We saw "House of the Dead" and blanched in sheer horror at the ineptness apparent in every scene. We gaped at the use of actual videogame footage spliced into the aforementioned movie. We shrieked in terror, not at the so-called horror elements of the film, but at the fact that Jurgen Prochnow deigned to appear in such trash. And we absolutely wept with soul shattering intensity to see the venerable character actor Clint Howard saddled with an annoying lisp while sporting a cheesy looking yellow rain slicker. As the credits rolled in "House of the Dead," we felt a moment of elation because we realized calling Jack Kevorkian was not necessary, that we would recover from the worst film experience many of us had witnessed in some time. Such was the experience of many viewers' regarding their first encounter with the indomitable Uwe Boll's freshman cinematic disaster. Then came "Alone in the Dark," and the nightmare continued. Who among us will have the bravery to climb to the peak of the highest mountain and shriek at the top of their lungs, "Get thee behind me, Uwe Boll?" From the looks of it, just about everyone who has seen this disaster. No one, thankfully, pulls any punches in describing this train wreck.
Christian Slater's character Edward Carnby has a serious problem. No, it's not appearing in Uwe Boll's film, although that would certainly classify as an insurmountable difficulty. Carnby's primary problem, first elaborated on in an introductory screen scrawl that roughly equals the length of the Oxford English Dictionary, involves an ancient race of technologically advanced people called the Abracadabras...er, I mean the Aldonovas...darn, the Abskani! Yeah, that's it, the Abskani. I think. Anyway, these prehistoric yahoos accidentally opened up some portal between the world of light and the world of dark, thus allowing evil creatures that look like something H.G. Giger upchucked after a Jagermeister binge to enter our world. The Abskani died off as a result, but they left behind a bunch of artifacts scattered throughout the world that, if properly collected and utilized, will allow humanity to close the portal once again. If it's been opened in the first place, that is, which apparently occurs when some old coot named Professor Hudgens (Mathew Walker) conducts some crackpot experiment with a bunch of kids. One of these kiddies was Eddie Carnby. Now a whole bunch of years later, Carnby is trying to find out what happened to him when he was just a wee lad.
You'll forgive me if my memory starts to blank at this point, but I'll be darned if I can form a coherent narrative concerning the rest of the film. Hudgens had something to do with forming a top-secret government agency entitled Bureau 713 charged with investigating the paranormal. Carnby was once a member but has since struck out alone much to the chagrin of his former colleague Richards (Stephen Dorff). In the middle of all of this artifact gatherin' we meet Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid), a brainy archeologist and protégé of Hudgens who just happened to date Carnby at some point in the past. I'd appreciate it if you stop laughing over the idea of Reid as an archeologist and keep reading the review. Thank you. Anyway, some superhuman yutz tries to kill Carnby but fails, and our hero soon turns up to engage Aline in his current quest to discover his missing past. Boll starts tossing out scene after scene of pure schlock, most of which involve highly stylized gunfights involving Carnby, Cedrac, the jackbooted thugs over at Bureau 713, and the Giger beasties. Everything is just as it seems as "Alone in the Dark" judders to its closing credits amidst a shriek of screeching metal and smashing glass. Will Carnby uncover his past? Will Aline Cedrac start wearing contact lenses? Will Richards quit striking macho poses? Who cares?
"Alone in the Dark" is to film what Chernobyl is to nuclear power. Aside from a few interesting shots, primarily the beasties running through a forest and the glimpses we see of the demons' hiding place, nothing works. The cackhanded script, written by no less than three now unemployable hacks, is so full of plot holes that any attempt to explicate on them here at length is an exercise in futility. The dialogue is the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard, the pacing moves in fits and starts, and the acting is utterly hopeless. Tara Reid as a scientist? Strikes one, two, and three right there. Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff try to do right with a horrible script, but I think it's safe to say both men might want to reconsider their career options after appearing in this atrocity. I hear Kmart is hiring. Dorff especially is in big trouble. With "Feardotcom" and "Alone in the Dark" on his resume, he'll be lucky to qualify for welfare. Congratulations, Uwe Boll--you've managed to wreck more careers than the Hollywood blacklist.
What really frightens me about Boll is his upcoming project "Bloodrayne." I feel that I should go see this film in the theater. Why? Because the inevitable comparisons between this director and Ed Wood practically demand that lovers of bad cinema should sit up and pay attention. I never had the chance to see "Plan 9 From Outer Space" on the big screen, but I do have the opportunity to see an Uwe Boll disaster at the local multiplex. One day that might mean something. Or it might keep me out of heaven. Either way, Herr Boll's formidable prowess at churning out total pap seems impervious to the outraged shrieks of the viewing public. Watch "Alone in the Dark" at your own peril.