The original title of this blog post was "DJ Caruso Set To Ruin Dead Space For Me." Another appropriate title would be "Matt Complains And Is Very Rude To A Movie That Doesn't Exist Yet." Take that for what you will, but I think that pretty much sums up how I feel about this. Remember Eagle Eye, the movie that told you your cell phone was evil? Remember Disturbia, the movie that couldn't just admit that it was Rear Window? Well, the guy who did those movies is now going to adapt Dead Space into a feature film, and I couldn't be more sad.
A little while ago, I wrote up a review of the Dead Space movie that was created by the team for the game. For those that remember, I very much hated it. I thought that it takes away from the magic and mystery of the game by spelling everything out for you. The whole sense of mystery is what I felt made the game a truly suspenseful experience. Sure, I love survival horror, and I love space, but the story is nothing to snub your nose at either. You get to see brief glimpses of what happened and only at the end do you realize how it all pieces together. With the animated movie, I felt they were saying, "Ok, idiots, here's how it went down." When it comes to Hollywood films, they treat the audience like idiots even more than that animated movie did, so you can only imagine the kind of dumbed down experience that DJ Caruso will bring into the mix. You also might remember that our main character doesn't really have a face due to him being in a suit the whole time, so you can probably just chuck that out the window. That and he spends the entire game alone and not speaking, so how's that for a main character, eh? Do I smell an Oscar??
I'll admit - I'm being pessimistic. Let's face it, though - there isn't much to look forward to with this. Video game feature film adaptations as a whole are boring and usually miss the point. Wing Commander, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Doom - all fun games to play. But when you watch the movies, you're robbed of the whole experience of the game. Add a cruddy director into the mix, and what can you really expect from this? Heck, DJ Caruso is attached to the hip with Shia Lebouf, so ten bucks says Shia gets tapped to play the main character, spends half the movie say "No! No no no! NO! No n-no no no!" and the other half being an insecure and stuttering joke of a hero. I honestly see nothing to get excited about with this movie, but I don't ever really get my hopes up for videogame films. Even with Sam Raimi behind a World Of Warcraft movie, I think to myself "What's the point?" Ok, he can direct "olde-timey" ancient medieval war epics (Army of Darkness), but can a game with no central plot line that is based around a large scale user experience make a film? There's a back story, sure, but is World Of Warcraft the movie going to be anything like World Of Warcraft the game? Nope. Is Bioshock the movie by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Ring) going to be anything like Bioshock the game? Nope. So, even if DJ Caruso wasn't the director of Dead Space, would I be excited? Nope.
People like me will whine and moan until the cows come home. It's inevitable. Could we be wrong? Sure! It's not likely, but I'll admit to the possibility. Dead Space could be the greatest videogame adaptation the world has ever seen and could completely rejuvenate DJ Caruso in my eyes. But with his past history, it's hard to get excited over something like this. Dead Space as a game is a brilliant little sleeper hit, and I fully endorse everyone giving it a once over. I had so much fun playing it late at night with all the curtains drawn and the lights out. The movie will never match that experience though, and no film ever will. Too many random factors go into games which help make it a more real and horrific experience. As AI gets better and we have crazy directors in our games (like Left 4 Dead and it's randomly placed zombie hordes), we get more immerse experiences that no movie will ever reach. Ever. DJ Caruso's Dead Space may very well end up a brilliant horror film (doubt it) but no matter what, at the end of the day, the game will always be better.