Follow TV Tropes


Film / Doom: Annihilation

Go To
The annihilation of mankind is at hand.

Doom: Annihilation is a 2019 Direct-to-Video film based on the Doom video game franchise - particularly drawing inspiration from Doom³ and DOOM (2016). It is unrelated to the 2005 Doom film with Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban.

It stars Amy Manson as Lt. Joan Dark- part of a squad of UAC Marines en route to a research facility on the Martian moon Phobos. The facility is running tests on interplanetary teleportation under Dr. Malcolm Betruger (Dominic Mafham), but when the portal is first tested it causes a power surge that cuts off contact with the base. The marines enter the base to find it overrun with monsters and must fight for survival.

Doom: Annihilation contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Daisy - the marines' ship's AI - gets possessed or corrupted by the demons after scanning some runes. It then sabotages most of the marines' vital equipment and cripples their ship.
  • Action Girl: A third of the squad of marines is female. Joan herself quite handily fights off scores of zombified staff with a machine gun, dual pistols, a knife, and a chainsaw before getting to wield the BFG.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Downplayed. Dr. Betruger is not exactly going to win any awards for his looks, but he certainly looks much better than his Obviously Evil counterpart from Doom³.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Imps are way stronger in the movie than in the games, to the point where two soldiers have to empty their rifles at close range to kill one.
  • Adaptational Explanation: The inclusion of chainsaws on UAC space bases has been a bit of Fridge Logic for the Doom series as a whole, though a couple of games do give in-universe reasons for their presencenote . In Annihilation, the Phobos Base has an agricultural module (either for air filtering or fresh veggies), and the saws are for use on the trees.invoked
  • Adaptational Wimp: The BFG 9000. In the classic games, every shot also emits invisible tracer rays capable of clearing an entire room, while in Doom³ and 2016, each shot emits massive streams of energy that target every enemy within a wide vicinity of its flight path. Here it fires small basic energy rounds that seem to kill one enemy per hit; it seems to be substantially weaker than most of the normal weapons from the games.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The demons are revealed to have visited Earth 7000 years prior, teaching humanity language, math, engineering, and far more. In particular, Sumerian is apparently just a human copy of the demonic tongue.
  • Artistic License – Military: The squad in the film is just shy of a complete rabble, with subordinates openly questioning or threatening their superiors, one soldier who consistently abandons his squadmates in firefights, and a Lieutenant who was tried for insubordination, resulting in the squad's punishment posting to Phobos. To say nothing of them bringing non-standard-issue weapons, equipment, and training on their mission, apparently, for shits and giggles.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: A fusion reactor wouldn't melt down with an atomic explosion. In fairness, the movie Annihilation is blatantly copying from did the same thing.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Stanga succeeds in bringing a demonic invasion to Earth just as the credits roll.
  • BFG: The Trope Namer makes an appearance. While it's far weaker than its in-game counterparts, it still one-shots imps that otherwise take dozens of bullets to put down.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Downplayed. The one black Marine actually dies second, but he still goes down very early during the squad's first skirmish against the demons, only surviving a minute or two longer than the guy who does die first.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted with a vengeance. The marines regularly die or have to swap weapons because it takes too long to stop and reload while fending off fast and crazed demons.
  • Came Back Wrong: The first scientist who goes through the portal gets his soul sucked out during the trip. He comes out visibly mutated and animalistic.
  • Came Back Strong: Dr. Betruger tests the Phobos-Earth portal on himself, and is made immortal by the demons inside.
  • Computer Voice: The marines' ship has an AI named Daisy (named after Doomguy's late pet rabbit) that speaks with a female voice and communicates with the squad in the field.
  • Death by Adaptation: Quite possibly the Doom Marine himself. One of the dead marines they find on Phobos is named Blazkowicz, which has been the Doom Marine's name in some continuities of Doom. Blazkowicz also has a key to the BFG 9000 armory, adding fuel to this speculation.
