ⓘ Alone in the Dark (2005 film)

                                     

ⓘ Alone in the Dark (2005 film)

Alone in the Dark is a 2005 action horror film loosely based on the fourth installment of Infogrames video game series of the same name. Directed by Uwe Boll, the film stars Christian Slater as supernatural detective Edward Carnby, and also features a cast of Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Frank C. Turner, Matthew Walker, Will Sanderson, Mike Dopud, Mark Acheson, Darren Shahlavi, Karin Konoval and Ed Anders. Upon release, the film was both a commercial and a critical failure, receiving overwhelmingly negative reviews and being considered one of the worst films ever made. Despite this, a sequel was released in 2008.

                                     

1. Plot

Edward Carnby Christian Slater is a supernatural detective who specializes in the occult and other paranormal subjects. He was apparently the subject of strange experiments when he was a child, leaving him with heightened abilities as well as a "sixth sense" that allows him to sense the paranormal. Throughout the film, we also learn that Carnby used to work for Bureau 713, a secret government organization that seeks to protect the world from paranormal dangers.

In his spare time, Carnby investigates the disappearance of the Abkani, an ancient Mayan-like civilization that worshipped demonic creatures from another dimension. Central to the plot are several artifacts un-earthed in 1967 and now on display at the citys Museum of Natural History, at which Carnbys girlfriend Aline Tara Reid is the assistant curator. Carnby soon finds himself investigating the very scientist who conducted experiments on him as a child, while working with Aline and former protege now rival Commander Richard Burke Stephen Dorff, his replacement at Bureau 713, to stop an invasion of the demonic creatures who are pouring through a portal opened by the Abkani artifacts.

                                     

2. Cast

  • Christian Slater as Edward Carnby: Raised at an orphanage under Sister Clara, Carnby lost his memory when he was ten years old. At twenty, he was recruited by Bureau 713, gaining knowledge on the paranormal soon after. His current assignment is investigating his past along with researching the disappearance of the Abkani. Due to the experiments conducted on him as a child, he has the ability to sense paranormal activity and has increased strength and speed, which allow him to perform acrobatic moves that a normal human could not do.
  • Dustyn Arthurs as Young Edward
  • Matthew Walker as Professor Lionel Hudgens
  • Karin Konoval as Sister Clara, owner of the orphanage which cared for Edward. In the 80s, she was persuaded by Hudgens to allow experiments on the orphans. She keeps this secret from everyone but is inwardly guilty for her immoral actions.
  • Francoise Yip as Agent Cheung
  • Frank C. Turner as Agent Fischer, the head of the medical unit of Bureau 713; he is one of Carnbys few trusted allies and friends.
  • Will Sanderson as Agent Miles
  • Darren Shahlavi as John Dillon
  • Mike Dopud as Agent Turner; he is killed by Fischer while working on a power generator
  • Stephen Dorff as Commander Richard Burke, the Commander of Bureau 713, formerly worked under Carnbys direction.
  • Ed Anders as James Pinkerton, a former Agent of Bureau 713 who went missing in action in the 1980s. He and Hudgens were in charge of the investigation of the disappearance of gold-miners at Brutan Goldmine. Pinkerton became an experiment for Hudgens, who attached a Xenos creature to his spine. His abilities included increased awareness, strength, speed and willpower.
  • Brendan Fletcher as Cab driver
  • Tara Reid as Aline Cedrac, an archaeologist and museum curator; Edwards girlfriend who knows about the Abkani and their culture.
  • Mark Acheson as Captain Chernick
                                     

3. Alternate script

Blair Erickson came up with the first drafts of the script for Alone in the Dark. According to Erickson, Uwe Boll changed the script to be more action packed than a thriller. Erickson stated his disgust at the treatment and spoke negatively of his working relationship with Boll on Somethingawful.com.

