Alone in the Dark is one of those rare films that has absolutely no redeeming qualities. It is not “so bad it’s good.” This movie is so bad, it’s bad. In fact, it is so terrible, that if there were any justice in the world, it would end the careers of all involved, particularly director Uwe Boll.
The first 20 or so minutes of the movie sets the pace for what is to come. It begins with some nonsensical narration about an ancient American Indian civilization that believed in separate “light” and “dark” worlds and had accidentally brought some unexplained horrible evil from the dark side. They apparently managed to close the gate between the two worlds, but for how long? About 30 years ago, the government created a special bureau to study the paranormal, and one particular man named Hudgens (Mathew Walker), became so compelled by the American Indians, he decided to kidnap some orphans and perform experiments on them (totally clear, right?).
From that point, it skips to the present. One orphan named Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) who had apparently escaped, is now a paranormal investigator, which means we get to hear him deliver dialogue like “just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it can’t kill you” with a straight face. In the next 15 minutes, we get a mind-boggling slow car chase, and Carnby fighting with an apparently undead man. This fight is a bewildering rip-off of both The Matrix and various Hong Kong action movies and essentially has nothing to do with the next hour of Alone in the Dark.
Party queen Tara Reid is then introduced as a brilliant assistant to Hudgens, who is now a museum curator. Suspension of disbelief, anyone? Hudgens is obviously deranged and has become obsessed with uncovering the mysteries of the American Indian civilizations and using the evil power for himself. It is useless to go any further, since the rest of it doesn’t make a lick of sense. Stephen Dorff shows up at some point as, come to think of it, it is never really clear what he is supposed to be, but someone is needed to get in Carnby’s way at every turn, and Dorff’s character serves that purpose nicely.
At some point, the movie turns into a horribly inept Aliens rip-off, but Uwe Boll is no James Cameron. In fact, if this movie, and his previous effort, House of the Dead, are any indication, Mr. Boll may well be the most inept, untalented hack working in Hollywood today. The movie lacks even the most obvious necessities, like transitions when it changes focus from one character to another. If there were a hint that Boll had his tongue inserted into his cheek at any point, that would be one thing, but he seems to take himself completely seriously the whole way through.
There is nothing in this movie to even appeal to teenage boys. The blood and gore are minimal and Tara Reid doesn’t even remove her shirt during her weird, forced sex scene with Christian Slater.
The best part of this movie was that it was pleasant to spend 90 minutes inside a heated theater. Other than that, there is nothing worthy of recommendation here.
Chuck DelRoss can be reached at email@example.com.