Alone in the Dark (2005 film)
|Alone in the Dark|
|Directed by||Uwe Boll|
|Based on||Alone in the Dark|
|Edited by||Richard Schwadel|
|Box office||$12.7 million|
Alone in the Dark is a 2005 action horror film directed by Uwe Boll and written by Elan Mastai, Michael Roesch, and Peter Scheerer. Based on the video game series of the same name, it stars Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorff as paranormal investigators who combat a supernatural threat. The film's story is an adaptation of the game Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (2001).
Upon release, the film received overwhelmingly negative reviews for the story, dialogue, special effects, and Reid's performance. Holding a 1% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Alone in the Dark is considered one of the worst films ever made. It was also a commercial failure, grossing $12.7 million on a $20 million budget, although the home media releases would be more successful. A sequel with a different cast and story was released to home media in 2008; Boll served as a producer.
Paranormal investigator and former agent of Research Agency Bureau 713 Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) has a nightmare, in which hides from alien-like creatures as a child. Edward looks for remains of an extinct Indian tribe, the Abkani, which disappeared suddenly 10,000 years ago for reasons unexplained, and he finds an artifact of something related to it. On his way to the museum where Edward's ex-girlfriend Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid) works as an assistant curator, she is scanning similar artifacts, he is attacked by somebody with supernatural abilities who tries to steal the artifact that he has, but Edward fights him off.
At the same time, a ship finds a coffin made of gold from the ocean floor. After they dock, the captain locks up Professor Lionel Hudgens (Matthew Walker), while his men open the gold coffin, against Hudgens's advice. Minutes later, Hudgens escapes his imprisonment to find the rest of the crew killed by a mysterious creature and the coffin empty. Hudgens collects an artifact from the coffin, and he slips away ashore.
Upon the opening of the gold coffin, an old friend of Edward disappears into the night, as well as several other people across the USA and Canada. During this, Edward hears a ear-splitting screech while in his apartment looking over the Abkani artifact. At the same time in Bureau 713, the location of the opening of the gold coffin is relayed by the control room techs who report it to their bureau chief by the evidence of the electro-magnetic wave that appears on their monitors.
Edward thinks it's related to the Abkani, since the old friend and the others who disappeared were fellow orphans, from which Hudgens convinced Sister Clara (Karin Konoval) to run some experiments on the children. Edward arrives that evening at the Natural History Museum where he is reunited with Aline with the artifact, and she shows him another Abkani artifact that recently arrived that she has been working on since Professor Hudgens was away. The mysterious creature from the ship attacks them inside the museum, killing a security guard, but Edward and Aline hide in a storage closet long enough for troopers from Bureau 713 to arrive, and the creature retreats into the night.
Commander Richard Burke (Stephen Dorff), the team leader of the Bureau 713 strike force, arrives where Edward tries to relay information to him, but Burke rebukes him, saying that since he no longer works for Bureau 713, to stay out of their investigation. Edward tries to get information from his former co-workers at Bureau 713, one of whom is staff surgeon and pathologist Sam Fischer (Frank C. Turner), to learn more about the creature encountered as well as the history of the Abkani.
Professor Hudgens arrives back at the museum to his office, where he has a captured creature. Hudgens uses a syringe to draw fluid from the captive creature to study it as part of his further research to combine the DNA of man and beast. Edward continues investigating his past by going to his former orphanage to learn more about Hudgens research, and back to his apartment where he and Aline have sex.
While the Bureau 713 soldiers are patroling the museum, they are attacked by several creatures, who are the missing people that wondered off upon the opening of the gold coffin containing the creature. During the firefight, several soldiers, and most of the human-creatures are killed. Edward arrives on the scene and talks more with Burke, who again tells him away. However, during a scuffle, Edward picks Burke's pocket containing his Bureau 713 security badge.
Edward goes to Bureau 713 where he talks with Fischer in the morgue looking at one of the dead bodies, where Fischer shows Edward a small, cenntipede-like creature in the dorsal spine of his old friend. Fischer also discovers that Edward has one of his own in his body, but it is dead, presumably because of the contact with electro-shock that Edward had as a child. Burke and his men arrive and escort Edward out of the building. That evening, Professor Hudges ambushes Fischer at his home, and inserts a baby creature into Fischer's mouth.
Edward discovers that the Abkani had fought those creatures which can get killed by light. They also disrupt electrical light, creating blackouts. The Abkani artifacts found all over the world actually open the gate to another dimension, where millions of those creatures are sleeping, waiting to be freed. Hudgens makes further experiments, injecting himself with the blood of one of the creatures, granting him the ability to control the monsters.
Edward, Aline, Burke, and Burke's military squad go to Edward's orphanage, where there are strong electro-magnetic disruptions. They are attacked by dozens of the creatures, where all of the humans but Edward, Aline, and Burke are killed. Edward, Aline, and Burke reach the old surgery room underground where the baby creature was transplanted into Edward. There, Hudgens takes Edward's piece of archeological remains and opens the gate. Millions of creatures start to wake up and run towards the gate. Edward kills Hudgens, and the group place a bomb and run away, only to realize that they can't detonate the bomb from such a long distance. Burke goes back and sacrifices himself.
