I just had to check it out. You can't blame me, can you? Alone in the Dark received one of the worst receptions on the critic compilation site Rotten Tomatoes that I had ever seen, even though I believe the movie wasn't screened for critics. That, my friends, is never a good sign. Anyway, after not even cracking the top 10 at the box office in its opening weekend, and the horrible reviews, my curiosity got the best of me, and I just had to see how horrible this flick was. I figured maybe the costume department could screw up and we'd see another Tara Reid wardrobe malfunction. I figured that would at least be worth some of the cost of admission. Unfortunately, the costume department was probably the only people that did their job right in this ludicrous excuse for a movie.
Alone in the Dark is based off a video game, and that should be a warning right away. There has been only one video game adaptation that has broken the $100 million barrier, that being Tomb Raider, which more than likely broke that barrier due to Angelina Jolie's exceptional assets. So we're off to a great start here, yes yes? Anyway, the flick centers around Edward Canby (Slater) who has been searching for answers to his mysterious childhood for 22 years as a paranormal researcher, which seems to be a cross between a Tomb Raider and a Ghostbuster. There is this big opening text, which is read to us, annoylingly, that says there are two worlds, one in the light and one in darkness. There is a gateway to these worlds and after this gateway was opened years ago, something got out and has been hiding in the dark, waiting for the gateway to open again. Anything after this just gets too confusing and retarded to try explain. The things are trying to get back, but they're trying to kill them and not let them back in, because then the other things might try to get back out and blah blah blah. All of this ties into Canby and this 713 organization, the government organization that handles the paranormal and that Canby used to be affiliated with. Then there is Aline Cedrac (Reid) who is a scientist of sorts, and Canby's girlfriend and throw in Richards (Dorff) an angry 713 commander and you have one big fat mess of a movie.
When it comes to the acting, another warning sign is that you have the washed up Christian Slater and Tara Reid, who is heading down the same road as Slater, top-lining here. Then there's Stephen Dorff. I really feel bad for this guy, actually. To say he's a better actor than Slater and Reid isn't really saying a lot, but he is. The sad part is this guy is just horrendous at picking his projects. Since probably his best role in the first Blade, he has appeared in one of the worst movies of the past few years (See: FearDotCom) and a movie that wasn't quite as bad as that one, but opened the same day as Spider-Man (See: Deuces Wild). His luck isn't getting any better with this flick either. All three of these actors are at their worst here, stumbling over the corny lines fed to them, and over-extending themselves way too much. And their supporting cast has not one noticeable face or name among them, and their performances refelct that. But, when you have Slater, Reid and Dorff to follow, I guess you can't blame them too much...
The script here is written by three guys, all of which I won't name because hopefully we will never have to hear their names again This movie could've been written by the CareerBuilder.com monkeys better than these guys wrote it. The dialogue is attrocious, the characters are about as hollow as they come, the plot is incredibly muddled and the ending serves up answers that we could figure out probably halfway through the movie...that is if you're still awake.
Director Uwe Boll's name will be heard again, later this year in fact, with the upcoming BloodRayne, a flick that I was only looking forward to for another glimpse at the luscious Kristanna Loken, the Terminatrix from Terminator 3. Hopefully Boll's direction gets better with BloodRayne, because it is about as unfocused as the script here. He doesn't seem to demand much of his actors, because their performances are as dull as a butterknife. His work with the "action scenes" seem to be copped from Pitch Black and Equilibrium, because they're filmed in the dark with only the gunfire to light up the scene. I'm sure he'll ride (not literally) the looks of Loken for BloodRayne and it might be fairly successful because of that (and the rest of the decent cast). But if you expect to do this kind of work, and expect Christian Slater, Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff to provide the coattails for you to ride on...you're in for some harsh dissapointments.
Alone in the Dark is a movie about...I don't know, really. It's a pointless, cliched work that will hopefully be remembered when the Razzies come around next year. The title is the best part of the movie, because it fits the movie quite well. If you see this movie, you definitely will be alone in the dark...
Alone In The Dark is out January 28, 2005.