Doom (film)

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Doom movie poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Doom 
by id Software
Music by Clint Mansell
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited by Derek Brechin
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • October 17, 2005 (2005-10-17) (Los Angeles)
  • October 21, 2005 (2005-10-21) (United States)
  • October 27, 2005 (2005-10-27) (Germany)
  • November 3, 2005 (2005-11-03) (Czech Republic)
  • December 2, 2005 (2005-12-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time 100 minutes
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[1][2]
Language English
Budget $60 million[3]
Box office $55,987,321[4]

Doom is a 2005 action science-fiction horror film written by David Callaham and Wesley Strick and directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak.[2] It is loosely based on the video game series of the same name created by id Software. The film follows a group of Marines in a Research Facility on Mars - initially arriving on a rescue and retrieval mission after communications ceased, the Marines soon battle genetically engineered monsters plaguing the facility.

After movie rights deals with Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures expired,[5] id Software signed a deal with Warner Bros. with the stipulation that the movie would be greenlit within 12 months.[6] Warner Bros. lost the rights, which were subsequently given back to Universal Pictures who started production in 2004. The film was an international co-production of the United States, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Germany. In an interview with executive producer John Wells, he stated that a second film would be put into production if the first was a success at the box office.[7] Ticket sales for the opening weekend totaled more than US$15.3 million, but dropped to $4.2 million in its second weekend.


On Mars in the year 2046, in the Union Aerospace Corporation's Olduvai Research Facility, scientists are attacked by an unseen monster. Dr. Todd Carmack transmits a warning to quarantine the facility.

On Earth, eight marines receive orders from Asher "Sarge" Mahonin to investigate the situation. Sarge asks John "Reaper" Grimm not to go because Olduvai is where Reaper's parents died and his sister is on the station. Reaper suits up anyway, and the team is deployed via a teleportation device called the Ark. The team meets two UAC personnel, Marcus "Pinky" Pinzerowski, who is in a wheelchair due to an Ark accident, and Dr. Samantha Grimm, Reaper's sister. She informs the marines that Dr. Carmack's division of the facility has been quarantined, with Carmack and five other scientists isolated. Sarge orders his team to eliminate the threat, secure the facility and escort Dr. Grimm while she recovers Carmack's research.

Reaper learns from his sister that they discovered humanoid remains, which they called Imps, that have an extra chromosome pair, granting them superhuman abilities. The team locates Carmack, who has become infected, and they take him to the infirmary. The Marines encounter two of the remaining scientists transformed into zombies. After pursuing a large creature through the facility, the team discovers the bloodied lab coat of a Dr. Steve Willits. An Imp ambushes Eric "Goat" Fantom and wounds him. The Imp is killed by Reaper and brought to Dr. Grimm with Goat, who dies in the lab. Sarge orders the 85 workers in the facility to evacuate back to Earth with the exceptions of Dr. Grimm and Pinky, the latter left to guard the Ark. Gregory "Duke" Schofield remains with Dr. Grimm whilst she examines the remains of the Imp, and the two notice that Dr. Carmack has vanished from the infirmary. They are attacked by an Imp that Dr. Grimm traps in the infirmary.

Dr. Grimm conducts an autopsy of the other deceased Imp, discovering it was human. Goat reanimates as a zombie and approaches them. Retaining some of his humanity, Goat smashes his head into the observation room window and dies. The rest of the team explores the archeological dig site. They find the bodies of two of Carmack's scientists, leaving only Dr. Willits unaccounted for. While Sarge and Reaper examine the bodies, Katsuhiko "Mac" Takahashi is killed by the Hell Knight, the large humanoid monster seen previously. Sarge takes the BFG from the facility's weapons research lab to use against the creature. Dean Portman and Roark "Destroyer" Gannon are killed by the Hell Knight. Dr. Grimm determines that the creatures are humans altered by the addition of the Martian chromosome. She reveals that the Imp trapped earlier is Dr. Carmack and theorizes that the Imp killed in the sewers is Dr. Willits. Sarge executes the transformed Carmack and demands to see the research Dr. Grimm was recovering.

