
While most of the other styles of animation are fine, ranging from average to pretty decent, they do not fit the style of story at all and are inconsistent with each other. Some discrepancies are done purposely, like the glowing "life bars" on the back of everyone's jackets and those are clearly artistic design choices rather than mistakes but there is at least one character who's ethnicity changes from one animated sequence to the other and in many segments you can only identify who is who by distinguishing features be it a scar on a character's face or a robotic, prosthetic arm. There is no consistency between the segments so you struggle to figure out who is who, something that is hindered because the style of voice acting changes. "Borgas" for example, starts the film with a Hispanic accent but then loses it later on. Some of the design choices feel uninspired or lazy. The first flashback shows miners going down to search the planet "Aegis VII" while wearing helmets that cover their entire face except for their eyes, the chin and the space right between their lips and nose. Aside from the fact that these helmets would make it incredibly difficult to see what is going on around you and make no sense as a style of helmet to be produced in mass quantities (do they make them custom-sized for each crew member?) it's obvious that the objective here was to cover the mouth of the characters so you wouldn't need to animate any lip-synch. In this first segment we also get to see some monsters that feel incredibly generic; they're just gray humanoids with sharp teeth, red eyes and claws, nothing original at all. At least one style of animation feels totally out of place with the others, the segment narrated by "Dr. Cho" has every man illustrated with big, well-defined muscles, even the wormy "Dr. Nolan Stross" and manages to sneak in a sex scene where we get to see Cho's massive breasts.
The movie's internal logic seems to come and go completely at random and it gets both confusing and frustrating to watch until you give up completely and just start laughing at how bad it is. Sometimes, coming into contact with a shard of the "Marker" drives people completely insane instantly, sometimes it takes a bit longer and sometimes it does nothing at all. We see characters get executed in a hallway (bet that was easy to explain and fun to clean up), some really flimsy security measures (is it really the best idea to store all four survivors in the same room once they have been recovered? Wouldn't you want to give them a medical check-up or quarantine them?) and a massive conspiracy that really doesn't make a lot of sense at all. The entire film is also hindered by the complete lack of tension you get by telling a horror story in flashback, letting you know ahead of time who is going to make it out alive and who isn't.
Some of the monster designs are fun to watch and the story is interesting to see despite all of the plot holes in it but the audience for this movie is really narrow. Fans of the game will enjoy the story but be thoroughly unimpressed by the first images that they see, the terrible computer animation that looks significantly worse than the game they have played. Fans of animation will be similarly unimpressed by the lack of consistency in the character models and the messy story. If you're a huge fan of the "Dead Space" franchise and just can't get enough of it regardless of quality you might enjoy it, but there is little else here for anyone else. (Dvd, April 30, 2013)
As of yesterday morning, I had fifteen movies on my Netflix queue rated less than two stars. I have since watched four of them, and have only agreed with one (Hellraiser: Revelations). I liked, give or take, the first animated Dead Space movie, and I liked, give or take, Afermath (current Netflix rating, according to my instant-streaming page: 1.9), which covers the events between the first and second games. Understand that "liked" is a term I'm using loosely here. Animated movies have to be judged on a different set of criteria than live-action movies do. You have to expect overacting from the voice characters, you obviously don't have to worry about cinematography, lighting, etc., and the most important guy behind the camera isn't the director, it's the lead animator. In this case, I can't quite be sure who that is; the credits list "key animation director"s, but only for two of the sequences (there are five, four flashbacks and a wraparound). For what it's worth, the two listed are Jung-eun Kim (Millennium Actress) and Eun-kyung Kwon (in is feature debut). Is it these guys I should be yelling at? I got no clue.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't played the games, the plot summary contains major spoilers for the film (I assume most people interested in watching the movie will be fans of the game, so I'm not terribly concerned about spoilers). If you have not yet (a) seen Aftermath and/or (b) played Dead Space 2, which by default gives away the end of the movie, skip the next paragraph.
Plot: Aftermath takes us through the events that get Nolan Stross (voice of Ghost Game's Curt Cornelius, who also voices Nolan Stross in Dead Space 2) into captivity next to Isaac Clarke, protagonist of the original Dead Space, in The Sprawl. As we open, a rescue team is boarding the O'Bannon to look for survivors. They find four: Stross, Isabel Cho (voice of Heathens and Thieves' Gwendoline Yeo), Alejandro Borges (voice of Piranha 3D's Ricardo Chavira), and Nickolas Kuttner (voice of The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Judge). Two scientists, an engineer, and a security officer. They are taken back to The Sprawl and questioned, one by one, about what happened on the O'Bannon; the story each tells fills in another piece of the puzzle of what happened on the O'Bannon (and on Aegis VII's mining colony).
Ultimately, there are two main problems with Aftermath. The first is... we don't see a necromorph until forty-five minutes into the movie? What? Granted, that's probably only going to be a problem for the gamers, but then like I said, I assume most everyone watching this will be familiar with the games. The second is the animation. It's okay for a computer game, but... well, let me put it this way: we've had some movies over the past decade or so with great animation, but ridiculous stories, when the stories even exist (Final Fantasy and Immortel: Ad Vitam come to mind immediately). Here we have the opposite problem. You combine that animation with these compelling stories and you're going to get a movie that will wow people pretty hard. (Assuming you add some necromorphs earlier on, that is....) As it is, though, I think this is only applicable to hardcore Dead Space gamers, and even a bunch of those are going to be disappointed in this. **