Alone In The Dark (2005)

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Our “Uwe Boll: The Computer Game Years” series continues with this, based on a game I’ve never played. I’m guessing there’s a lot of being alone, and in the dark, but other than that I’m stumped, and it would appear I’m not the only one, as there is a serious wall of words to ease us into things (“Star Wars” being the reigining, and only, champion of “good films with pages and pages of text right at the beginning”). But not just text – presumably relying on the stupider end of society going to see this movie, they read the text out at the same time!

We have Section 713, led by Stephen Dorff, kind of a supernatural FBI; they’re tracking down artifacts from the ancient Abkani race, because they can open a portal to a demon dimension. Also on the hunt for this stuff is a baddie Professor with a Yorkshire accent and his assistant Tara Reid; plus former agent Christian Slater.  Slater is also, it turns out, one of 20 orphan kids who the baddie Professor experimented on 22 years ago and turned into “sleeper agents” – now ancient magic is stirring and the sleepers are waking up, although exactly why is still frustratingly out of reach. For reasons completely unknown, the baddie Professor wants to open the portal and let all the dark creatures through, even though some of them have made it through already. None of this is ever explained to us.

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You are forgiven if you read that paragraph, shake your head and go “huh?” If I had to describe this movie in one word (which would make reviewing easier) I’d call it “chaotic”. If I had another two words, I’d go for “bloody horrible”. Let’s see if I can bring all the skills I’ve picked up over nearly 500 reviews to try and puzzle out the twists and turns of this movie!

Ye gods, this is difficult. Reading around, a lot of criticism comes from this being nothing like the games, but as I’ve never played them and know nothing about them then that doesn’t bother me (and shouldn’t bother you, either, 7 years after the last one). What should bother you and me is EVERYTHING ELSE. I’ve been pretty kind to Uwe Boll recently, but this is the absolute pits, a movie that justifiably sealed his reputation as one of the worst directors of all time.  Plot holes!!! How did the weird Alien-looking creatures make it to Earth when the portal was closed? How did Baddie Professor capture one, and then how did he figure out that injecting himself with its blood would turn him into an alien-controlling super-villain? If the Abkani were wiped out, why did they take such care to bury all their artefacts in far-flung locations? Why not just destroy them if they were that dangerous? Just in case they fancied popping back over to Hell Dimension in a few millennia? Why did the Nun, who seems like a nice lady, let Baddie Professor have 20 kids to experiment on?

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With too many people and groups, there’s no sense that any of them have any motivation for doing what they do. The 20 “sleepers” are just cannon fodder for the end of the movie, have no dialogue or reason to exist other than to bulk the movie out a bit. They’re virtually impossible to kill at the beginning but drop like flies at the end…it’s like a fractal image of badness. Every time you think you’ve got to the bottom of it all, new levels of suck-complexity continue to reveal themselves. NOTHING MAKES ANY SENSE

I’m sorry, readers. If the aim of reading these reviews is to decide whether to watch a movie or not, I hope I’ve already made my position clear, but I can’t stop thinking about how bad it is. The second half of the movie is set in a giant cave complex handily located underneath the orphanage where Baddie Professor found his test subjects, and it’s just people shooting and stuff blowing up and dark corridors and huge halls and absolutely no explanation for anything whatsoever. I couldn’t tell you the reason for any of its existence, or why Dorff and Slater have the sort of relationship we’ve not seen since Iceman and Maverick in “Top Gun”. Or why a song called “7 Seconds” is playing as Slater and Reid have sex, and if that’s a subtle joke or just a horrid coincidence. Or why someone decided to cast Christian Slater as a ripped tight-vest-wearing action hero. Or why all the bulletproof vests had an outline of pecs and a six-pack on it, even those worn by women. Or why the city was evacuated at the end, or by whom. Or if Dorff survived. Or how they know the portal was closed. Or why they bother to set up that the aliens are super-sensitive to light, only to have one attack our heroes in broad daylight at the end.

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To save my blood pressure, I’m done. This is right down at the bottom of all the movies we’ve done here, and I can’t see it being dislodged from its position of shame any time soon. This is one of the movies that makes me curse my life choices, as people gave Uwe Boll money to make this, and the last time I got money for nothing was when I found a pound coin down the side of my sofa.

Rating: thumbs down

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