By now I am sure you all know just how big a fan of horror I am. I have a huge heart on for the genre, unabashedly so. So I am sure it doesn’t come as a big surprise that I love Doom; I mean who doesn’t love the defining FPS game. However it may surprise you to learn (but probably not) that I also love the 2005 Doom movie, yes it’s kinda bad and super cheesy but it is damn entertaining. Now 15 years later; due to a hotly anticipated game being released by years end and I suspect some right holding shenaniganary we have a Doom remake just in time for the Halloween season. Beware that the following may include some spoilers from the movie.
Think you know the story of Doom? Well guess again cause I love Doom, have read the novels and know the lore pretty well and even I am struggling to make heads or tails from this one. In the distantly near future on Mars’ Moon; Phobos (cause he’s the Greek God of Horror, get it, see its the writer/director being clever…), a bunch of scientists are trying to use a teleportation device they randomly found on Phobos because that seems like such a great idea. Turns out that there is also one on Earth, cause reasons ya know. During the FIRST EVER test of the machine the subject starts from Earth and goes to Phobos, only when he arrives he now has fangs and claws which the lead scientist explains that there is nothing wrong with the machine and this only happened because he is on anti-depressants. I’m not even making that up, it is a line of dialogue in this movie. But hey scientists gotta scientate so like the true mad lads they are, they run the machine again… Dun… Dun…. DDDDUUUNNN
It is here we are introduced to our main cast of Marine characters, 8 or 9 British actors and actresses who all seem to put on an Australian accent for some reason, I just assumed in this verse of the future Australia is a Super Power but not one they want to be associated with as half way through they drop all the accents for American ones. Our last girl is introduced through a dream sequence about Jesus and faith which may be important later so don’t forget it, trust me you wont as faith is shoehorned in a lot. Everyone else is introduced through the titillating discussion of who stole one of the female Marines panties while she was sleeping. The movie takes this plot seriously enough that it actually follows through with answering it. Now that we have meet the cast we learn that they are on their way to Phobos after a previous botched job so now are being sent to the Phobos lab which we also learn is on the verge of being shut down.
After what seems like a lifetime of awkwardly plodding along the team finally arrives at Phobos but in spoopy fashion no one answers there calls and the teams A.I. can’t find any traces of activity nor can it open the door for them. Eventually they get in because I mean, it would be a short movie if that was that, and they run into problems right of the bat. Our crew find a body that has been ripped to pieces but it’s not just any body as it gets identified as William Blazkowicz. If you know your Doom then you will know that this is a cheap shot at the OG Doomguy who just happens to be a decadent of Wolfenstein’s own Namesake. A lot of franchises attempt to do this, killing off a badass right off the bat so you know they aren’t playing around unfortunately it doesn’t work often and in this case it comes right off as a middle finger to the franchise but hey Doom Annihilation flips them off often. It is here we are introduced to the dreaded zombies which will serve as the main canon fodder (apart from the main cast of Marines) for the movie. They are a weird shade of blue/gray and not the cool Batman kind instead these Doom zombies are more akin to angry Smurfs than any zombie I can recall from any Doom game; unless of course they brought the recent Doom re-releases and had the last of their good will sucked out by Bethesda.
Needless to say a fight follows that you have seen a thousand times with most of the Marines dying by getting a scratch on the neck, seriously they fall over dead and the amount of gore you get is a lil red slash on their neck. Though everything around is confusing as all hell to watch as the group splits up and go to different areas of the lab though every set is exactly the same so it is hard to really follow who is who since we still haven’t learned any of the Marines names and everything looks exactly the same. It gets so bad that even when the Marines lose track of someone they cant find them, the camera trying to help out shows where this member is and he is just down the end of the hallway the rest of the Marines are in, you can see them in the background. One of the Marine even shouts out “Nope!” and runs away, this is the caliber of heroes we are dealing with but hey they get some development as the ones who are alive now need to look for coloured key cards to progress…
Yeah, key cards… Doom Annihilation wants to earn its Doom title so bad it goes out of its way to include Doomy stuff wherever it can. We get a good 5 minute run down on some Doom weapons weapon… The BFG, I am sure you all remember how much of a spectacle the 2005 movie made the BFG to be here we get a run down of its specs and what BFG actually stands for vs what Marines actually call it. Before you ask, its not bad ass at all, Men in Blacks Noisy Cricket does more damage than the BFG Pea Shooter of Annihilation. The Marines wear glasses that gives them a heads up display for POV shots that displays, maps, health, ammo, ya know all the good things you need to know in a game, at least until the A.I. turns evil for no reason what so ever and messes with it so they can stop spending money on that CGI. The most egregious of these is when the movie goes out of its way to explain why the franchise is called Doom with a large conversation boiling down to Phobos meaning Doom. It doesn’t, it means fear like in phobia.
People keep dying, betrayals happen, side stories appear out of nowhere and all of a sudden we know have Imps jumping around hadoukening fireballs all over the show. The Imps by the way look like Putties from the original Power Rangers, just if you were wondering if they could at least do them right, but hey Impin aint easy. They continue collecting key cards, more nonsensical ‘plot’ happens because something has to move the story forward until it gets good. People end up undead, one character keeps his Australian accent right up to the end, stuff happens to get all the remaining cast to the teleporter lab and this is when the movie actually almost gets good. Our main character is sent through the teleporter and ends up in Hell a swimming pool surrounded by rocks and Imps. She thinks shes done for but then remembers with the power of Jesus all things can happen and decides to fight. This 3 minute section of movie is actually damn impressive, clearly all the budget went into creating a damn impressive CGI army of Imps and having them fight, this scene would look right at home in a Doom game, hell you could almost get away with throwing them in one of the big fight scenes in Infinity War or Endgame. Needless to say they budget only goes so far and our final girl zips through the other exit to wind up on Earth only with some big following her, could this be an epic Cyber Demon showdown? No as we cut to black before anything can be revealed and the credits are shown.
If you ever get a chance to see Doom Annihilation, don’t. A side for that 3 minute scene there is nothing redeeming here. Yes the 2005 Doom isn’t exactly good but it is entertaining and it makes a spectacle of things, Pinky, First Person, BFG, Sarge, Hell Knights and all other Doom moments are a guilty pleasure to watch. If you need to get some Doom in you before Eternal this movie is not the way to do it, watch the 2005 movie or play one of the excellent video games. If you just want a good horror movie to watch based on a video game, this isn’t for you either. Pick up House of the Dead and grab a few friends, some beers and a pizza as that is a much better time than sitting through Doom Annihilation.
Zombie reviewed a preview copy of Doom Annihilation.