Film Corner: Doom


I want to know if the Netflix DOOM movie is as good as the campy original. "When a swarm of soul-stealing demons invades a Martian moon, a group of elite space Marines must obliterate the beasts to save earth." I forgot Mars has moons, so that's cool. The opening is very pretty and I'm disoriented because the first scientist we see looks like a scientist from the first movie. Did I put the wrong disc in, I wonder in a brief panic.

The gate between Phobos and Nevada is this ominous black onyx thing with glowing red demonic runes set in it and I really want to talk to the designers because WHY. I want a movie about the futuristic Steve Jobs figure who convinces everyone that space ships and teleporters and stuff should look as Satanic as possible for maximal aesthetic benefit. OH MY GOD, the teleporter creates terrifying writhing black goo that you have to step into, I think the goo might be SCREAMING, why would you design it this way????

The first man who uses the teleporter to teleport to Mars appears to be now possessed by demons which begs the question of what previous tests were used to, well, TEST this technology. You wouldn't teleport to Mars on your first test! You'd work up to that. This is the problem with WRINKLE IN TIME, read my blog, it's very smart and a great distraction from encroaching doom. A woman dies as backstory motivation and I'm about to yell about fridges but apparently she's died to motivate a female protagonist instead of a male one so I'm startled into brief silence.

The pilot has a prosthetic leg! A FEMALE PROTAGONIST AND A DISABLED PILOT IN THIS RANDOM NETFLIX MOVIE? I like him??? And the female protagonist has body scars???? *disabled feels* Oh my god, there's two more women in the marines. THREE WHOLE WOMEN. One has social justice green-blue hair. She's learning French with futuristic duolingo. My new wife. Some of the men aren't white! The shitty bad guy is a professorial know-it-all who you instinctively want to punch because of his snooty attitude! He reminds you of someone you worked with/for and hated!

Oh, snap, the Evil Scientist says he'll be the next test subject through the malfunctioning portal, which both makes him more likable (he is taking the risk so no one else must) AND heightens the stakes (he's on Mars so will he bring a demon to Earth?). There's some subplot about this assignment being a punishment for our female protagonist, but I just want to get to the demons. Anyway, Evil Scientist steps into the portal and electricity happens. The lights go out and growling begins.

The marine ship lands and they're all a little piqued to hear no response when they ask permission to enter. An emergency message tells them to "hold position". The marines get to listen to a growly distress signal that sounds very EVENT HORIZON. There's an emergency hatch in the station and they're going in that way. Some technobabble about the power happens and while I'm almost certain it's wrong, it's *phrased* in the right way and that's what matters. They have 90 minutes to fix the station or everyone dies.

The emergency lights are effective and work, so I can actually see the action unlike the other (good! campy!) DOOM movie. I should add that the Team Scientist only knows all this stuff because he's Hermione Granger and he read Hogwarts: A History before coming here. It's oddly endearing. A decapitated dead body is found and they scan his wrist band with a smart phone camera to get his identity. I like that.

The marine who was previously mentioned to know multiple dead languages (why?) now identifies blood red writing on the wall as Ancient Sumerian. Why. If it turns out that demons taught the Sumerians writing, that's racist. Also: it looks like the writing on the portal. Why did the portal inventors decorate the portal with ancient Sumerian letters?? The computer is able to translate the Sumerian writing and I need you to all appreciate that this is IMPOSSIBLE NONSENSE.

The computer chirrups: "Have come to reclaim what is ours. Through wrath will come justice. Through pain, divinity. No escape this time." Oh good, the computer is infected. By...demons? I think we're about to have a monster encounter in a hydroponics bay, so now we're that one Dead Space animated movie I watched. One of the guys whose name I didn't catch is the first dead. Tarek, apparently. One of the marines has been bitten so I assume we're working on Zombie Rules.

The marines run out of machine gun ammo surprisingly fast. That feels realistic. They really shouldn't have had much, they were just coming to guard the place. A+, very believable zombie movie. Female protagonist is using a chainsaw on the demon zombies. Very classic retro, I approve. The original Evil Scientist is...alive and not a blue zombie. This is an intriguing development. Oh no, the pilot died. That makes me sad, but he went out with dignity and in an Aliens 2 esque scene.

