Alone In the Dark is rated by RottenTomatoes.com to be the second worst movie of all time. Second to, the recently reviewed by me, Ballistics: Ecks vs Sever. My first reaction to this was anger, there are movies I’ve enjoyed watching less than either of these, Babel for example. Let’s break this down:
Alone In The Dark: action movie about an ancient native American race that open the gates to hell, found a way to close them and then in proper ancient civilization form hid (rather than destroyed) the key to open the gate in remote parts of the world where conspiracy theorists could track them down thousands of years later and open the gate.
BABEL SPOILER (Just so you know)
Babel: Kid uses a gun his father got from the father of a sex crazed Japanese teen to shoot, on accident – sort of, a vacationing mother of a pair of children who are taken to Mexico by their nanny and left in stranded in the desert, on accident – sort of. As an aside, Film Is Pwn has found Babel to be “Banned by the Geneva Convention”.
Personally, I think Alone in the Dark seems more interesting.
Alone in the Dark is based on an old video game franchise that I never played, so I had no nostalgia or concept of the story prior to watching the movie. It seems they were prepared for that so they have a seven or eight paragraph introduction which I hear it was added to help clarify the story after test audiences were confused. I don’t blame the test audiences for being confused but information like that in the hands of a man like Uwe Boll is dangerous.
The long and confusing paragraphs read at the start of the movie do more to confuse us rather than clarify. They talk of an ancient civilization the Abkani, a gateway to an underground world with dangerous creatures and some other inane babble that I honestly don’t recall.
The first action scene in this movie is so forced I don’t know what to say exactly. Our hero, Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) is riding in a cab with a young driver who asks what he does. Because Carnby imagines himself the brooding hero type he responds not so cryptically that the boy doesn’t want to know.
Realizing they are being followed they begin to try to loose their pursuer which only leads to calamity. I’ve been trying to decide where the most ridiculous part of this is. Perhaps it’s when Carnby tells his juvenile driver to stay put while a car slams in the side of his cab and Carnby jumps for it. Maybe it’s after this impact and our hero begins to chase the very thing that was chasing him. I think it could be the flip kick performed by Carnby to kick a relic of some importance from the hand of the super human pursuer.
It only gets better as we see Tara Reid playing an anthropologist * pause for laughter* who is checking in an apparently secret shipment for her boss who we learn in an painfully de facto sort of way is off search for some priceless relic of Abkani origins. There are some plot continuity issues here as those paragraphs from the beginning told us that basically nothing was known and only a handful of relics survived about the Abkani people yet Reid’s museum is having an Abkani exhibit and the boxes of Abkani artifacts seem perfectly normal.
The movie continues with a secret organization that shoots up everything. The big scary monsters that die with incredible ease when it fits the plot and yet can kill dozens of soldiers each when the big battle takes place. The scary “If you’re alive and here you’re already dead” place that happens to have a relatively recently mortared wall. There’s the scene where Tara Reid, our docile anthropologist, suddenly wields firearms with amazing familiarity.
But the thing I felt like was missing most from this movie though was darkness. The movie was shockingly bright. It was entertaining to watch the lead characters walk around with flashlights in a dusky type of light. You can’t have a movie called Alone in the Dark and never let your hero actually be alone in the dark.
I don’t know that enough could be said to point out generally how ridiculous this movie really is. But I thank Uwe Boll for it. He is considered by many the worst director making films today. There’s even a petition asking him to stop making movies with about 280,000 signatures. I won’t be signing it. As far as I’m concerned Uwe Boll is making some of the best bad movies I’ve ever seen.
In fact as soon as I can manage I plan on setting up a petition of my own. Insisting that Uwe Boll ignore the criticisms and continue to do what he does so well: Make movies that make me laugh. His films perform this function better than a majority of comedies.
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