Research: Dead Space And The Thing

We’ve been discussing the idea of the entity causing a problem among the inhabitants of the world in the form of a disease or ‘infection’. The idea of separating two different groups among the poor and rich means we’re toying with the idea of mutating the less fortunate.

I brought up the idea of shapeshifting which would see the civilians morph depending on how much of the infection has gotten to them. The horror video game series Dead Space sparked attention among the group as showed them several images of the enemy in the game – Necromorphs. We didn’t want to go too dark and gruesome but I’ve been examining the style in which the enemy work. The Necromorph are an alien race that inhabit humans and transform them into grotesque and horrifying creatures. The creatures are essentially humans who’ve been torn apart during the transformation process, is it’s design is purposely messy and deformed.

dead-space-necromorph Dead2

But what was most interesting in my research was the focus on colour and how it spread. Since we decided to focus on the idea of this world being inside a living entity, parts of the design were to be considered like parts of the body and nature. Different forms of green and the tentacle look were important in how our world aesthetic is like that of a jellyfish. Mould, fungus and growth were visual cues that encouraged how more impoverished areas of the world would look.


We’ve been working around the texture of jellyfish and Dead Space’s design seems to have some broad similarities such as taking areas that should be well structured and organised and combining them with degrading quality. It’s almost like the environment is also a representation of infected civilians. It maintains a consistency.


John Carpenter’s version of The Thing was also an inspiration throughout my research on decay. I find it rather hard to rewatch the film as I’m admittedly becoming more squeamish the further I research the aesthetic. Like Dead Space, the idea of morphing and degenerating establishes a chilling and isolating tone in the way in which both narratives play on paranoia and contagion. When combining this with our idea of slum areas, it makes our world gradually more bleak but at the same time highlights a ever growing threat which can create an interesting story for what ruling portions of the world intend to do about it… if they even know about it.

thething82_02 the thing head


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