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I was honestly surprised by Alone in the Dark. It was so bad, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. There are no characters, just a few stereotypes wandering around and getting killed. The extent of the character development was giving each character a name and an occupation, and that's about it. There was no real plot, and none of the characters seemed to have any motivation. In fact, many action scenes just began on their own, coming from nowhere with a pounding techno track. While I was watching this movie I kept asking "Where is this happening? What's going on?" The acting was high school drama quality, with stiff wooden delivery, as though the actors were reading from cue cards without comprehending their lines. Their trouble delivering lines was made even more obvious by horrible sound design. ADR sounded like it was recorded in an open room. The actors were constantly taking obvious care to hit their marks, looking almost robotic in their movements. So, these listless automatons are whisked through a series of implausible and confusing scenarios, often without even the benefit of transition scenes. They were here, now they're there. This was happening, now that's happening. Random scenes with little rhyme or reason. I had a lot of fun watching it. Definitely not worth nine bucks though.
Can it ever be said that there are some movies that have no redeeming features whatsoever? Answer: Yes, and this is one of them. After helming the appalling 'House of the Dead' director Uwe Boll has now cast his less-than-talented eye towards yet another video game adaptation. Don't these guys get it? To anyone who can't understand, here it is in block capitals for you: VIDEO GAMES DO NOT MAKE FOR GOOD MOVIES! The acting here is, at best, sub-standard. The set design and special effects are poor. Unlike the video game (which did have its scary moments) the movie has no atmosphere of impending doom, no sense of danger or menace. Pacing and plotting is confused and the paper that the script is printed on would have been better used as toilet paper. The main culprit is the director. Uwe Boll uses the camera with the grace and skill of a monkey using a paintbrush. Hackneyed zooms, swoops and pans are spliced into the whole dreary affair at unpredictable moments leaving the audience disorientated and bored. Why this guy was ever let near a movie set in the first place must stand as one of modern cinemas greatest secrets. Avoid at all costs.
I don't know where to begin. Tara Reid needs to be stopped before she's
put in another movie. Stephen Dorff looks like he got his character's
motivation from Val Kilmer in "Top Gun". Slater sleepwalks through this
dreck. The direction, editing, sound (do we really need a heavy-metal
video in the middle of a gunfight?), costumes (bulletproof vests with
muscles on them), and hey, there's no discernible plot either. It
amazes me that no one attached to the project stopped and said, "hey
guys, this just doesn't make any sense, let's start over". Hopefully
Slater's career can rebound from this disaster.
Hands down the worst film I've ever seen.
True, there are many movies much worse then this movie. This movie was
no Manos: The Hands of Fate, or Troll 2 (yes, I have seen them both..
twice) but at the same time this movie is No Alien, Predator or even
Alien Vs. Predator (Yes, even that movie surpassed this). Movies like
this make Battlefield Earth look like a Star Wars it is so bad. Razzie
awards lookout, your biggest competition has just arrived in theaters.
This film I'm talking about is of course Alone in the Dark. I'll try to
take you though a step by step process on why this film was so bad.
Acting- I'll first start off with what perhaps was the best component of this film (next to the ending credits, which played 'Wish I had An Angel', the acting. Christian Slater must be proud of himself, he successfully proved that it is possible to act decent in a film worse then drinking antifreeze. Though all his awful dialog he had to speak, it made me wonder why he just didn't walk off the set halfway. Perhaps it was because of Stephen Dorff being in the film as well (somebody he wishes he could be but fails at it). Tara Reid is a bad actress but good looking and that's all that really matters in films like these. That is not to say the acting was perfect though, it was average, not good, and perhaps the only thing in the film not good.
The Soundtrack- Except for 'Wish I had An Angel', the soundtrack is pointless and bad heavy medal being pumped into the viewers ears, perhaps to disguise the awful story (something I will get to soon). A long and very expensive 2 CD soundtrack is now up for sale for those musically challenged.
The Directing- Directed by Hollywoods favorite director Uwe Ball who brought us the classic House of the Dead. Telling us "Yes, movies can get this utterly bad and that's just the beginning to my deadly saga of awful movies". At least it is said to be directed by Uwe Ball. Without being told I would have guessed a monkey was kidnapped from the Congo, brought here and forced to make opinions on how to make the movie under penalty of being shocked. The director of photography was probably a camcorder taped onto a skateboard and pushed forward until it hits a wall. On the scenes where the camera should stay still it is constantly moving, not allowing us to stop anywhere and when it should be moving in action, the camera stops for some reason.
The Producing- Who on earth is stupid enough to put money towards this bomb? I pity the fool... sometimes. Sometimes I'm glad he or she was taught such a lesson to never put money towards garbage worse then dog dung tied up in a bag.