The original script took the Alone In the Dark premise and depicted it as if it were actually based on a true story of a private investigator in the northeastern U.S. whose missing persons cases begin to uncover a disturbing paranormal secret. It was told through the eyes of a writer following Edward Carnby and his co-worker for a novel, and depicted them as real-life blue-collar folks who never expected to find hideous beings waiting for them in the dark. We tried to stick close to the H. P. Lovecraft style and the low-tech nature of the original game, always keeping the horror in the shadows so you never saw what was coming for them. Thankfully Dr. Boll was able to hire his loyal team of hacks to crank out something much better than our crappy story and add in all sorts of terrifying horror movie essentials like opening gateways to alternate dimensions, bimbo blonde archaeologists, sex scenes, mad scientists, slimy dog monsters, special army forces designed to battle slimy CG dog monsters, Tara Reid, "Matrix" slow-motion gun battles, and car chases. Oh yeah, and a ten-minute opening back story scroll read aloud to the illiterate audience, the only people able to successfully miss all the negative reviews. I mean hell, Boll knows thats where the real scares lie.



                                     

4. Home media

The film was released on VHS and DVD on May 10, 2005. An unrated directors cut was released in Germany, France, and Australia and was #1 on the German DVD market for three weeks. It was released on DVD in North America on 25 September 2007. In the newest version of the film, the sex scene between Carnby and Aline has been removed.

                                     

5. Original film and game tie-in concept

Originally, the film version of Alone in the Dark was to be released with Alone in the Dark 5, the fifth title in the series; however, the creators of Alone in the Dark, Eden Games, delayed the game and reworked it entirely from scratch. This appears to be one of the causes for the public backlash from gamers on how the film version of Alone in the Dark appeared to deviate from the Alone in the Dark game franchise save for the fact that the film was in some ways a sequel to Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. Uwe Boll stated his disappointment on the region 1 DVD commentary but also said that Atari had face shots of Christian Slater for the newest game - Alone in the Dark 5, which was released on June 26, 2008.

                                     

6. Reception

Box office

Alone in the Dark grossed $2.8 million in its opening weekend, ranking at #12; by the end of its run, the film had grossed $12.7 million worldwide.

Critical response

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 1% based on 120 reviews, and the sites critical consensus reads, "Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but its good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter." At Metacritic, it has a score of 9/100, indicating "overwhelming dislike". CinemaScore gave the film an F grade. Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an F grade, commenting that the film was "so bad its postmodern." In the films only positive review cataloged by Rotten Tomatoes, Michelle Alexandria of Eclipse Magazine wrote, Alone in the Dark isnt going to set the world on fire, but it largely succeeds with what it has to work with. Just dont take it seriously and youll have a fun time."



                                     

7. Soundtrack

The 2-disc soundtrack was released by Nuclear Blast, with Wolfgang Herold as executive producer. The German band Agathodaimons contribution was the title song. Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish had a music video of "Wish I Had an Angel" directed by Uwe Boll, with clips from the film.

Disc 1
  • Soilwork - Stabbing the Drama
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan - Panasonic Youth
  • Meshuggah - Rational Gaze
  • Fear Factory - Cyberwaste
  • Ministry - The Light Pours Out Of Me
  • Exodus - Blacklist
  • Cradle of Filth - Mother of Abominations
  • In Flames - Touch of Red
  • Dark Tranquillity - Lost to Apathy
  • Powerman 5000 - The End Of Everything
  • Agnostic Front - Peace
  • Lacuna Coil - Daylight Dancer
  • Nightwish - Wish I Had an Angel
  • Chimaira - Down Again
  • God Forbid - Gone Forever
  • Machine Head - Imperium
  • Agathodaimon - Alone In The Dark
  • Strapping Young Lad - Devour
  • Dimmu Borgir - Vredesbyrd
  • Shadows Fall - What Drives the Weak
Disc 2
  • Death Angel - The Devil Incarnate
  • Suffocation - Souls to Deny
  • Fireball Ministry - Daughter of the Damned
  • Bleed the Sky - Minion
  • Samael - On Earth
  • Raunchy - Watch Out
  • Dew-Scented - Slaughtervain
  • Kataklysm - As I Slither
  • Diecast - Medieval
  • Arch Enemy - Dead Eyes See No Future
  • All Shall Perish - Deconstruction
  • The Haunted - 99
  • Bloodbath - Outnumbering the Day
  • Dying Fetus - One Shot, One Kill
  • Misery Index - The Great Depression
  • Mastodon - Blood and Thunder
  • Deathstars - Synthetic Generation
  • Hypocrisy - Eraser
  • Heaven Shall Burn - The Weapon They Fear
  • Mnemic - Ghost