Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Frank C. Turner, Will Sanderson and Mathew Walker

Uwe Boll

Running Time:
96 mins

Out to buy on DVD 24/10/05

"Open the door"

Paranormal investigator Edward Carnby (Slater) is drawn into a battle between good and evil when he discovers an artefact that belongs to a long lost Native American civilization called the Abkani. Professor Lionel Hudgens (Walker) needs this to complete a key that will finally allow him to open a door that will unleash the pure evil on Earth. Carnby and Aline Cedrac (Reid) are the only ones who can stop his dastardly plan.

When it comes to transferring successful video games to the silver screen most adaptation miss more often than hit but can 'Alone in the Dark' change this? Definitely not!

The 'Alone in the Dark' franchise has been around since the early 1990s and has spurned four games with another in development. The game invented the survival horror genre and games like 'Resident Evil' and 'Silent Hill' owe everything to the adventures of paranormal investigator Edward Carnby because he was the original monster hunter. Investigating the occult and ghostly goings on, the character and his adventures should have been good material for a motion picture but that was until Uwe Boll and his team got involved.

For some unknown reason director Uwe Boll seems to the game industry's go-to-guy when it comes to adapting games to the big screen and it is very hard to see why. He is a director that makes Ed Wood look like a master. Imagine if the so called 'worst director in history' was given a budget and some stars desperate for a hit and you would get better films than Uwe Boll is producing.

The film does absolutely nothing with the source material, using only the Edward Carnby name and the supernatural setting to link it with the gaming franchise. For a movie entitled 'Alone in the Dark', seventy-five percent of the film takes place in daylight, with only the climatic events taking you into darkness. Another major problem is that the film only has three monsters and one of those is a normal human taken over by a worm simbiot. This fact makes the film look cheap and undeveloped.

The script is also appalling. How can accomplished and well know actors like Christian Slater, Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff actually agree to deliver these awful and embarrassing lines? All of these actors maybe desperate for a hit but you have to wonder if they actually read the script before agreeing to appeal in this rubbish. For example, when Edward and Aline have an unneeded love scene, the music is 'Seven Seconds' by Youssou Ndour and Neneh Cherry, which is unintentionally funny.

With Uwe Boll involved in more upcoming video game adaptations, the future of big screen versions of hit game franchises is looking very bleak indeed. For anyone who is a fan of the 'Alone in the Dark' games they will be horrified by what they are witnessing because this isn't the adaptation that they have been wishing for. Game companies really need to watch this film and his previous effort, the just as awful 'House of the Dead' before they let him loose on their games.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts surround sound tracks, the movie is presented extremely well.


In the Dark (7.42 mins)
Director Uwe Boll, writer Elan Mastan, producer Shawn Williamson and stars Christian Slater and Tara Reid talk about bringing the video game to the big screen. They reveal why they choose to not base the film on any of the game plot but to try and come up with a new Edward Carnby adventure. Christian Slater and Tara Reid talk about preparing for the film including fight and firearms training.

Shedding a Light (9.27 mins)
Visual effects supervisor Doug Oddy, visual effects Ted Gervan, visual effects compositors Joel Tong and John Fukushima and 3D artist Ben Wylie talk about the main visual effects shots in the movie. The group reveal the secret behind the Bureau 713 Base, the bullet time sequence, the sandworm and the battle in the darkness. Storyboard to Screen View storyboard to finish sequence comparisons for the 'Pinkerton Chase' and the 'Sandworm' sequence.

Bullet Time Animatic (1.32 mins)
View the computer generated walkthrough of the Pinkerton chase sequence.

Music Videos
Watch the music videos from the film including Dimmu Borgir's 'Vredesbyrd', Mnemic's 'Death Box', Hypocrisy's 'Eraser', In Frames 'The Quiet Place' and Kataklysm's 'As I slither'.

Director's Commentary
Uwe Boll talks about how he got involved in the project and why he has become fascinated with computer game adaptations. He reveals how the film was financed and how he uses his own funds to bring the projects to the silver screen. The then goes on to talk about the story and the changes to the character, revealing how he cast the production and the way he approached it. He is very enthusiastic about the film and his past and future prospects but you have to question some of his logic.


While the film maybe appalling, the DVD treatment isn't too bad. With some decent featurettes and a commentary track from a director who clearly thinks he knows what he is doing, fans (if there are any) should be pleased with the DVD package.


House of the Dead

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