Video footage shows Carmack and his team injecting Chromosome 24 into a condemned prisoner that mutated into the Hell Knight, which escaped and infected the scientists. Pinky reports that the Hell Knight is cutting through the door to the Ark. Sarge orders Pinky to destroy the Ark, but Pinky flees to Earth and the Hell Knight follows him. Sarge orders the team to return to Earth to eliminate the Hell Knight. Reaper returns to the lab to bring Dr. Grimm, who reveals that the creatures are choosing which humans to infect. Reaper and Dr. Grimm theorize that the creatures pick up on genetic markers to make their decision, infecting people with immoral tendencies. Dr. Grimm explains that the chromosome would turn good people into superhumans like the remains found on Mars. The marines travel to the UAC facility on Earth and find the researchers from Olduvai and the base staff slaughtered by the Hell Knight.

The facility is on lockdown; the team has one hour before the creatures escape. Sarge leads them on a search and destroy operation through the facility, killing UAC employees transformed into zombies. Sarge also kills survivors who appear unharmed. Duke finds Pinky and brings him to the Ark chamber where Reaper and Dr. Grimm are trying to convince Sarge that not everyone is capable of being infected. Sarge ignores them and prepares to execute Pinky before Mark "The Kid" Dantalian rushes into the room, having found a large group of uninfected humans. When The Kid refuses to kill them, Sarge executes him. Reaper, Sarge and Pinky enter a stand-off which is cut short when the Hell Knight grabs Pinky, followed by a horde of zombies attacking. Duke is pulled through a vent in the floor while the zombies capture Sarge. To save an injured Reaper, Dr. Grimm injects him with Chromosome 24. Reaper fears he will become a monster, but his sister assures him he is good.

Reaper awakens as a superhuman, fully healed. He moves through the facility slaying multiple zombies and Imps, then kills the Hell Knight and Pinky, who also transformed into a monster. Reaper reaches the facility's exit, finding Dr. Grimm injured but alive. Sarge appears and Reaper notices an injury on Sarge's neck, suggesting he is infected. Sarge admits to killing the non-infected survivors. Reaper tells Dr. Grimm to crawl to the elevator to the surface while he confronts Sarge. The two exchange their last ammunition and then battle hand to hand. Sarge, who is beginning to transform, pins Reaper against a wall. Reaper activates the Ark and throws Sarge through followed by a grenade. Sarge lands in the Mars facility along with the grenade, which destroys him and the Ark. Reaper retrieves Dr. Grimm, and carries her to the surface.


The main Marine cast
From left to right: The Kid, Duke, Destroyer, Portman, Sarge, Reaper, Mac, Goat


The film's producer, John Wells, admitted in an interview that "many" video game movie adaptations had "sucked." He revealed that the crew was able to get "a lot of financial support from Universal" and that it wasn't "done on the cheap." Wells also revealed that the Doom movie would have a sequence shot in a first-person perspective because "Doom without that would be a miscarriage of justice!"

Wells also revealed that "we were all very concerned that we make sure that it was exactly the kind of experience that we [the crew] remembered so fondly from the game: turning the lights off at midnight, cranking it up and scaring the hell out of yourself!"

Wells further stated that there is a balance between CGI and prosthetics in the Doom movie, and he, for the first time as a producer, admitted that "we didn't wanna rely on the CGI. Those effects still haven't quite got to the level where you fully believe it — certainly not for long periods of time," and that the crew used Stan Winston's Creature Shop and that his work is only "enhanced with CGI." He also admitted that "if you rely too much on CGI it can look cheesy: it doesn't quite work. It'll get there, but it's not there yet."

Wells has stated that the crew insisted that the Doom movie be made into an R-rated movie and that he didn't "think it was possible to do a PG-13 version—and that's been the mistake made by a couple of other computer game movies," and that "a lot of studios didn't want to do it. But we made a conscious decision that we'd prefer not to make it any other way."

Wells also revealed that if this first Doom film is successful, a second one could be made, and that "we certainly have some ideas for the next one, if there is gonna be one. We'll have to wait and see: the audience will have to tell us ..."

