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A nerdy (& optimistic) analysis of the DOOM Annihilation trailers

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DOOM is like my favourite game, and I like gritty, grindhousey movies, and since I’m such a big fucking nerd I wanted to take a slightly deeper look at the two trailers for this movie, which I’m a little more positive about than most. Maybe it might make a few people feel better, or worse? Either way it’ll be dumb, nerdy fun. Here are some of the things I took away from the two trailers.



The first teaser trailer


There’s very little to see in this one. To be honest, aside from the “portal to hell” reference this trailer really looked more like a retread of the 2005 movie. I even wondered if they had gone for a sequel to it at first, until I looked further into it. Still, while there’s very little to take from this first trailer, I have a couple of observations.




See that? That’s a plural. A big thing I’m noticing in ‘discussions’ of this film is people arguing if there will be a “Doomguy”, or a “Doomgal”, a 2016-style “Doom Slayer”, or none of the above. While this text here references the Doom Slayer by name, I highly doubt the Doom 2016 version of the character will be present here. We’ll get more into this later but it’s quite clear that this movie is, more than anything else, a movie of Doom 1993, not 2016. I expect to see some marine badassery, but not on the superhuman level. Likely not even genetically enhanced Karl Urban 2005 level stuff.


What it looks like to me, and what would frankly make the most sense for a movie, is that this will be a squad of characters who get dispatched one by one, much like the 2005 film and most horror flicks. This does make sense to do. There are very few good films with a singular character throughout, you really need dialogue in a movie. That’s not to say it can’t work, but generally if you’re doing it, you save it to the end. Think Ash at the end of the first Evil Dead film, or Ripley in Aliens.




The stuff we’re hearing about a potential “Doom gal”, and the shots focusing on this character? Possibly. As a big horror nerd, my theory is that she is the “final girl”, a classic horror trope. She looks like she’d be the one left over after everybody else is dead, in the final act of the movie. She’s the only character we see alone much in any wide-angle shots, in particular this one where she has just BFG’d a corridor of imps.


I’m seeing a lot of “I want Doomguy/Doom Slayer, not a little girl” around a lot. Maybe? I don’t think you’re a sexist if you think this, I do get where you’re coming from, however I can’t say I care much. This definitely isn’t a Doom 2016 movie, and before that, in the context of the actual games, Doomguy had never been much more than just a camera with a gun sticking out of the front. Personally I always saw pre-2016 Doomguy as more of a John McClane from Die Hard. He’s the resourceful one who managed to survive. “One of Earth’s toughest”, but still not superhuman. The game included lines like “You painfully get up and return to the frey”. I always pictured the character being tired, wounded, in way over his head but keeping it together, once again, Die Hard. Hell he even looks like Bruce Willis in the HUD. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can see why some people would be annoyed to not see a “Doom Slayer” in here, especially the new fans who joined us in 2016, but this has never been a requirement for DOOM for me.




Bonus points for exploding barrels.


We also get a brief shot of an Imp in the first trailer, but I’m saving that for the second trailer where we get a better look at them.



The second teaser trailer


Very brief, but there’s so much more in this than the first. This one really helps differentiate it from the 2005 film, though, which is cool. Not that I hate that movie but it certainly didn’t deliver what I hoped for from it. This one might? In a quirky, low budget kind of way.




There’s Mars, and the facility is shown to be on one of its moons, clearly this is taken from Doom 1993, as Doom 3 and Doom 2016 both take place on Mars itself. Bonus points for making it look a lot like the intermission screen map. Loads of signs point to this being very much adapted from the original game, not 2016 or even Doom 3 (which 2005 seemed to be mostly based on).




A fun HUD in a character’s helmet. Includes an automap, character’s name is Sgt. Harold Friesen, confirmation of Phobos.




Double-barrelled shotgun! One of my biggest complaints about the 2005 film (and one I don’t hear come up often enough) is that aside from a very brief appearance of the BFG, the film mostly just used generic sci-fi assault rifles. One character had a kind of rotary minigun but that got fired… maybe once? The way I see it, no shotgun was as bad as no hell. So here’s a big win for this new film. I’m still seeing a lot of plain-old sci-fi assault rifles but they’re definitely mixing up the arsenal here.




Speaking of arsenal… Chainsaw! And it looks like it’s about to split a zombie into two. The chainsaw made a brief appearance in the 2005 film, nothing too satisfying… I hope to see a bit more done with it. The fact that this cuts away right before the chainsaw can connect with the zombie (along with the frantic cutting of these trailers as a whole) makes me feel like there’s a whole bucketload of gore which just can’t be shown in these teasers.




Alright, let’s look at the Imps. As a classic Doom fan I am having a field day. I am pleased they continued the 2005 film’s trend of using practical monsters, and I find it both awesome and hilarious how this is inspired by the creature’s design from the original Doom game. They even gave him the huge mouth and goofy eyes. That’s a riot. It’s pretty silly, but silly is exactly what the 2005 film was missing. Are there shots where the low budget shows? Sure. But it’s a low budget movie; why do you care? So many people will wax lyrical about how effects aren’t important and yet they will be the first to dismiss something based on lower budget effects. Personally I’m enjoying seeing these practical monsters in an age of so much CG. Bring it on!