The Writing / Storyboard- Trying to Analise the story is more painful then jamming an ice pick under a big toe and kicking a soccer ball as hard as I possibly could with it right after but I will still attempt it.
Edward Carnby escapes as a child from an orphanage where 20 children where to go under science experiments. He escapes and hides in an electrical outlet where he is electrocuted (this is the point where it got so bad i started to laugh out loud). Then it fast-forwards many years later where he's a paranoia detective. He get's attacked by some zombie that can't be shot to death, kills it and moves on with life. Later on he gets attacked by some crazy looking monster and he discovers secrets that nobody else knows.
Yeah, the plot is bad, really really bad. The film beings with expecting us to read approximately 10 minutes, which felt like 100, of random text about an untrue civilization called the Abskani. The film goes not to have one twist after another, more then the audience can handle, more then the audience wants to handle, more then the audience could ever care about. This storyline is rock bottom bad that even Double Dragon does better.
Overall, miss out on this movie. I gave it a 1 out of 10 but that is because there is no 0.
Obviously a lot of talented behind the scenes crew members worked on this movie, so don't even look at the credits at the end, you'll only hold it against them. Nobody seemed interested in seeing this movie, only 3 were in the theater; two passed out after 10 minutes, and they were the lucky ones. The 'monsters' were the unemployed worm from Star Trek 2, The Wrath of Khan, and rejected designs for the space creatures in Alien. The creators of the movie obviously didn't want to overshadow the third rate movie monsters, so they hired forth rate actors who apparently didn't get to memorize their lines, or in some cases learn to pronounce the words before filming began. Some scenes are incredibly inept in conveying just what is supposed to be happening, if anything is. If you are unfortunate enough to be in a theater where this movie is showing, and you don't pass out, you'll laugh at what are supposed to be frightening or suspenseful moments of the film. The implausibility of several scenes will just stun you, and Stephen Dorff's regular spewing of the 'Queen Mary of curse words' conveys the feeling of anyone who pays to see this. If you must see this movie, do yourself a favor and wait until it's in the bargain bin at the video store. If there's any justice in the film industry, one of the main actors will be there to rent it to you.
The movie starts out with some scrolling text which takes nearly five minutes. It gives the basic summary of what is going on. This could have easily been done with acting but instead you get a scrolling text effect. Soon after you are bombarded with characters that you learn a little about, keep in mind this is ALL you will learn about them. The plot starts to get off the ground and then crashes through the entire movie. Not only does the plot change, but you might even ask yourself if your watching the same movie. I have never played the video game, but know people who have. From my understanding whether you've played the game or not this movie does not get any better. Save your money unless you like to sleep at the theaters.
This movie succeeds at being one of the most unique movies you've seen.
However this comes from the fact that you can't make heads or tails of
this mess. It almost seems as a series of challenges set up to
determine whether or not you are willing to walk out of the movie and
give up the money you just paid. If you don't want to feel slighted
you'll sit through this horrible film and develop a real sense of pity
for the actors involved, they've all seen better days, but then you
realize they actually got paid quite a bit of money to do this and
you'll lose pity for them just like you've already done for the film. I
can't go on enough about this horrible movie, its almost something that
Ed Wood would have made and in that case it surely would have been his
To start you are forced to sit through an opening dialogue the likes of which you've never seen/heard, this thing has got to be five minutes long. On top of that it is narrated, as to suggest that you the viewer cannot read. Then we meet Mr. Slater and the barrage of terrible lines gets underway, it is as if he is operating solely to get lines on to the movie poster tag line. Soon we meet Stephen Dorff, who I typically enjoy) and he does his best not to drown in this but ultimately he does. Then comes the ultimate insult, Tara Reid playing an intelligent role, oh help us! Tara Reid is not a very talented actress and somehow she continually gets roles in movies, in my opinion though she should stick to movies of the American pie type.
All in all you just may want to see this for yourself when it comes out on video, I know that I got a kick out of it, I mean lets all be honest here, sometimes its comforting to revel in the shortcomings of others.
Well where do I begin my story?? I went to this movie tonight with a
few friends not knowing more than the Actors that were in it, and that
it was supposed to be a horror movie.
Well I figured out within the first 20 minutes, what a poor decision I had made going out seeing this movie. The Plot was crap, and so was the script. The lines were horrible to the point that people in the audience were laughing hysterically.
The cast couldn't have been more plastic looking. Even some of the scenes seemed like they should have been made much quicker...like they dragged on for no particular reason. Very poor editing.
All in all this movie was a giant waste of time and money. Boo.
The minute the forward started, I knew we were in for trouble! The
premise is laughable at best. The story line was even worse, if that is
The acting was stiff and the actors gave off a sense of inexperience. You expect more from the likes of Slater, Reid and Dorff. Lines were delivered as if from a robot. And I'm sorry, I like Reid but she was VERY unbelievable as an archaeologist. Slater and Dorff picked a lousy film to try and stage their comebacks.
The continuity was off through out the entire film. The creatures weren't bad, but they really weren't good either.
Bottom line, I want that ninety minutes of my life back. They can keep the money, but give me the time! What a waste.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The other day my roommate called me up and said he had two
complimentary tickets to a special pre-screening to a new moving coming
out soon: Alone in the Dark.
If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because you're familiar with the video games by the same name. If not, don't worry, although the movie claims to be based off the games (games I know very well), I didn't see any similarities other than the names of the main characters.
My friend and I wandered into the theatre and took our seats. Anxiously awaiting the movie. I was especially excited because the game Alone in the Dark ranks in my very exclusive list of all-time scariest games ever...it's only competition is Doom 3. The point is, I was expecting a movie that would scare my pants off and send chills up my spine, much like the first game did back in the early 90s.
Before the movie started, a man came out and stood before us, and announced that we were the very first audience ever to see this movie, and he hoped we enjoyed it. The excitement built!
The movie started...and it wasn't long before that excitement turned to confusion, and shortly thereafter, disappointment combined with a healthy dose of disbelief.
This movie sucked! Plain and simple. The plot was, by far, the worst thing about the movie, followed not too distantly by the dialogue and cheesy acting. The only actor who did a halfway decent job was the main character, Edward Carnby (played by Christian Slater). In fact, I would go so far as to say he carried the entire movie.
Please note: From here on, I will be making references to the movie that would be considered spoilers. Even references to how the movie ends. If you actually intend to see this movie even after reading this review, you may want to skip the part about the plot.
Let's return to the plot for a moment. (This is where the bulk of the problems lie.) The plot can be summed up through the following words: broken, confusing, irrelevant, uninformed, and poorly written. Why?
The movie has practically nothing to do with the games. The games were based off of an investigator who explored various "supernatural" phenomena, and became trapped in this haunted mansion. The entire point of the game was to get out of the mansion alive...something that was not so easy to do! The movie didn't take place in a mansion, really had very little to do with the supernatural and more about some sort of alien creatures. It wasn't a psychological thriller with some action interspersed, it was an action flick...and if it attempted to be the former in any way, it failed miserably...so much so I never noticed any elements of it.
There were several questions raised in the movie that were never answered or even dealt with for that matter. There was this theme of some ancient civilization which apparently had something to do with these creatures, but it was never explained what the civilization had to do with the creatures, or where (or what) these creatures were to begin with.
Several inconsistencies with elements of the movie. For instance (big spoiler ahead). It's established that these creatures cannot exist in the light. They're hurt by sunlight and various other types of light sources. Then, at the end, the main characters climb out of their underground ordeal, appear in the city, during the day, and notice that everyone is missing. (no bodies, no blood, no signs of struggle...just missing). Then, in broad daylight, one of these creatures jumps out at them and the movie ends. ...uh, folks...daylight. It seems the director forgot to pay attention to that little fact. This is one of many inconsistencies in the movie. It's rife with them.
There was this (military? police? rebel?) institution called 713 which was apparently hunting these creatures (aliens?) for a while now. It was never established what this organization was, if they were part of the government or not, or anything about them. They just showed up and all the characters in the movie just accepted them as being in charge of things.
The love scene. Completely gratuitous! There was no chemistry between the hero and the heroin. In fact, the only way one would know that there was any kind of attraction between them was that it was briefly established in the beginning that they used to be in a relationship. Then, for no apparent reason, in the midst of all this danger and alien creatures in the same building with them, bam. They go at it. Then, as if nothing had happened, the rest of the movie they continue on their way with absolutely no chemistry to the very end.
Character Development...there was none.
Several points where the movie moved way too fast or way too slow, causing either confusion or boredom. I could go on, I have a whole list of things I disliked about the movie, but I'll stop here.
There were a couple good points to the movie, and it's only fair to state them. The introduction was well done and was relatively engaging. I'd go so far as to say the first scene was the best scene in the entire movie (although even that scene had several points to it which raised questions that were never answered or dealt with in any way - adding to the confusion later on). The cinematography in parts was creative and showed a level of quality that was far beyond this film. The special fx held their own and, for the most part, were impressive at points.
Alone in the Dark could have followed in the footsteps of the games it was based on, and potentially done an amazing job. The games were incredibly frightening and established a mood of horror and suspense from the moment you started playing till long after you quit playing. This movie did nothing more than leave a feeling of disgust at the pit of my stomach, that it should represent a series of amazing games and fail so miserably at doing so.
The sad fact is, my friend and I had the opportunity to see Alone in the Dark for free, and yet, somehow, we both came out of the ordeal feeling cheated.
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