Movie Reviews

Alone in the Dark

Reviewed by: Glen Bucher
Rating: 4 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Cast:
Christian Slater as Edward Carnby
Tara Reid as Aline Cedrac
Stephen Dorff as Commander Richards
Frank C. Turner as Fischer
Mathew Walker as Professor Hudgens
Will Sanderson as Agent Miles
Mark Acheson as Captain Chernick
Darren Shahlavi as John
Karin Konoval as Sister Clara
Craig Bruhnanski as 80's Sheriff
Kwesi Ameyaw as Deputy Adams
Catherine Lough Haggquist as Krash
Ed Anders as Pinkerton
Brad Turner as Beat Cop
Michael P. Northey as Guard

Critique:
In 1992, a very creepy computer game came out and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It was rooted in Lovecraftian horror and pretty much defined an entire genre of horror games that came after it. Alone in the Dark the movie has only two things in common with that game - the title and the name of the main character Edward Carnby (Christian Slater).

This rendition has Carnby as a paranormal detective set in the present (the computer game was set in the 1920's) with a big hole in his memory that he is determined to find out about. Assisting him in that search is his girlfriend, a cataloger of artifacts at the local museum, Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid). However there is not much time for cataloging, since hoards of HR Geiger looking demon dogs burst in and require the intervention of an elite force of secret government paranormal commandos.

The movie has two personalities and can not seem to figure out which way it wants to go. Sometimes it follows Carnby and wants to be a spooky detective mystery; at others it follows nameless grunts battling waves of supernatural beasties and wants to be a big bug hunt. There are other characters that look like they could have had interesting back stories, but sadly there was no time spent developing them.

With a large part of the film's focus being on monster fighting, the effects play a very important role. However the film is shot very dark, and the majority of the effects are lost in the haze. The monsters look pretty cool, but it is often hard to see them. On the other hand, the score is fast paced and throaty and helps push the action forward, in a German death metal way.

Who should see this movie? Fans of shoot-em-up horror movies. There is very little here to please fans of the computer game it was based upon, if they do not also like the slaughtering of nameless zombie minions and hell beasts. There is plenty of action, but it is all pretty much in the mindless category. There is little humor and absolutely no reason to engage higher brain functions, unless you try to figure out why they even attempted a back story. Overall, Alone in the Dark is a choppy movie with near infinite waves of bad guys as the main appeal. So if you are a first person shooter addict with carpel tunnel syndrome, this movie could be for you.

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