Totally Alone

Alone in the Dark is an appropriate title, for if one goes to see the film, they will surely be alone in the theater. No one would bother to sit through this nonsense.

Alone in the Dark is based on the best-selling video game series and is directed by Uwe Boll, who is also responsible for 2003’s dreaded House of the Dead remake. Alone stars Christian Slater as Edward Carnby, a freelance paranormal expert who used to work for the government in a classified paranormal division called 713. It also features Stephen Dorf as Commander Richards, the current head of 713, and Tara Reid as Aline Cedrac, an archeologist and Edward’s love interest.

The plot concerns a mysterious race of demons that were worshipped by an ancient society called Abskani and is looking to make a comeback with the aid of Fischer (played by Frank C. Turner), a rogue 713 agent. The film begins with Edward fighting a demon-controlled zombie. These zombies are created by worm-like demons that parasitically infect humans.

After this, the convoluted narrative quickly shifts between Edward on the heels of Fischer, Aline researching the Abskani history, Richards and 713 fighting demons and Fischer searching for a mysterious Abskani key. The surviving characters eventually converge to “Shadow Island,” where the mystery is revealed. Division 713 has been sabotaging its own people, fusing man and beast for unknown reasons. The protagonists reflect on this abomination for a moment and are then ambushed by the demons on the ground level of Shadow Island. Edward, Aline and a member of 713 descend a well to escape the attack, where they encounter an ancient gate. Fischer, one step ahead of them, has opened the gate with an ancient Abskani key and is about to unleash the demons onto humanity.

Almost from the beginning, the film is tedious, looking like a video game but with sparse narration inserted as a connective thread. There are moments during the film that rival the absurdity of anything that has even been immortalized on celluloid, the characters bouncing around with demons as if they were in some psychotic pinball machine.

Far more mysterious than the plot, however, the question of who the movies target audience. If it is made for the adolescent-aged fans of the video game, even they will be able to recognize the hodge-podged menagerie of recycled themes and will therefore shun it. It is obvious that Hollywood is trying to capitalize on the success of hit video games, but as this film illustrates, they have not yet accomplished this.

As far as the performances go, there are moments in the film when Slater and Dorf act as if they can’t believe the dialogue that is coming out of their mouths. Maybe this is attributable to bad acting, or maybe it is because they are contemplating what they have to stoop to for a paycheck.

The only thing that can be unanimously stated about this film is that the real gate to hell is not the one in the movie, but the theater door that opens up to let customers in to see this bombastic mess.