Alone In The Dark Movie 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.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :

Comments

Alone In The Dark Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: R, 2005

Advertisement

More Christian Slater

'Heathers' Musical Fails To Recapture Majesty of Movie Original

With Idina Menzel's 'If/Then' scoring strong reviews following its opening on Broadway this week, the pressure was on Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy's Heathers to...

Christian Slater's 'Mind Games' Cancelled, Replaced by 'Wife Swap'

ABC have ruthlessly axed Christian Slater's Mind Games midseason after low rated airings. For the next two weeks, the network will use the Tuesday 10pm...

The Mythological Production of Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

Lars von Trier’s latest film Nymphomaniac has been getting everyone hot under the collar since before any actual filming even began. Written and directed by...

Nymphomaniac: Volume II Trailer

Joe is a fiercely determined 50-year-old woman whose sexual drive has taken over her entire life. Her story of how she ended up injured in...

Advertisement

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Trailer

Joe has always known she's been completely obsessed with sex ever since she was a young girl. Her excessive desires would see her meet man...

Nymphomaniac Movie Review

At four hours long, this drama is as confrontational as anything we've seen by Lars von Trier (Melancholia), but it's also perhaps his most humane...

Forget Shia LaBeouf's Diva Act, 'Nymphomaniac' Is A Runaway Berlin Hit [Trailer + Pictures]

Lars Von Trier's controversial new movie Nymphomaniac has gone down a storm with critics after having premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. However, cast member...

Seagulls, Sardines And Paper Bags - Is Shia LaBeouf Pulling A Lady Gaga?

Given Shia LaBeouf’s recent antics, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the man is a bit... err… eccentric. He’s also very self aware though, just...

Advertisement