Oh, good grief, the gates weren't invented--they were discovered as ancient alien artifacts. And they just decided to hook them up, turn them on, and step inside. Female Protagonist gives a decent "nuke the site from orbit" speech. Yup, we're going with the racist Von Daniken theory where aliens brought us language. I'm informed that the "find an alien artifact, turn it on" plot is from the actual games, which I mean. I guess I prefer this to the alternative of "we invented it but don't know how it works"? Humans DO have a tendency to turn things on.  

....huh. Yup, those look like demons. The zombification process is....interesting. It's not scratches and bites like I thought. It appears to be done by sucking your soul out through your mouth.

I need to point out that, 1 hour into the movie and with half the cast messily devoured and/or otherwise killed, the blue-haired pixie-cut SJW marine is still grinning like she's having a grand old time. I love her? I love her. She looks cheerful, like "hey, I might be stuck on one of Mars' moons and facing death by demons or nuclear reactors BUT I don't have to spend Thanksgiving with my homophobic parents" and isn't that a mood I think we can all appreciate.

Female protagonist wants to use the demon gates to get back to earth and I'm not really getting on board this "at least we won't die" plan? Like, what if you infect earth? Oh, cool, it's just a ruse to get the obviously possessed scientist to shut up. That's cool! I unironically appreciate a female protagonist quietly telling someone "yeah, I know this is a bad plan, I just said it to get Mike to shut up; the real plan is the opposite of that."

We now have a 50% female cast, so that's nice.

The obviously possessed scientist is now heckling the Female Protagonist about her mysterious past that got her assigned here as a punishment. If these are meant to be his demonic powers, I'm not impressed. They've rebooted the nuclear reactor, thus avoiding destruction, and the obviously possessed head scientist murders a female nurse and runs out. I presume he's off to infect earth with demons. Oh no, we lost blue-hair as well!! I liked her. We lose the remaining male marine, so now we're down to Female Protagonist, Nerdy Love Interest, and Evil Scientist. That was a very rapid trimming of the cast, geez.

Huh. The scientist actually had a reason to murder the nurse; she knows the location of the secret lab. I like that better than just rampant evil. Well, there's the BFG-9000. They even call it "Big Fucking Gun", lol. And we have plasma grenades too, that's always nice when demons are running around.

Female Protagonist has a brief moment of sads about her tragic history they keep BANGING ON ABOUT, and Love Interest tells her that she's honestly super cool and that takes care of that. This would've been such a better movie with sapphics. Of course, I say that about everything but still. MOAR SAPPHICS.

Love Interest just got himself kidnapped but I'm assuming he's still alive as bait? I mean, I guess we'll see. Female Protagonist is giving the Evil Scientist a fair warning and I must say this puzzles me; at this stage I would've just shot him on sight. Oh, look, Love Interest is a zombie. Evil Scientist says "earth was theirs long before it was ours", so I choose to believe that the Sumerians kicked alien ass, rather than being "enlightened" by aliens.

Joan manages to kill Zombie Love and Evil Scientist, but the portal has been activated and whoops turns out the Evil Scientist has an alien passenger in his chest and shoves her into the goo portal. WHAT. There's only 10 minutes left?! She emerges from a pool of water to a barren world that doesn't look sufficiently lovecraftian to be a proper hell. Something lithe and gollum-like is stalking her through smoke, though. Girl, you don't have a lot of time for this. Leave a plasma grenade or twelve and get the fuck out.

Oh, there's Sauron. This is why I don't go to alien planets, because Sauron is there. He's monologing about how humans are a parasite to be wiped out and something something Joan is having faith in her dead mother. Joan destroys them all with the help of her grenades, flings herself through the portal, and HEY there's the nice man who I liked at the very beginning, the one who didn't agree with the white Evil Scientist.

OH, YOU FOOLISH FUCK. Joan utterly fails to explain what happened (in her defense, kinda hard) so the dude *drugs her* for her own good, the portal reactivates, and demons pour through as the credits hit. So I mean, that happened. Points for realism, I guess; the human race will end because a roomful of men didn't listen to a woman on account of she didn't smile more. Sigh.

Was it better than the campy original? That's impossible to say. It had better visuals, a better cast, and a lot fewer cringy "oh shit I forgot about that" moments. It was competent, I'll say that. Not the same RiffTrax potential. How has @RiffTrax not done DOOM??


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