Neil Marshall was once earmarked as horror’s latest wunderkind after delivering the wildly popular duo of Dog Soldiers and The Descent by the age of just 35, but his next feature Doomsday marked the beginning of a downturn into mediocrity and diminishing returns.
A 51% Rotten Tomatoes score and 44% user rating underlines the middling nature of the project, even if a couple of the set pieces pack a punch, while Marshall doesn’t exactly skimp on the gore, either. However, a $22 million haul at the box office was a poor return, even if the fast-paced frenzy of blood, guts, and bullets has been making an impact on streaming.
It was coincidentally the filmmaker’s first time working with a budget that could be described as sizeable, with the post-apocalyptic fusion of action and horror coming in at a cost of £17 million, roughly three times as expensive as his first two movies combined. The ambition was there, but the end product left a lot to be desired.
The entire nation of Scotland is placed into containment after a virus ravages the population, turning them into feral creatures that barely resemble humans at all anymore. 25 years later, and Rhona Mitra’s heroine leads a crack team back into the danger zone in an attempt to recover a cure, with the Reaper strain having crossed the border and arrived in London.
As per FlixPatrol, Doomsday has exploded in popularity on Netflix, reaching the Top 10 in no less than 14 countries across two continents. Scotland’s tourist board fully approved of seeing the country turned into a barren wasteland, but local politicians weren’t quite so enthusiastic, although it was hardly designed to be a realistic prediction of internal UK relations a quarter of a century into the future.