Dead Space: Aftermath (2011) is an animated feature based on the Electronic Arts video game Dead Space. In 2509, the USG O’Bannon travels to the planet Aegis VII on a top-secret mission to find fragments of a mysterious alien structure. Only four crew members survive their trip to the volcanic surface, which looks suspiciously like the primal Earth in the “Rite of Spring” sequence in Fantasia. Scientist Nolan Stross, who seems to know the most about it, babbles that the artifact holds the key to the future of human evolution. It induces hallucinations in living humans and somehow turns cadavers into mutated zombies, as the surviving quartet reveal after being subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” (i.e. torture) by nasty government agents. Visually, the film seesaws between three-dimensional present actions and two-dimensional flashbacks. Neither style is used particularly skillfully, and the characters’ appearances shift from scene to scene. Fans of Dead Space may enjoy the expanded vision of its world; viewers not familiar with the game will dismiss Aftermath as a mishmash of violent killings, gratuitous profanity, cheesy animation, and hokey dialogue.

Studio: Anchor Bay
Year: 2011
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Run time: 90 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD50
Region: A

Dead Space Aftermath sports some decent production values. This movie has two animation styles, assisting the viewer with differentiating between past and present events. The present events in the movie are animated closer to CGI, while events in the past are 2-D animations similar to old Saturday-morning cartoons or Anime. At first I couldn’t understand why the animation style was changing, and thought they tried to piece together two productions. This style started to make sense, however, as the movie progressed.

The movie helps fill the gap between the ending of Dead Space and the beginning of Dead Space 2. It does so very well. If you played Dead Space, the movie references events that took place at the end of that game. It then forms a bridge between Dead Space and the very beginning of Dead Space 2. It creates the backstory for a particular character that appears in Dead Space 2.

I decided to watch this movie while more than half-way through my playthrough of Dead Space 2. With the knowledge gained from this movie, a particular character in the game now makes much more sense….as a character. In no way do I feel the movie spoils the game.

The movie uses a lot of the technology you use in the Dead Space game franchise. The sounds are lifted from the game. Vocals through Rigs have the appropriate affects applied. The atmosphere is pure “Dead Space”. It’s a good piece of the Dead Space universe.

Is it necessary to watch this film? Probably not, which is why I conclude it’s only for fans of the series. If you consume everything “Dead Space”, and want to know every part of the story and its universe, then you will want to watch this movie. However, it isn’t required viewing if you are playing the game and aren’t that interested in the story. However, I enjoyed it and recommend it.

Movie Content: 8/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I believe the CGI is superior. (“Downfall” resembled a comic book, which is fine.) In “Aftermath,” violence and gore are plentiful; it even has brief nudity, making it more like cult favorite “Heavy Metal.”
Video Quality: 8/10

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. “Dead Space: Aftermath” lacks the pounding rock score of the original “Dead Space: Downfall”. I am not too sure what might have happened with this film as the audio production is at a lower level than “Downfall”. I found the dialogue to be clear through the center channel without any apparent issues.
Audio Quality: 7/5

Special Features

  • Trailers [HD]

Special Features: 1/10

Final Thoughts

If you are new to Dead Space you won’t get it while people who have devoured all the offerings so far will find this to be poorly done and a disappointment unless they have some severe fanboy blinders on. It’s a noticeable drop in quality from Downfall, which until now was my second least favorite piece in the Dead Space mythos. Congrats Dead Space: Aftermath, you’re now second to last on the Dead Space quality barometer.
Overall Rating: 6/10