Alone In The Dark
1 out of 10
Alone with the Cliches
Renown for their efficency, Germans certainly deserve a pat on the back. Not only has Uwe Boll managed to bilk his own nation, but he just keeps pumping the Canadian tax payers to keep spraying out his valueless celluloid like cum from a pornstar.
It's not hard to see why IMDB users rated "Alone In The Dark" the 20th worst movie of all time. Despite being based on a hit Atari video game of the same name, threadbare dialogue lines like: "it's happening again," "you've made a terrible mistake" and "you guys get out of here" show the writers did the screenplay the traditional Canadian way - they bought an standard off-the-shelf script, (probably available in Grand and Toy) and filled in the blanks with a crayon using a bag of scrabble letters.
With a story so half-baked that Boll has to open with 5 minutes of mindnumbing narrative drivel about the ancient Arkanis's gateway to hell being reopened with 20 orphans, it truly is a catalogue of cliches, typical of a Canadian tax-grab flick. For a start, the hero is always a Paranormal Investigator, an almost mandatory requirement to ensure that no-one is upset - as demons and the undead don't currently have any pressure groups or guilds representing them, they have their name tarnished instead by appearing in tosh like this. Inevitably set in Vancouver where the streets are paved with tax dollars, they are fronted by some faded star for enough credibility to see general release. Here it's Christian Slater who looks as if he had a choice between this and a supporting role in Ron Jeremy's next masterpiece to pay his dealer. Trying to do "an Indiana Jones without the hat", he comes across more like an anorexic biker looking for a tylenol "the morning after the night before" as he spouts deep tosh like, "fear is what protects you from things you don't believe in"...such as his own role. Another utterly indespensible ingredient is the secretive agency with a role so stupid it borders on being pythonesque to show it's not just trashy films where the Government squanders our income tax money. Run by Stephen Dorff, (since he can't afford Kevin Bacon, Boll found someone similar he clearly reasons), Bureau 713 has a woman as its key scientist. For a role model almost mandated by political correctness north of the 49th parallel, Boll has laughably cast Tara Reid, a failed bimbo wannabe with packets of pork sausages for hands and who spends the whole movie, locked in a "blonde moment."
Backed by music as tinny as the performances, Boll uses his reverse Midas touch to steal every golden idea from other Sci-Fi writers, from Stargate to Star Trek, and turn them into stone as the heros are beset with argie-bargie from hordes of actors in silly costumes who have clearly lost their way from a variety of cheap TV productions and some CGI monsters that look like a cross-breed of "Predator" and "Alien". And behind all the zombies and demons, is the inevitable English villain...dearest Matthew Walker, a true cinematic mark of Cain. This lame old trooper's hiring is certainly no surprise as his record as a thesbian is a truly scary one. His past filmography reads as an almost exhaustive catalogue of low brow and low budget bad accidents on the TV screen in both quality and ratings. BEHOLD!
Matthew Walker's Mark of Cain
Believing that having a technician so obviously twiddling the lighting knob up and down to be "spooky", Boll ever increases the body count in a futile effort to substitute carnage for quality. Indeed, it's a wonder the monsters can find anyone as the lighting is so bad that, for instance, when they do finally look through the doorway to hell, there's nothing visible in the gloom. As a production that can only be described as "Jerry-Built" draws to a merciful ending and Boll makes for the nearest banch of the Toronto-Dominion Bank with his tax winnigs, one cannot but be reminded of the lyics of the Norwegian Band Zeromancer to sum him up this German production...
Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett