Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Alone in the Dark

ALONE IN THE DARK (Uwe Boll, 2005)

Director Uwe Boll specializes in adapting video games into feature films. Previously he helmed HOUSE OF THE DEAD, with BLOODRAYNE to follow later this year. His latest, ALONE IN THE DARK, is based on a series of Atari games. Christian Slater stars as paranormal investigator Edward Carnby. Edward’s newest obsession is ancient Native American artifacts that may bridge the worlds of darkness and light. When he gets together with a museum archivist played by Tara Reid, Edward begins to see the danger of his pursuit.

ALONE IN THE DARK is the only Uwe Boll film I’ve seen, but on the basis of it and the reputation of his much-maligned oeuvre, he may be the closest thing I’ve found to a modern-day Ed Wood. Unlike Wood’s movies, the laughs don’t derive from exceedingly poor effects work, but Boll’s incompetently assembled film can be mined for a wealth of unintended hilarity. ALONE IN THE DARK is thoroughly incomprehensible, a matter complicated rather than clarified by the film’s absurdly long narrated text intro. One scene doesn’t seem connected to the next, and the stock dialogue attempts in vain to explain what’s happening. Slater and Reid’s wooden performances weren’t worth the money that probably elevated this to a theatrical release, although even with them it’s somewhat a miracle this didn’t go straight to video. Boll’s vague X-FILES rip-off isn’t scary or exciting, but inadvertently he’s made a movie funnier than a lot of the purported comedies Hollywood cranks out. ALONE IN THE DARK is a frontrunner for 2005’s worst film of the year.

Grade: F

(Review first aired on the February 1, 2005 NOW PLAYING)

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