  • Dirty Coward: Sgt. Friesen runs away from the demons in two separate battles - both times leaving one of his squadmates behind. Both times he manages to reunite with his comrades despite everything - and after rescuing Carley from an imp he arguably becomes a Cowardly Lion.
  • Distress Call: The marines are already en route to Phobos when contact is lost. They receive a transmission of demonic howling from the base, warning them that it's not an equipment failure responsible.
  • Downer Ending: By the end of the film everybody on the Phobos station is either dead or zombified, Joan's entire squad is dead, the portal is left open for a full scale demonic invasion force to come to Earth, and - given that she's tranquilized right next to said open portal - Joan probably dies very shortly after the cut to black.
  • Dwindling Party: Several marines get slaughtered in the first clash with the demons, and more die off with each fight until only Joan remains.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Daisy gets a case of SHODAN speak when she scans the demonic language.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: The first true reveal of the Imps is them rising behind their quarry.
  • Exact Time to Failure: When the marines arrive at Phobos, the base is running on reserve power, and there's a countdown to when the power will run out and cause a meltdown of the base's reactor.
  • Fanservice: Joan awakes from cryosleep in her underwear.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The imps remove the soul of whoever they can incapacitate. Not only does the victim's soul go straight to Hell, but their body is left behind as a feral zombie that will kill other humans on sight. This is inflicted upon half the staff of the Phobos station and Bennett.
  • Final Girl: Joan is the last heroic character left standing, and goes to fight Betruger and Hell itself solo.
  • Foreshadowing: Dr. Betruger tries to claim that the monsters that attacked Phobos were aliens, not demons. This is to cover up that he made a deal with the demons in question.
  • Genre Shift: The first and last word on shoot-em-up action games is adapted into a survival horror film… again. While the games have dabbled in survival horror with Doom 3, it's very much the odd one out in that respect.
  • Guns Akimbo: Joan briefly dual-wields pistols when cornered by zombies with no time to reload her rifle.
  • Haunted Technology: Daisy scans and translates some demonic runes and gets possessed as a result. Not only does its speech start glitching, but it alters the marines' maps so they get lost, cuts off all communications, and cripples the ship.
  • Handicapped Badass: The pilot of the UAC Transport is shown to be missing a leg.
  • Hellevator: The portal that leads through Hell is accessed through a secret elevator that leads beneath the main Phobos facility.
  • Humans Are Insects: The demons see mankind as weak, useless parasites, and want to wipe out mankind to reclaim Earth for themselves.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Joan does this with Bennett after he gets his soul removed and attacks her in a frenzy. Subverted when she eventually accepts that he's gone and kills him.
  • Idiot Ball: Joan has a clear shot and several long moments to put a BFG round into either Betruger or his control panels and stop him from reopening the portal to Hell, but she stalls until it's too late. Granted, Betruger is later revealed to be immortal, but it would still be worth a shot.
  • Jump Scare: The first appearances of the zombies and imps are rife with these.
  • Kill All Humans: The demons very explicitly despise every human in existence and are all too eager to wipe mankind off the face of the Earth.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Joan's marines are headed to Phobos to provide a basic security detail. They arrive after a demonic invasion has already occurred.
  • Lost in Imitation: The BFG is taken from the comic book, where it acts like a roided-out plasma rifle instead of a Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Magic Countdown: Averted. The movie's 97 minutes long. When the marines get to Phobos, the base has 90 minutes of reserve power left. When the base informs the audience there's 27 minutes left until failure, the movie's been running for 41 minutes (meaning there's 56 minutes left) and several minutes later, a character says they have thirty minutes left.
  • Mission Control: The pilot aboard the UAC transport. He becomes completely useless (and then gets killed by a demon) once Daisy goes rogue and cuts off the marines' communications.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Once Daisy goes rogue thanks to demonic influence.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The series's most iconic weapons - the Super Shotgun, Chainsaw, and BFG 9000 - all make appearances.
