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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.15%
Worth A Look: 1.15%
Average: 11.49%
Pretty Bad: 4.6%
Total Crap81.61%

5 reviews, 57 user ratings

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Alone in the Dark (2005)
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by Lucas Stensland

"It's interesting how bad this film is."
1 stars

It's interesting how bad Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark is. This is a film about the mysteries of sleep, tortured orphans, unexplained phenomena, archeological expeditions, an ancient civilization, lizard monsters (that are said to inexplicably fulfill the protagonist's destiny), martial arts, zombies, government conspiracies, and Tara Reid's breasts. It's Indian Jones Reloaded directed by a very (very) drunk Jan de Bont, though much less coherent. I'll say it again: It's interesting how bad Alone in the Dark is.

The film begins with a narrative text scroll that reminded me of the endless spaceship that opened Spaceballs. I turned to my friend to inquire if this endless text scroll were a joke. He shook his head sadly, muttering, "No, man. No." Not only was the text scroll a half-crazy short story that perplexed the audience from the get go, it was also unnecessarily read aloud by a narrator who sounded as if we were about to yawn after the first few hundred words. From the very beginning I knew I was in for an unusual experience.

The story is really too convoluted and nonsensical to get into, really. I don't think multiple viewings will clear things up either. It's beyond comprehension. Frankly, after seeing the film I don't even think the title makes any sense. Christian Slater plays Edward Carnby, an investigator of unexplained phenomena. Dressed in a full-length leather coat and black wife-beater with two-day stubble on his face, Slater looks like a midget-version of Lorenzo Lamas as TV's "Renegade" - but less convincing. It's a sad experience to watch an actor once hailed as the next Jack Nicholson perform lame martial arts maneuvers against inconsistently colored zombies. I never prized or detested Slater, but I never thought it possible to see him in a movie that was so obviously beneath him.

But Slater is not alone in his shame. He is joined by the never-was Stephen Dorff and the I-thought-she-was-up-and-coming Tara Reid. Dorff has always irked me, as his air and flat personality make him seem like a rejected lead singer from some poser acronymic/numeric alt-band, like, say, MH81 or Mouth3000. Here his Commander Burke of 713 (don't ask) gets to wear a pistol shoulder holster and shout things at Slater like, "What are you doing here?! You're off the squad!" Yes, it's that generic.

On the other hand, Reid has previously shown to have at least a modicum of personality, but she's a comedic actress. She is inexplicably cast here as a no-nonsense brilliant archeologist. Unfortunately Reid, who of the three leads has the most to lose at this stage of her career, comes off by far the worst. Her pronouncements of scholarly matters are less convincing than Brad Pitt debating stem-cell research. And yes, when she must talk smart, she wears glasses, but even that fails: Her glasses don't fit; they're way too big. A brilliant scholar who dresses like a model would never have bought the wrong size glasses. And I won't even mention her mispronunciation of Newfoundland (okay, I will: New-found-land).

There are so many puzzling, muddled and weak attributes in the film that one could write a short book detailing either the banality or the inconsistencies of Alone in the Dark. For example, at one point an artifact is hastily delivered to Reid who runs a handheld red-laser scanner over it to instantly learn its exact identity. In college I worked as a cashier and had no idea that I was training on high-tech archeological instruments. In one hysterical scene Slater explains his absence to his girlfriend (Reid) that he had fallen in with some militants in a remote part of Chile and then tracked some poachers for a few months. Yes, Christian Slater said that! And he said it with sincerity! I nearly cried. Or the film's ending is another good example. Shot wonderfully, the last sequence seems like it could have been a success, a poetic touch, until some baffling narration comes on that completely contradicts what we just saw. This isn't art-house ambiguity or cleverness. It honestly seems as if Boll were writing the scenes a minute before shouting, "Action."

Uwe Boll has often been called the new Ed Wood, and I think that's fairly accurate, though Wood never had the equivalent of this film's $20 million budget. The comparison to Wood obviously isn't a compliment, but it's not the worst insult either. Both directors clearly love the filmmaking process and really want to please their audience (regardless of how imagined the audience is). Will stoned college kids and camp lovers be watching Boll films in thirty years and howling at its saxophone-tinged score? Honestly, maybe. But on the plus side, I doubt stoners and pop-culture aficionados will be watching A Beautiful Mind or The Hours or any of the other recently overly-praised hollow entities Hollywood makes for "prestige."

So if pop culture enthusiasts and camp-obsessed academics will be watching more Boll than Robert Zemeckis to learn about our current pop-addled culture, then perhaps film fans would be better off paying more heed to our great trash and less to already-dead self-appointed classics. I know I'm not alone when I say that I haven't seen Forest Gump since 1994. But I did watch Showgirls six times last year.

