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12 June 2012

Alone in the Dark (2005)

Directed by: Uwe Boll
Starring: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
96 Minutes

Verdict: Just plain boring and not even fun to watch to make fun of for being so bad: that is what Alone in the Dark is like. It is neither scary nor entertaining, and plays out as a messy and inept film.

Plot: There is a plot? Yes there is, but it isn’t a very good one. Based on the video game, Alone in the Dark focuses on Edward Carnby, a detective of the paranormal, who slowly unravels mysterious events with deadly results. Deadly as in, this film is painful to watch.
I will begin with saying how bad the film gets as soon as it basically begins. We are given a voice-over with text scrolling upwards as a prologue to the story, and boy is it cliché and tacky. 

The prologue tells us about a mineworker in 1967 called Abkani who came across remnants of what he believes to be ‘two worlds’ being the light and darkness. He opened the gate between these worlds. The prologue then announces there are few artefacts that remain. When you’re done hearing the stupid voice-over you think to yourself, “now this is going to be a load of shit.”. It also goes on for far too long. Combine the scrolling texts from three of the Star Wars films and you have Alone in the Dark's prologue: It is that long!
Immediately after it we witness some pretty hammy acting and from their it develops into one huge cine-turd that will make you suffer for the next 88 or so minutes. 

The acting is definitely abominable. It is not wooden, but poorly characterised. All the characters have our occupations and names, with absolutely no personalities whatsoever. I really mean it, I mean the actors are so flat it is as if they were just reading off cue-cards and had absolutely no idea what they were doing. I think it partly comes down to the poor direction by Uwe Boll. Not to mention some of the stereotypes involved. We have the detective haunted by his memories, who seeks out for answers, an evil scientist and a way-too young to be a doctor female, who wears glasses (an attempt to show she is smart maybe?).

How was the direction? It was just awful, with no control. As the film progresses, you hope that it will end as Boll has clearly not tried to have anything interesting happen. It is almost as if he wanted to make a bad film; and I do not mean the kind that are so bad they are good. This film is just painfully bad due to how it slowly dishes out character names and information you will have forgotten about when you hit the credits.

One of the worst aspects of the film was the stupid action sequences. Early into the film Edward is in the taxi going somewhere and all of a sudden for no explained reason (until about 40 minutes in to the film), a car from behind follows the taxi and eventually, crashes into the taxi. The following man in the car gets out and starts chasing him in a flatly cliché and boring sequence. There was one shot that was so stupid and fake I had to laugh. We see Edward running away from him and he jumps off a bus (or a truck), and we can clearly see he that he is wired up to a support as we can see him make a linear, and unconvincing movement. Imagine it this way: a cardboard cut-out that moves from the left background of the frame to the right foreground with an uninterrupted diagonal motion. 

This is not the only poor little action sequence. The truly dumb ones are those involving the guns were a crappy soundtrack begins to play trying to add fun and excitement to the moment (is this horror or action?), and they really do become boring as hell. There really is no enjoyment in this film and each scene gets more boring as the last. Some of the action defies physics, like when Slater launches a kick off the ground- it looks incredibly dumb.

As a horror film, it fails. As a fantasy film, it stumbles. As a film altogether, it does not even come close to being coherent or enjoyable. Do yourself a favour and avoid it if you can. You will find no form of pleasure from watching it, and that includes watching it to insult it I made that mistake and I could have been watching a film with a similar runtime like Chronicle or Rashomon and enjoyed myself. It is a messy, boring, inept piece of filmmaking (if you can even call it that) that does not attempt in having originality or entertainment value. 



  1. Excellent and very well written review. This is the modern generations "Plan 9 From Outer Space" in my book. Just 50 times worse and with less etertainment value. ^_^

  2. Yeah, this was a pretty bad film. Tara Reid made Denise Richards' Christmas Jones' character look like Einstein.

  3. Oh my, this film was hilarious! Such a shame to see Dorff and Reid so utterly waste. Uwe Boll is poison.

    This review was very well articulated and I very much enjoyed reading it. Gave me a good chuckle seeing as I too, detest the film a great deal! Terrible, terrible, terrible...but funny as hell.

  4. Thanks for enjoying the review. It is good to review a terrible film every once in a while for a bit of humour. I agree, Boll is poison!

  5. Thanks, I suppose it is. When I watched Plan 9 I did not hate it, but understood all its problems, but it's age still makes me enjoy it in that so bad it is good way. It has that campyness to it you know?

  6. haha, thanks for stopping by!

  7. Have you seen The Nostalgia Critic's review of this pile of ass? That has more valid points and is much more entertaining than the Boll of turd!



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