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January 2005

By Julian Roman

Alone in the Dark

Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Director: Uwe Boll
Screenwriters: Elan Mastai, Michael Roesch, & Peter Scheerer
Producers: Uwe Boll, Shawn Williamson, Wolfgang Herold
Director of Photography: Mathias Neumann
Cast: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Will Sanderson, & Ed Anders


   

 

   

German filmmaker Uwe Boll has utterly wasted two hours of my life for the second time. Boll also directed the hideous, god-awful, House of the Dead; which famously used video game footage in the climax. He doesnıt recreate that disaster with Alone in the Dark, but comes damn close. Itıs basically a rip-off of every generic alien and zombie film ever made. Thereıs not one ounce of creativity or entertainment value to this movie. In fact, the only thing worth mentioning is the spectacularly silly opening crawl. A crawl, for all you neophytes, is like the beginning of the Star Wars films, a bunch of words that crawl across the screen as a prelude to the action. The crawl that prefaces Alone in the Dark is so bad; it should be shown as a warning to film students.

Christian Slater, in a role heıll regret forever, stars as paranormal investigator Edward Carnby. Carnby is an orphan with no memory of his childhood. He used to work for a top secret government agency known as Bureau 713 before striking out on his own. 713 was tasked with hunting down paranormal events. The story begins when all of the people who grew up with Carnby in the orphanage disappear. This event coincides with the finding of several famous archaeological artifacts. These artifacts belong to an ancient race, the Abkani, who supposedly found a door to another world. Carnby, along with his curator girlfriend (Tara Reid) and replacement at 713 (Stephen Dorff), hunt down the missing people and try to figure out the importance of the artifacts.

The dialogue in Alone in the Dark is absolutely terrible. The actors, who are all equally bad, deliver their lines like theyıre ordering a pizza. This wooden delivery filters down from the lead parts to the one-line extras. Itıs been a while since Iıve seen so many actors say and look this stupid on screen. It really is a disgrace. Uwe Boll deserves the lionıs share of blame for their performances. As director, he got nothing from his actors and thatıs unforgivable. Itıs obvious, from his past work as well, that Boll is clueless when it comes to directing actors.

I have nothing positive to say about Alone in the Dark. Thereıs a lot of violence and gore, but it has been done before a million times in much better films. A few audience members were laughing hysterically throughout the movie. I didnıt find it funny at all, but maybe that reaction will be more common. Avoid this one at all costs, even if itıs on TV and you have one channel.