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originally posted: 02/02/05 06:02:41
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User Comments

4/24/17 David H. Tara Reid as a scientist; that's should have been the first clue of a truly bad movie. 1 stars
8/07/15 ThommyMac I'm a bad movie afficiando since the early 70s. Kids, this is 'so bad its bad' 2 stars
9/25/13 David Hollingsworth giving this 1 star is too good for it. 1 stars
7/24/12 Quigley Ungodly stupid. 1 stars
4/01/12 CR a decent movie with good effects, ok story, and some scares. 3 stars
4/02/11 JW The perfect so-bad-it's-good film. I can't trash a movie that's given me so much laughter. 3 stars
6/30/10 Mr X I watched this entire shitty movie for nothing! FOR FUCKING NOTHING! GODDAMN IT! 1 stars
1/14/09 blah blah how the fuck does boll keep working he's complete dog shit 1 stars
8/05/08 Bnorm I would rather watch a 4 day marathon of bollywood music videos. Fucking atrocious 1 stars
11/20/07 B Short without a doubt, the worst movie...ever 1 stars
10/03/07 wall avoid 1 stars
6/13/07 Lewis Hamilton Honestly, the greatest comedy movie ever made! 5 stars
5/01/07 Uwe Boll I'll beat up anyone who thinks this isn't shit. 1 stars
4/18/07 Tracey Chambers bad movie. great game. 1 stars
3/26/07 Nick One of the worst 'horror' movies Ive ever saw, and thats saying a lot 1 stars
8/20/06 Ryan_A Worse than you've heard. Reid's uniquely horrible. 1 stars
7/21/06 Sugarfoot A song called 7 Seconds is played during Reid/Slater's sex scene. That is hilarious. 1 stars
7/15/06 Anthony G I cannot put into words how bad this film is,instead im going to say something random. "pp" 1 stars
7/10/06 Steve Michaud And Uwe Boll continues to pollute the cinematic landscape like so much toxic waste... 1 stars
6/05/06 Jon Why do they even let Boll make movies? 1 stars
3/14/06 tatum I was lost from the opening scene...Reid is this country's worst actress 1 stars
3/01/06 davey madden awful 1 stars
1/04/06 WISEMAN This movie must have been so bad, I didnt even know a movie was made about this... 1 stars
11/27/05 Indrid Cold Laughable mishmash of "Aliens" and other good films. I'll be nice and give it a 2. 2 stars
11/10/05 jingy I expected HOUSE OF THE DEAD bad and only got LEONARD PART 6 bad. Either way, still shit. 1 stars
10/27/05 mad_zombie_killer Tara Reid's best work 1 stars
8/23/05 Nick Miscast ,fake hollywood Scientist girlfriend. Bad acting, Bad story,Bad everything! 1 stars
8/18/05 ES they're right its terrible 1 stars
8/05/05 Sucks the suckiest of suckitude Man, why do Slater and Dorff have to be whoring in this kind of shit? 1 stars
7/29/05 E The most torturous 90 minutes I've ever experienced 1 stars
7/19/05 Brandy Harrington This is horrible, even for Christian Slater... 1 stars
7/17/05 Eduardo I'm having the laugh of my life! This review and comments its the best of this movie 1 stars
7/13/05 C.E. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz............ 1 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma Wow! What a borefest! 1 stars
6/16/05 Chesterfield This movie sucks geriatric ass!!!!, and it's bad too.....=S 1 stars
6/09/05 Vince SERIOUSLY, I can't think of any movie worse than this one. 1 stars
6/07/05 ELI Hehehehehehe. This was DUMB to the 9,000,000,000th something. 1 stars
5/26/05 BB Alone in the Dark, Great! Then I watched it. My dog humping a teletubbie is scarier. 1 stars
3/12/05 Mc Mr. Dr. Phd. I didn't even see it but I know I can't be wrong giving it the lowest possible rating :) 1 stars
3/05/05 Leesha Worst film I've ever seen in a theater. 1 stars
2/20/05 Naka It's UWE BOLL, folks. What the hell did you EXPECT?!? 1 stars
2/10/05 Uncle Salty Tara Reid? Christian Slater? COULD ANYONE HAVE ANTICIPATED THE AMAZING AMOUNT OF SUCK??? 1 stars
2/09/05 Al Guy Sad. Actually worse than House of the Dead. 1 stars
2/08/05 tsuikin Very good 4 stars
2/06/05 Which no standard cunt keeps voting this pile if shite as average? 1 stars
2/04/05 Roy L. Cain The most dumbest movie this year so far ! 1 stars
2/03/05 Dewey This isn't "laugh at it" bad, like Gigli, this is "sleep through it" bad. AVOID IT. 1 stars
2/03/05 Die, Rodney Stephens, you scumbag. This will be the worst film of the century, unless Boll makes another one. 1 stars
2/03/05 Paul 1 star is too generous; truly heinous in every way 1 stars
2/02/05 mott the drupal where are the bugs? the game had many glitches! 2 stars
2/02/05 Rodney Stephens GOOD MOVIE 3 stars
2/02/05 whatevr yet another awful video game movie 1 stars
2/01/05 John tara reid is hot, i just wore ear plugs throughout the movie 3 stars
1/30/05 bongeezer Not one believable chaarctor in this steaming pile. 1 stars
1/30/05 Marilyn a waste of time 2 stars
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  28-Jan-2005 (R)
  DVD: 10-May-2005



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