Alone in the Dark

...will always have a special place in my heart.
Uwe Boll
Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff
The Setup: 
Tara Reid is a scientist. Tara Reid is a scientist. Tara Reid is a <strong>SCIENTIST.</strong>

This movie will always have a special place in my heart. It was during the cold, rainy doldrums of February, 2005, and I was in the midst of a deep depression, feeling like life is just an endless procession of day following day, feeling like I needed some project to give myself something to work on. But what? So there I was, wasted off my ass, watching the nightmare of Alone in the Dark, thinking about all the hilarious things I would love to point out to people about this movie, and it hit me: I'll have a website about bad movies. Six months later, and here you are, ON THAT WEBSITE.

Clearly, a dream realized.

Unfortunately, I saw this movie so long ago [it's July now] that I don't recall most of the individually ludicrous elements that I would love to deliver to you, but I do recall enough to give you an overall sense. I made a special point of seeing this because I had heard that it was so bad it was the modern equivalent of an Ed Wood film, and because, a mere week after it opened, it was only playing in one theater at 5:40pm. This was also the first movie in my highly successful [though thankfully seldom realized] "Take a Bottle of Vodka to the Movies" outreach program. It was so successful in this case that I truly cannot recall the ending of this movie, though I do remember that it didn't make a lick of goddamned sense.

Anyway, the movie begins with an opening crawl that explains this extremely detailed and ludicrous backstory that has only the most tangential relation to what you're about to see. Worse, since you, dear viewer, are clearly too stupid to read, the movie has poor Christian Slater read the thing aloud to you. To compound matters, this opening crawl goes on FOREVER. Seriously, over and over again you'll think "Okay, it HAS to end now," and it just doesn't. One of the IMDb comments that got me into the theater in the first place was: "We were laughing hysterically, and the first image of the film hadn't even appeared on screen yet." I was, too.

The movie then introduces Christian Slater, poor, poor Christian Slater, looking and acting every bit the faded D-lister that he is. Later the film introduces poor, poor Stephen Dorff, looking every bit the faded N-lister that he is. It's too bad, I quite like Stephen Dorff. He was good in Blade and I thought he was great in I Shot Andy Warhol. Is it because Hollywood has no place for leading men with severely receding hairlines? And if so, shouldn't Bruce Willis reach out to his less successful brethren? Anyway, they're both clearly aware of what a bomb they're in. And probably Bruce Willis is, too.

But then there's the matter of Tara Reid. The poor girl is asked to play a scientist, which requires her to wear glasses to show how really, really smart she is. She reaches her peak in her first scene [which, as usual, is the only one to really require her to appear brainy, the rest is all about cleavage], in which she's holding a clipboard and supposedly inspecting a shipment of specimens. Poor, sad Tara clearly has NO IDEA how to act like a scientist, and you can CLEARLY watch her thought process as she flails in terror, thinking: "Okay, look at the clipboard. Alright, now look at the other guy, and purse your lips. Okay, pencil to lips, then look back at the clipboard. Push glasses up on nose. Now seem to write something on the clipboard. Alright, now look back at the guy." You kind of almost feel sorry for her.

The movie goes on, making not the slightest bit of sense. I know, I know, people often say movies don't make any sense, but this one is WAYYYYYYY beyond them in truly making not one lick of sense. But it IS an Alien rip-off monster movie [isn't it astounding that they're still making Alien rip-offs?], which means that there's a monster and he kills someone every so often, so there is some additional entertainment to be had, should you grow bored with just how astonishingly bad the whole thing is.

This is the second movie by German director Uwe Boll, the first being the similarly horrendous House of the Dead [and the most recent being Bloodrayne], also based on a video game, and also starting with the same ludicrous opening crawl, also read aloud by a movie character! I would say that that movie was actually worse than this one, but then again I wasn't drunk for that movie, so I'm not sure I could really say. You should definitely visit for a more in-depth look at this director, which features a QUITE revealing piece in its "Articles" section by two screenwriters who attempted to work with Boll on an early draft of this movie. Anyway, have you ever known certain types of people who come to America from Germany, and you know how they [not all of them, but many of them] just don't fit in? How they think really banal things are emotionally moving, and really insipid things are totally awesome? And they're really arrogant about it, like 'you stupid American, you could never hope to understand?' That's totally how I picture Boll after this movie, and after reading interviews and articles about him.

There really is just too much ridiculousness here to do justice to. Especially if you like sci-fi horror movies, you owe it to yourself to gather some friends, gather some alcohol, and give this one a good watch.

Should you watch it: 

There are better bad movies out there, but in terms of shit-per-square-second, this one's pretty hard to beat.

HOUSE OF THE DEAD is Uwe Boll’s first video game adaptation and is in fact more horrible than the human mind can process.
BLOODRAYNE is his most recent, but not quite as bad, removing any reason there might have been to see it.