Alone in the Dark


The Horror, The Horror!

Cast: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, William Sanderson

Director: Uwe Boll

I’ve written here that I have somewhat lower expectations for different types of movies than others. A human drama, say, is slightly higher on the bar than your standard action flick. But Alone in the Dark doesn’t even come close to the bottom of my expectation barrel. Okay, in the insane off-chance that you might consider watching this drek, here is the plot, condensed:

Twenty kids are taken from an orphanage by a doctor who wishes to perform unnamed experiments on them. One escapes. This one (Slater) later works for Project 751 (I think that was the number, but whatever), a paranormal project run by the government. He left after trying unsuccessfully to pierce the fog around what he needed to know, namely his own origins. Okay, that’s sort of the set-up. The rest of Alone in the Dark revolves around a long-gone tribe of Native Americans and their artifacts. The doctor (Sanderson) wants all of them, and will do anything to get them, because they open the gates to the monsters that killed the tribe so long ago…

All that is a thin line, really, to hang the action sequences. I’ll admit here that they are stylishly directed and are about the only thing worth watching. But action sequences can be found in much, much better movies. You know it’s a bad movie when you find one of the extras more interesting than any of the mains. You know it’s a really bad movie when you start checking your watch about half-way through. Is this Anchorman bad? Yeah. Alone in the Dark IS that bad.

Slater is workmanlike, nothing more (although in his defense he isn’t given much), and Reid is simply horrible: I laughed in disbelief when she was introduced as a museum curator. The others are bland or null, merely moving targets for the monsters. And lastly, before I bury this dead horse: why did the movie cut back and forth between our heroes and the rest of the security people in the main action sequence? Everyone KNOWS these people are gonna get eaten, so why waste so much film on them? To pad the time? To show off special effects? Please.

Stay away. Stay far away from Alone in the Dark. If the dark is as silly as this, then turn out all the lights, baby, because we are all safe.

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