Edward and Aline rise to the surface at dawn, but find an evacuated city, with cars abandoned on the streets. As they walk down the street, something runs towards them.
- 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
- Tara Reid as Aline Cedrac, an archaeologist and museum curator; Edward's girlfriend who knows about the Abkani and their culture.
- Stephen Dorff as Commander Richard Burke, the Commander of Bureau 713, formerly worked under Carnby's direction.
- Frank C. Turner as Agent Fischer, the head of the medical unit of Bureau 713; he is one of Carnby's few trusted allies and friends.
- Matthew Walker as Professor Lionel Hudgens
- Will Sanderson as Agent Miles
- Mike Dopud as Agent Turner; he is killed by Fischer while working on a power generator
- Francoise Yip as Agent Cheung
- Mark Acheson as Captain Chernick
- Darren Shahlavi as John Dillon
- 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.
- 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
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 Something Awful.
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 that's where the real scares lie.
The film was released on VHS and DVD on 10 May 2005. An unrated director's 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.
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 26 June 2008.
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.
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Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 1% based on 123 reviews, and the site's critical consensus reads, "Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it's good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter." CinemaScore gave the film an F grade; as of April 2020[update], it is one of only 22 films to receive such a rating. Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an F grade, commenting that the film was "so bad it's postmodern." In the film's only positive review cataloged by Rotten Tomatoes, Michelle Alexandria of Eclipse Magazine wrote, "Alone in the Dark isn't going to set the world on fire, but it largely succeeds with what it has to work with. Just don't take it seriously and you'll have a fun time."
Awards and nominations
|Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Picture||Alone in the Dark||Won|
|Worst Actress||Tara Reid||Won|
|Worst Special Effects||Won|
|Worst Song||"Wish I Had an Angel" (Nightwish)||Nominated|
|Worst Director||Uwe Boll||Won|
|Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Director||Nominated|
|Worst Actress||Tara Reid||Nominated|
|Alone in the Dark: Music from and Inspired by Alone in the Dark|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||25 January 2005|
|Producer||All Shall Perish, Matt Bayles, Rob Caggiano, Steve Carr, Andy Classen, Jean-Francois Dagenais, Brian Joseph Dobbs, Dying Fetus, Patrick W. Engel, Steve Evetts, Fear Factory, Robert Flynn, Jacob Hansen, Tuomas Holopainen, TeeCee Kinnunen, Meshuggah, Misery Index, Fredrik Nordström, Zack Ohren, Eric Rachel, Nick Raskulinecz, Samael, Ben Schigel, Andy Sneap, Waldemar Sorychta, Patrik J. Sten, Peter Tägtgren, Devin Townsend, Paul Trust, Zeuss|
The 2-disc soundtrack was released by Nuclear Blast, with Wolfgang Herold as executive producer. The German band Agathodaimon's 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
- Dimmu Borgir – Vredesbyrd
- Shadows Fall – What Drives the Weak
- Fear Factory – Cyberwaste
- In Flames – Touch of Red
- Strapping Young Lad – Devour
- Agnostic Front – Peace
- God Forbid – Gone Forever
- Chimaira – Down Again
- Dark Tranquillity – Lost to Apathy
- Exodus – Blacklist
- Machine Head – Imperium
- Soilwork – Stabbing the Drama
- Lacuna Coil – Daylight Dancer
- The Dillinger Escape Plan – Panasonic Youth
- Meshuggah – Rational Gaze
- Nightwish – Wish I Had an Angel
- Cradle of Filth – Mother of Abominations
- Ministry – The Light Pours Out of Me
- Agathodaimon – Alone in the Dark
- Disc 2
- Arch Enemy – Dead Eyes See No Future
- Death Angel – The Devil Incarnate
- Diecast – Medieval
- Fireball Ministry – Daughter of the Damned
- Heaven Shall Burn – The Weapon They Fear
- Hypocrisy – Eraser
- Mastodon – Blood and Thunder
- Misery Index – The Great Depression
- Mnemic – Ghost
- Dew-Scented – Slaughtervain
- Suffocation – Souls to Deny
- Raunchy – Watch Out
- Kataklysm – As I Slither
- Bloodbath – Outnumbering the Day
- All Shall Perish – Deconstruction
- Bleed the Sky – Minion
- Samael – On Earth
- Dying Fetus – One Shot, One Kill
- The Haunted – 99
- Deathstars – Synthetic Generation
- List of American films of 2005
- List of films based on video games
- List of films considered the worst
- Alone in the Dark at Box Office Mojo
- "Alone in the Dark II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Erikson, Blair. "Behind the Scenes: Uwe Boll and Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark". Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
- "Tara Reid". Variety. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
- Alternate versions for Alone in the Dark (2005)
- "Lionsgate Double-Dips Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark?!". Archived from the original on 18 August 2007.
- "Alone in the Dark Comparison: R-Rated, Unrated Director's Cut". Movie-Censorship.com.
- Alone in the Dark at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dowd, A. A.; Rife, Katie (3 April 2020). "Is an "F" from CinemaScore Actually a Good Thing? Our Critics Weigh In". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
- Scott Brown (2 February 2005). "Alone in the Dark Review | Movie Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "Alone in the Dark – Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Alone in the Dark: Music from and Inspired by Alone in the Dark". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 December 2012.