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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.