Halloween Horror Fest 2015: Uwe Boll’s disaster, ‘Alone in the Dark’

To say that Director Uwe Boll has had a rocky career would be an understatement. Boll has helmed multiple films, many of which based off video games, and they have been critically panned, often times heavily.

My most memorable experience with Boll’s work was 2005’s “Alone in the Dark” which I watched in the theater, and like his other films, this one was a mess.

The film, which is labeled as a horror but comes off as more of an action, centers on the character Edward Carnby (played by Christian Slater), a paranormal investigator.

One of the biggest issues with “Alone in the Dark” is just how messy and overloaded the story is. The movie has a ton of plot points, such as orphans that were experimented on, an ancient civilization that summoned demons and a secret government paranormal people.

To put it simply, the whole thing feels convoluted and at times, the picture comes off as disjointed.

Then there’s the acting, which is another low point for the film. Slater, Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff all play the lead roles unconvincingly. Throughout the movie, their lackluster performances make their characters feel simply like stereotypes rather than actual people.

Not only was the acting bad, the on screen chemistry was terrible, too. The film tries to put forward a romantic relationship between Reid and Slater’s characters, but fails because it feels so forced both because of the performances and the script.

All of that stuff could be passable, though, if a creepy atmosphere was established, the evil monsters looked cool and unique and the action was exciting, right? Well, all of that doesn’t happen in “Alone in the Dark.”

There is no atmosphere set up for suspense, besides flickering the lights and the action scenes reach a whole new low. I realize that the film’s title has dark in it, but there are action scenes where it’s too difficult to see what’s going on because of how dark everything is. Not to mention Boll decided to add heavy metal music over the action sequences which makes the scenes come off as rather amateurish.

This scene is a prime example:


The monsters were also rather generic looking. For the times you could actually see them, nothing particularly set them apart from other beasts that have been put to film.

For horror fans, there are some gory moments, but that’s about it. Since the action moments are so poorly done, the entertainment value is low, too. Fortunately, it looks like Uwe Boll has backed off from directing lately, which is a good thing.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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