Alone in the Dark (2005)
Director: Uwe Boll
Starring: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff
(out of 4)
Tara Reid as an intellectual – that’s just smart casting
I should explain the one star. I’m giving it because Uwe Boll’s execrable Alone in the Dark exists on a level that is entertaining in the way a car crash can be entertaining – and if you are a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 like I am, you probably know what I am talking about. Too bad that MST3K ended in 1999 because if there was a new season this piece of flotsam would get my vote as the first film to be skewered to pieces. I hesitate to use words like “movie” or “film” to describe Alone in the Dark. First of all, it’s based on a video game, so immediately we are on yellow alert. Put Uwe Boll behind the camera and throw in Tara Reid as a “genius anthropologist”, and now you’ve got a threat level Homeland Security would be proud of. It begins with an opening text crawl that is the longest I have ever endured, and it’s read aloud by some goofball because, if you are in this movie’s target audience, you can’t read.
Holy Crap – Wake me when it’s over!
It only goes downhill from there as we meet up with Christian Slater, who is a paranormal investigator being chased by a stuntman zombie type who is impervious to bullets. It turns out that there is some old artifact made by the lost Abkani civilization which can control a gateway between dark and light, or something. Slater used to work for the secret government agency called Bureau 713, which is fitting, since by the end of this garbage you want to kill the cast in 713 different ways. The plot isn’t really important; what matters is that you sit down with a 6-pack and enjoy such wonders as Tara Reid pronouncing Newfoundland as “New-Found-Land”, Françoise Yip playing a soldier who dies but is seen getting off the floor before the scene ends, and a transition from total darkness to light of day that is so jarring it shows the kind of disinterest in story continuity that puts Attack of the Eye Creatures to shame.
Ed Anders – when you can’t afford Joe Pantoliano
The movie isn’t scary, it isn’t thought provoking, and it has bad CGI creature effects that make one look upon Alien Vs. Predator with fond memory. Tara Reid doesn’t even take her top off during the love scene, which is like pouring salt on an open wound – everything about the movie screams direct-to-video and it doesn’t even have the guts to show nudity. Epileptics, be sure to catch the scene of what seems like an eternity of machine gun fire in darkness. Movie buffs, be sure to catch the nonsensical ending meant to be “poetic” but merely inspires guffaws. Oh yeah, Stephen Dorff is in it too – I bet he’s looking fondly on Blade as his career high point right about now. I wish Alone in the Dark was bad enough to sustain repeat viewings, like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Disco Godfather, but unfortunately it doesn’t possess the kind of cheesy charm to sustain it as a camp item. And this is coming from someone who actually owns a non-MSTied copy of Manos, the Hands of Fate.
Sorry folks – that’s all you get
The best part of Alone in the Dark is the DVD commentary, where we get to hear Uwe Boll compare his baby to Aliens, Year of the Dragon, The Relic, and at the end, a David Lynch film! He also mourns Reid’s non-nudity clause, berates IMDB posters for trashing the movie, blames Hide and Seek and Boogeyman for its poor box office, and talks about how half the film’s budget was paid for by the German government. I hope Germans are happy about where their hard earned money has been going.
- Bill Gordon
It’s Uwe Boll – Run!