MovieStyle: Alone in the Dark

This is the fourth in the MovieStyle series, but it’s the first where I genuinely started to question what I was doing with my life. So you can probably guess what I thought about Uwe Boll’s second attempt at a game adaptation.

Normally I’d start by explaining the plot, but quite honestly I have no idea what was going on for large portions of the film. What I can tell you is it involves paranormal investigator Edward Carnby, mysterious relics, an army of horrible CGI monsters and an archaeologist who is evil for some reason. Honestly, the villain of the story seems to have no motivation for his actions. I think he’s just insane.

The plot does attempt to go a little deeper, involving Edward as a child being experimented on along with the rest of the orphaned children, but as a whole, it feels held together by string.

Really you know what you’re in for with the films hilarious opening action scene. A car chase that soon develops into a fist fight with some of the most face palm inducing stunts ever committed to film, probably none more so than when Edward does a Guile-like flip kick for some reason. There’s also a section in said fight where the demon inhabited henchman jumps from a building and clearly starts to pivot, you know, as if he’s attached to some sort of safety rope. This is the first fifteen minutes. We haven’t even been introduced to Tara Reid yet.

A performance like no either, portraying archaeologist and museum curator Aline Cedrac, Tara Reid puts in a performance that is so bad even Uwe Boll himself has said it was terrible. Not that she’s alone mind, Christian Slater as our hero Edward Carnby is at a career low here, the action delights of Broken Arrow seem like a distant memory. The only actor who comes out of this with any sort of credibility is Stephen Dorff who as Commander of Bureau 713 is trying to make the most of an atrocious script.

It’s probably worth mentioning the hilarious ‘love story’ between Edward and Aline. They already knew each other before the movie opens, Edward went travelling around the world without saying anything, so Aline hates him, greeting him with a punch. Then about half an hour later he’s instantly forgiven and they’re in bed together in one of the funniest sex scenes you’ll see. Not for the actions, but for the fact that the song “7 seconds” starts playing. It’s all very surreal.

And while I’m on the subject of music, the audio mix in this film is just weird. For large parts of the movie the audio obscures the dialogue so it’s hard to hear what people are actually saying. This ranges from the orchestral arrangements to the audio of things like helicopters. Then there’s this scene below, which actually made me burst out laughing.

And yes, the CGI is as bad throughout the film. Whenever you get a clear shot of the monsters it’s laughable. I’d say it was like watching a made for SyFy movie, but that would be too harsh on the SyFy Channel.

This whole movie is just weird, I mean, were people really crying out for an Alone in the Dark movie? And what an odd time for the film to come out, pretty much smack bang in the middle of two releases in the franchise. Four years after the quite well received New Nightmare and three years before the reimagined atrocity that came out in 2008.

So how closely it follows the source material? Honestly, I have no clue. Being in a modern setting and certain characters make this more in line with the recent entries in the franchises, but as for overall story, who knows? One thing it does lack when compared to the games is actual horror. As a series that is often mentioned as being the father of the survival horror genre, this is quite bizarre. A few bloody moments aside, there’s not one moment of actual horror in the film, no jump scares, nothing.

I’m going to wrap this up now because the more I think about it the more my brain hurts. In case you haven’t figured it out by this point, then no, no you should not watch this movie. Alone in the Dark has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but the sad thing is it must’ve done okay because there’s ma sequel. They made a sequel to this movie!

And with that I’ll see you back here for the next MovieStyle feature, Uwe Boll’s In The Name of the King. I hate my life.