Alone in the Dark

If you want to be alone while watching Alone In The Dark, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is you will get your wish. The bad news is that misery loves company.

Being dangled by red hot nipple clamps over a pit of cactus and scorpions would be less painful than sitting through this menage a trash about aliens, monsters, nefarious scientists, abducted children, a paranormal putz and Tara Reid as a museum curator. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.


Better a pinch than a slap in the face, which is what this hokey poky of a film delivers. Alone in the Dark is supposedly based on an old Atari game, one that I’ve never heard of. What I do remember about old Atari games was their rudimentary graphics and storylines. I doubt the film’s extended back story was even a consideration.

So in order to fill in the blanks, writers Elan Mastai, Michael Roesch, and Peter Scheerer borrow and steal from other films. Better films. Films that make you realize you= re not just watching an imitation, but a really bad imitation, like Chuck Norris doing his one man tribute to Judy Garland. I’ll admit his rendition of Easter Parade had me in tears, but only because he was kicking me in the face.

That’s what it felt like watching Alone in the Dark. I don’t mind dumb, stupid horror films, but I hate dumb, stupid horror films that refuse to acknowledge that fact. Alone in the Dark arrives with such a poker face its impossible to know if we’re supposed to take any of this seriously. We are, but we don’t, or more precisely, can’t. There’s no leeway in the script, direction or acting.

Government conspiracies abound (after a slavishly long opening crawl) in Alone in the Dark, which finds paranormal investigator Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) teaming up with an elite group of government agents to defeat an ancient evil. As an orphan, Edward escaped the clutches of unscrupulous government agent/scientist Lionel Hudgens (Matthew Walker), whose depraved experiments turned children into crossbred zombies. Now that Hudgens has found the final key to unlock the portal between dark and light, it’s up to Edward, former lover and curator Aline Cedrac (Reid) and commando leader Burke (Stephen Dorff) to save mankind.

Yeah, that’s who I would call when ultimate evil decides to bitch slap humanity: two actors riding that direct-to-video rail and an actress best known for flashing paparazzi. Was this a casting decision or payback? Director Uwe Boll (The House of the Dead) isn’t much help, never allowing the actors to step outside of the paper-thin box or express any emotion beyond the written word. If everyone in front or behind the camera just acknowledged the obvious, Alone in the Dark would have been a hoot. Computer-generated monsters that never seem to occupy the same frame as the actors, trigger-happy commandos, a convoluted plot that makes no sense, paper doll characters, all the trappings of a goofy good time.

Too bad the folks behind Alone in the Dark didn’t fall into that trap.
Alone Again, Unnaturally

Unleashing Yet Another Monster Mash

ALONE IN THE DARK

Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Will Sanderson, Ed Anders, Robert Bruce. Directed by Uwe Boll. Rated R. 96 Minutes.

LARSEN RATING: $1.00



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