‘Dead Space’ could fill the cinema void of cosmic horror

Graphic by Akhil Shashi | Mercury Staff


The recent “Dead Space” remake has brought waves of nostalgia for many and asks the question: why isn’t there a “Dead Space” movie in the works?

Fans welcomed the video game remake that’s helping revamp the genre of deep space horror. The claustrophobic and inescapable nightmare of being trapped on a ship with an alien on board has been thrilling since its conception — it is the peak of horror. Trapped on a shuttle in the nothingness of space, nowhere is safe, and “Dead Space” (2008) masters that feeling of hopelessness and claustrophobia. Since then, many games have attempted to replicate the series; however, it has been five years since a major “Deep Space” horror film hit theaters. A live action rendition of “Dead Space” would make for the perfect deep horror content by immersing fans in the series’ classic adrenaline rush nightmare.

To this day, “Deep Space” is one of the highest rated games in the survival horror genre and still considered by many as one of the best video games ever. After critical acclaim, “Deep Space” received comic book adaptations and a successful animated movie to expand the universe on a multimedia platform. This means there is a perfect place for a live action adaptation and more than enough interest from gamers and horror fans alike. Right now, on Twitch alone, 6 million hours of “Deep Space” content has been watched since launch on Jan. 27, peaking with 262 thousand views at one. In the remake’s first three days, it has surpassed juggernauts like Fortnite, Overwatch 2  and DOTA 2 in views alone.

The antagonists of “Dead Space” alone are enough to instill fear, borrowing from what made the Xenomorph of “Aliens” popular and providing an undead aspect that “Resident Evil” wishes it could reproduce. Seeing your first Necromorph on screen is a haunting experience as you watch it slaughter a room of armed people, and it is actual nightmare fuel when you are forced to fight one in a locked room. In fact, after reliving the atmosphere of the remake, I’m more terrified of Necromorphs than the clickers in “The Last of Us,”and I’d rather take on the apocalypse of “World War Z” than spend a minute in a room with a Necromorph. If done right, “Dead Space” could easily be a blockbuster show or movie in live action.

Fear of space was popularized in the late 1960s during the peak of the Space Race. Unfortunately, most horror films underutilize the horror of space and portray aliens coming to Earth like in “Nope and “Preyinstead of bringing viewers into uncharted territory. Sure, there have been movies with intergalacting settings like “Interstellarand the snooze fest “Ad Astra,”but that was not horror. It was existential drama that, while scary in its own right, does not produce blood-curdling terror.

We are now in an era where video game movies are the next big hit, whether that be in theaters or streaming services. Other games from the era of “Dead Space” are already getting live action adaptations, like HBO’s “The Last of Us” and projects like “Bioshock,” “Borderlands” and “Metal Gear Solid.” “Dead Space” is the perfect choice to revitalize the deep space horror genre while maintaining the zombie trend in a time where video game films are on the top of viewers’ watchlists.


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