Imps throw fireballs. Again that’s awesome in a hilarious kind of way. I grinned and laughed when I saw this. The way they make him ‘charge’ and ‘push’ it like a hadouken amused me a lot too. I wasn’t quite so impressed by the fact that this imp, within a few feet of a character, decided to stop, prepare and throw a projectile instead of just lunging at the characters but the fact that this happens at all indicates a level of silliness I’m totally on board for.




This shot is particularly cool to me. It says a lot. It shows there will be some frenetic action. Another complaint I had about Doom 2005 was that a lot of the action played out like this: Monster appears. Monster growls. Soldier points gun at monster. Soldier shoots monster. Monster dies. Repeat. It wasn’t without its moments (Destroyer vs Baron in the pit, Pinky chainsaw fight) but this shot, among others, shows a bit more focus on choreographed action. I like the portal/whatever in the background too. They've mentioned portals a bunch, more connections to the original game (Doom 3 also did this, but 2016 pretty much threw out the teleportation experiment part of the story).




We also see an army of (what appear to be) Imps, possibly in hell. They look different to the other Imps we’ve seen, though. They appear to be in some kind of battle.




Then we see this thing, shooting energy from its chest. Is it dying, or opening some kind of portal? I’m not sure what kind of demon this is but I like it. Again it is very differentiated from Doom 2005.




The imp here appears to be “possessing” somebody. My guess is this is how the zombies are made. This would be very cool to see, marines getting zombified and turning on each other.





So I’m interested in how this is all going down. From what I can piece together from there trailers, this is going for a far more accurate take on the Doom story than the old movie, but its budget is clearly pretty low. To be honest, I believe those two factors rely on each other.


The most complaints I see about this seem to be about the lower budget being apparent, from some of the effects, sets, acting and so on, and, sure, if you don’t like any B-movies I get that this is a problem for you, but I can also quite confidently say that no studio would have put a big Hollywood budget behind a properly loyal Doom movie. Doom is grind house. Doom is silly, over the top, excessive. I can’t see it ever working with the kind of concessions they’d have to make to appeal to an audience big enough to justify a big budget. The 2005 movie and its numerous rewrites are testament to that.


The idea of the OG Doom as a corny B-movie with practical effects sounds like a riot to me, but I’m working on the assumption that, due to the R rating and gore, little of the spectacle could be shown in these trailers. My hope is that this thing is a total bloodbath, and that all of the entertainment comes from that. I want to see blood and guts everywhere. I want that Evil Dead ending. When that chainsaw hits that zombie I want the blood to gush. This is where it could really shine.


My Doom Annihilation Wishlist:


  • So much blood and gore. I want the ending of that Evil Dead remake. It should be relentlessly gory. This might be why the trailers can show so little.
  • Not just Imps. I know the budget here is low, so we won’t be seeing Spider Masterminds and whatnot, but I don’t want a repeat of Doom 2005 where we just see a bunch of Imps and Hell Knights (Bigger, angrier imps) and one Pinky. I’d love to see another type of demon or two. Personally I’d love to see what a classic Pinky and Cacodemon would look like in live action, even at a low budget, but I’m also keeping my expectations in check on that one.
  • Boss monster. I heard somewhere that a Cyberdemon might be in this? I could see that being the ‘last fight’ if that’s the case. That would be very cool. Something big, ugly, ridiculous and dramatic.
  • Make hell good. I read that the movie had been significantly delayed (Original release date was May) to improve the effects for the hell landscape. This is cool. While I’d take some general cave setting somewhere (it is low budget, after all), it’d be so much cooler to see something atmospheric and cool.  Glowing pentagrams, fire, all that.


The studio who made the Death Race films and Tremors sequels, they’re doing DOOM, and they’re releasing it in a way which allows for them to go full on stupid with it. Those saying it looks worse than the 2005 movie, if your judgement is entirely based on budget and effects, sure, but maybe don’t bother with this one because if that’s what you want you aren’t getting it. I’ve been saying for ages that Doom 2005 was too early (it came before the resurgence of less serious Grindhouse films) and too high budget (had to drop the ridiculous plot and the hell stuff to be a bit more palatable to a larger, more mainstream audience). Just like with Death Race and the like, accept a bit of cheese and a less Hollywood look and this could be a total riot.


Come at me. This will be fun. :P

(NOTE: I couldn't find any rules page for this forum anymore, so I'm not entirely sure if I put this in the right place. I assume mods will be OK to sort it out for me if I have done this incorrectly? Thank you)

Screenshot 2019-08-18 at 12.04.jpg

Edited by FreakZoneGames : Typos

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thank you! i too want it to be silly (in a good sense) gory classic B-movie action. i am a fan of B-movie fiction films, and Doom itself was inspired by those, and now it will be insanely great if we'll see it making a full circle with real Doom B-movie.

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What makes the SSG bit even better is that it's being fired by Captain Hector Savage, who is played by James Weber Brown, who looks an awful lot familiar...


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The more I see the more it grows on me tbh. Hell, Phobos, imps, shotguns, and exploding barrels already makes it better than the 2005 one by now imo.


Video game movies are kinda destined to be kinda bad on GP but this one at least looks like it'll be fun to watch. 

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Thanks for all the positive responses!


50 minutes ago, Sgt Nate V said:

What makes the SSG bit even better is that it's being fired by Captain Hector Savage, who is played by James Weber Brown, who looks an awful lot familiar...



Did you just say Hector Savage? That’s the name of the hitman from one of the Naked Gun movies 😜

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