Alone In The Dark

"Terrible"

Alone In The Dark Review


In October 2003, Uwe Boll directed House of the Dead, easily one of the worst movies I've seen in the last five years. Fewer than two years later, Boll brings us Alone in the Dark, with a cast of recognizable, albeit fading stars (Tara Reid, Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff), and a nationwide release.

This is like getting a promotion after setting the boss's desk on fire. How does this happen?

Again, Boll (who has a doctorate in literature) has a video game as his source material. This time, he doesn't insert clips from the game in every available frame, which earns Alone in the Dark points. The movie follows the efforts of a "paranormal investigator" (Slater) in investigating the havoc being wreaked by the spirits of an ancient civilization.

I think that's what it was. Trying to rehash this plot is like trying to describe a Jackson Pollock painting while drunk. In Alone in the Dark, there are at least three separate plotlines that Boll throws out on the audience, hoping they'll be too distracted to notice that none of them actually connects.

Plot 1 has a deranged museum curator unearthing a tomb from an ancient civilization, which leads to some spirit being released. Plot 2 has a group of orphans, who were subject to said curator's bizarre experiments, becoming zombies out to kill Slater's character, who somehow escaped experimentation 20 years ago. Plot 3 has the curator going crazy and dispatching a host of spirits/goblins/natives to the orphanage.

While our heads spin like tops, we're given more information -- artifacts found all over the world, humans that are built as killing machines -- while trying to connect the lengthy introductory narration to the events. Seriously, there's so much material, Boll could have snuck in Natalie Portman's deleted nude scenes from Closer and I wouldn't have noticed. Way too much effort is asked of the audience, making what should be a fun movie a chore.

Emphasis on "should." The boredom factor remains firmly in place throughout, despite attempts to rouse us. Action scenes are filmed in tight frames or in the dark so you can't follow anything except the flash of bullets, and random characters we don't care about get extensive time facing off with apparitions/zombies/goblins. As with House of the Dead, three screenwriters can't create one compelling character. Not that it would make much of a difference. Reid, Dorff, and Slater act as if they're convinced their paychecks from the studio will bounce.

Alone in the Dark is still an improvement on House of the Dead. How you interpret that news depends on several things: Especially if you're a studio executive.

The DVD includes a trivia track (yes!), two making-of documentaries, and commentary from Boll (double yes!).

You'll be alone in the theater.



Alone In The Dark

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th January 2005

Box Office USA: $5.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $8.2M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Lions Gate

Production compaines: Infogrames Entertainment, Boll Kino Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, Herold Productions, Brightlight Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 1%
Fresh: 1 Rotten: 116

IMDB: 2.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Edward Carnby, as Aline Cedrac, as Richard Burke, Frank C. Turner as Sam Fischer, as Prof. Lionel Hudgens, as Agent Miles, as Captain Chernick (as Mark Atcheson), Darren Shahlavi as John Dillon, as Sister Clara, Craig Bruhnanski as 80's Sheriff (as Craig Brunanski), Kwesi Ameyaw as Deputy Adams, Dustyn Arthurs as Young Edward, Catherine Lough Haggquist as Krash, Ed Anders as James Pinkerton, Brad Turner as Beat Cop

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.