Early this morning I participated in the fourth Shitfest Social, where a whole bunch of film bloggers get together and watch a film at the same time and make snarky comments about it, hosted by the wonderful Cinema Parrot Disco and Isaacs Picture Conclusions. This time around we were watching Alone in the Dark (2005), and it was a lot of fun commenting with everyone! Here’s the big thread with all our comments on the ridiculousness of this film.
Additionally, there was an earlier Shitfest Social that I unfortunately didn’t get to participate in. If you want to read roughly 300 comments about a film called Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (2013), have a look here! It sounds like it might be a great film, maybe.
Here’s the synopsis for Alone in the Dark:
Based on the video game, Alone in the Dark focuses on Edward Carnby, a detective of the paranormal, who slowly unravels a mysterious event with deadly results. (source)
And here are some thoughts that occurred to me whilst watching this film this morning.
- The film starts with what feels like ten minutes of exposition on the screen – both scrolling text and narration. In other words, it’s a really great way to start an action-packed horror film!
- Alone in the Dark is considered one of the worst films ever made. It currently holds a 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nothing much else to say about that. I agree, it’s really bad.
- This film is based on a series of video games, and amalgamates a number of plot points from each game into the one film (apparently). As a result, it feels choppy and weird. It’s like all the story elements are mismatched. I think this could have been a pretty effective horror/sci fi thriller if they had stuck to one concept (e.g. just the orphanage, or just the paranormal agency) and explored it better. And if they had better actors. And a better director.
- Can anyone think of a video game that’s been turned into a good film? I can’t think of any. Except Super Mario Bros (1993), which some people say is bad, but I think it’s kind of fun.
- This film was either directed by Uwe Boll, or by someone who needs to have their eyes tested for macular degeneration. The direction was just horrible. There’s random zooming, slow-mo, swooping and panning all over the place, and it’s almost like he wanted to include every directorial trick in every scene. It was so dumb. I think I actually laughed at one point where the camera suddenly zoomed in on Christian Slater’s face because it had happened something like three times already.
- Oh, and the CGI is really bad. But that almost goes without saying.
- The acting is also terrible. I don’t think I’ve seen Christian Slater in one good film (edit: Except Heathers (1988), which I love!). He’s the lead in this one so we get to see a lot of him squinting and attempting to look heroic, but it just doesn’t work. Stephen Dorff isn’t too bad in this but his curly mullet-style haircut is totally distracting.
- Tara Reid is not good in this film. She’s meant to be the scientist slash archaeologist slash assistant curator of an ancient artifacts exhibit or museum or something, but her performance reminded me of how we’re meant to believe that Denise Richards is a nuclear physicist in The World Is Not Enough (1999). Nope.
- Finally, this image of Tara Reid pretending to be a scientist/archaeologist/curator expresses all of my feelings about this film:
Watch this film at Amazon!