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the film is a short sequence near the end of the film where the camera follows the progress of Grimm from a first-person perspective in homage to the original game. In the words of Karl Urban, the actor who plays Reaper:

"In some ways, it makes cinematic history in that, for the first time, the audience becomes the hero of the film."
"When we go into FPS, the audience is doing the rampage, the audience is doing the work and that is so cool. It’s insane!"[8]

Production history[edit]

  • November 27, 2003 — Computer Gaming World printed an article on their website regarding the Doom movie. It states that Warner Bros. is indeed working on the Doom movie and has placed it on the fast track. A revised script was submitted to id Software and approved; John Wells (producer of ER) and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who introduced The Matrix to Warner Bros.) have signed on to work on the Doom movie. Concept art and storyboards have been drawn by Federico D'Alessandro, who has worked on various movies, music videos, and video game covers and advertisements.
  • May 15, 2004 — the Associated Press (AP) released a news article regarding video game to movie adaptations that mentions the Doom movie.[9] Here's an excerpt that mentions the Doom movie: "Soon, more blockbuster game franchises, such as Halo and Doom, are expected to become the basis of movies."
  • June 2, 2004 — Variety reported that Warner Bros. has lost the rights to Doom and Universal Studios has acquired rights to Doom and Variety confirms that Doom will be based on Doom 3.[10]
  • August 9, 2004 — A Doom 3 article in an issue of Time Magazine mentions that Universal is set to film the Doom movie in Prague in the winter of 2004–2005.
  • August 10, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter released an article that mentioned release dates for 8 movies and the third movie listed was the Doom movie. It states that Doom will have a wide release on August 5, 2005.
  • August 15, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter reported that John Wells Productions is currently in pre-production for the Doom movie.
  • August 18, 2004 — a website, Box Office Prophets, made the Doom movie project their movie of the day and they list the release date for the Doom movie, August 5, 2005. The article also confirms that Universal has Doom on a production schedule of Winter 2004–2005 in Prague's Barrandov Studios.[11] The planned release date was mentioned as August 5, 2005.
  • September 15, 2004 — major news has been revealed by both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter on the Doom movie. Karl Urban has been cast for the Doom movie as the star, John Grimm, a leader of a special ops team. It has been revealed that he will be dealing not only with alien demons but also the organization known as the United Aerospace Corp that is responsible for the death of his parents. It has also been revealed that Enda McCallion has dropped out of the project and Polish director Andrzej Bartkowiak has signed on to be the director. It has also been revealed that production will start in mid-October with an October 21, 2005 release date. Also noted is that Universal Pictures is talking to The Rock regarding a role in the Doom movie.
  • September 22, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter reported that Universal Pictures has cast Rosamund Pike opposite of Karl Urban as a scientist named Samantha.[12]


The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 19% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 130 reviews, with the critical consensus "Sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers." Roger Ebert says, "Doom is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play."[13] Richard Roeper has also stated, "The performances are awful, the action sequences are impossible to follow, the violence is gratuitous, the lighting is bad and I have my doubts that the catering truck was even up to snuff on this project." One apparently good review came from Richard James Havis from The Hollywood Reporter, stating, "There's so little to go wrong that those who like their entertainment mindless and violent will find little fault." In 2009, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video games movies.[14]

The response from fans of the video game was mixed. Many expressed disappointment because the film did not follow the plot of the game, as the games dealt with an invasion from hell instead of a virus, and over the movie's failure to reproduce the game's most essential quality: the killing of large numbers of enemies. It did well on its opening weekend, taking in $15.5 million. However, it quickly dropped in its second week in theaters and the final gross of the film was only $28.2 million domestically and almost $56 million worldwide, with a budget of $60 million. The film was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Dwayne Johnson), but lost to Rob Schneider for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.

Home media[edit]

Doom was released on DVD on February 7, 2006 and on Blu-ray Disc on February 10, 2009.[15]


The film's score was composed by Clint Mansell, upon which he produced a remix of the Nine Inch Nails song "You Know What You Are?", which was used in the film's ending credits. The song "Switchback" by Celldweller was licensed to be used for marketing and media purposes, such as the theatrical trailer and TV spots.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Doom". British Film Institute. London. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Doom (2005)". Allmovie. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Doom (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Doom (2005)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  5. ^ "Interview with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead (page one)". Tom's Games. Retrieved June 25, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Interview with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead (page two)". Tom's Games. Retrieved June 25, 2008. 
  7. ^[dead link]
  8. ^ "Interview with Karl Urban". Empire Online. Retrieved February 25, 2007. 
  9. ^ Hollywood Interest in Video Games Grows
  10. ^ Variety
  11. ^ Doom
  12. ^ "'Doom's' day for Pike with Universal Pics". The Hollywood Reporter. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Doom". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  14. ^ "Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies". Time Magazine. October 20, 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  15. ^ "Universal to Bring "Doom" to Blu-ray this February". Retrieved 30 November 2008. 

External links[edit]