13th Mar2019

‘2020: Doomsday’ DVD Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Andy Gates, Tamzin Brown, Dave Vescio, Michael O’Hare, Jonathan Eisley | Written and Directed by Patrick O’Bell


The Polaris Society is set to free their earthly bodies and travel the stars. Their leader, Elyon, promises eternity and all everyone has to do is die. Cult members, Spencer and Ursa are having none of that and go on the run. Elyon is going to save their souls, even if he has to kill them.

2020: Doomsday sets the right tone from the first second we’re exposed to grainy, Super8 style footage that can’t help but be eerie as Hell. Whatever we’re forced to watch, with the adults and children with their faces whited out (or even worse, are they wearing hoods?) and the strange jerky motion, you get the feeling we’re about to watch something like The Strangers meets a very well done Creepypasta. Unfortunately, it isn’t very good.

2020: Doomsday is much like a cult itself. It lulled me in with a sweet, sweet premise. It preyed upon my weakness for a chilling tale and solid acting. However, I what I got was a flawed film rife with tonal inconsistency, odd camera angels, and a confusing plot structure.

I can give props to the acting all day. Dave Vescio’s cult leader, Elyon, is played cold yet believable in his unwavering certainty that a better life can be found out beyond. Members on the run, Andy Gates and Tamzin Brown, give a strong performance as two people having to rely on one another to survive. However, their accomplishments are undermined by a jumbled mess of a story. From scene to scene I had no idea where the story was taking me. The film felt like each scene was shot and then randomly spliced together.

I feel like O’Bell was trying to go for a tone like The Usual Suspects or maybe Suicide Kings. The bulk of 2020: Doomsday is set in a police interrogation room, being told through flashbacks from the point of view of cult survivor, Spencer. But those flashbacks have supporting characters with their own stories completely unrelated to Spencer. Example, Miranti is a guy hired to find a mother and father’s missing daughter. How does Spencer know this guy’s story and is able to tell it to the police? Not only do supporting characters having their own plot lines in Spencer’s flashbacks, we also have flashbacks within the flashback. Confused yet?

2020: Doomsday unfortunately lacks any since of dread. All that creepy footage at the start of the film? Spoiler Alert! It’s totally missing from the rest of the movie. I feel almost as if I’ve been lied to, kind of like joining a cult. Draco is the cult’s enforcer, a one-man killing machine, but we’re never given reason why he’s so murderously loyal to Elyon. Is he a true believer? Is he just a hired gun? Beats me. Because of these lack of details, Draco is just some biker guy on screen who whacks folks with a shovel. I guess I should be scared, but I’m just bored.

At the end of the day, 2020: Doomsday is a great idea hurt by poor execution. I’m not even sure this would be a fun flick to watch over a few beers with some friends. This is the kind of movie that about twenty minutes in everyone is doing their own thing and forgets that it’s still playing. I like a good movie, I LOVE a bad movie, but I can’t tolerate a boring one.

2020: Doomsday is out now on DVD from 101 Films.


Comments are closed.