    • The Phobos Base's key cards appear to be based on the ones from the 2016 game.
    • Joan's backstory of being reassigned to Phobos as punishment for going against a superior is generally similar to Doomguy's backstory in the original game.
    • One of the dead marines on Phobos is named Blazkowicz, which has been the Doom Marine's name in some continuities and doubles as a reference to his ancestor from Wolfenstein.
    • One of the dead scientists is named after John Carmack - the lead programmer of the original Doom. Another dead scientist is named after Olivia Pierce (a character who was basically Betruger's Distaff Counterpart in the 2016 game, playing the same role as the lead scientist who betrayed humanity to the demons).
    • The unnamed demons that invade the Phobos base act similarly to the Imps from 2016: they run fast, throw fireballs, and claw at their prey at close range. The demons in the portal to Hell look like a mixture of 2016's Imps and the Doom 64 variety.
    • After Betruger goes through the portal, one of the scientists goes to retrieve medical supplies from a wall-mounted first aid station that looks identical to the health stations in Doom³.
    • The ship's AI is named Daisy, which was also the name of Doomguy's pet rabbit. The pilot also has a rabbit's foot keychain.
    • The comic book version of the BFG (itself based on the original game's Beta version) is used, rather than the one from the games. Basically, a souped-up plasma rifle rather than the man-portable Wave-Motion Gun we all know and love.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The marines manage to repair the station's power system. This prevents the station's core from melting down, but it also restores power to the Hell Portal, allowing Betruger to let in more demons.
  • No Help Is Coming: The marines lose all their communications equipment and thus can't call Mars for backup. It's pointed out that Mars's forces will eventually send help when the marines miss their check-in, but the Phobos station's reactor will melt down long before then.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Joan's team mistrusts her and were reassigned to Phobos because she violated orders. We find out this involved a terrorist escaping, but no further details are provided.
    • Joan and Bennett dated for some time and then broke up. The details are never brought up.
  • Oh, Crap!: Joan puts a bullet into Betruger... and then he gets back up.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The cast bounces between this and Not Even Bothering with the Accent, with occasional rest stops at What the Hell Is That Accent?.
  • Precision F-Strike: Bennett swears precisely once, which Joan lampshades.
  • Retired Badass: Chaplain Glover is revealed to be a former soldier. This becomes some sort of a Chekhov's Skill when, after seemingly dying, he appears and attempts to gun down an imp when it tries to kill Joan. Unfortunately, it gets him killed instead.
  • Retirony: Captain Savage is seen making a recording for his family, announcing that he's going to retire after this last mission. You can guess what happens from there.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Joan is thrown through the teleportation portal and ends up in Hell, facing down hordes of demons. Being low on ammo, she opts to run for the nearby exit portal rather than fight.
  • Sensor Suspense: When the marines first arrive at the Phobos facility, their HUDs continually show the warning "life form detected" despite everyone in sight being dead.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Captain Savage packs a twin-barrel shotgun as a side-arm. He only manages to shoot twice before being killed, since he couldn't reload fast enough.
  • Shout-Out: The protagonist is named Lt. Joanna Dark.
  • Space Marine: It's implied humans have colonized other worlds in the Solar System past Mars, and UAC marines deploy to all of them.
  • Super Toughness: The Imps aren't completely Immune to Bullets, but still nearly so. It takes ridiculous applications of firepower to kill one, running the already ragged Marines into even more dire straits. They ultimately fail to prevent the demonic invasion of Earth as a result.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Joan wears her dead mother's cross necklace, despite not being religious herself.
  • Truer to the Text: The previous Doom film had the monsters as mutated humans, not demons. Here the film's monsters are demons, and much like in the games, the protagonist travels to Hell.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Lampshaded.
    "Know what this is? It's aliens!"
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Betruger sticks with the marines until they can repair the station's reactor core. Once the station's power is back up, he locks them in with imps and leaves them to die.