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Film / Alone in the Dark (2005)

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"In 1967, mine workers discovered the first remnants of a long lost Native American civilization - The Abkani. The Abkani believed that there are two worlds on this planet, a world of light and a world of darkness. 10,000 years ago the Abkani opened a gate between these worlds. Before they could close it, something evil slipped through. The Abkani mysteriously vanished from the Earth. Only a few artifacts remained, hidden in the world's most remote places. These artifacts speak of terrifying creatures that thrive in the darkness, waiting for the day when the gate can be opened again. Bureau 713, the government's paranormal research agency, was established to uncover the dark secrets of this lost civilization. Under the direction of archaeologist Lionel Hudgens, Bureau 713 began collecting Abkani artifacts. When the government shut down his controversial research, Hudgens built a laboratory hidden within an abandoned gold mine. There, he conducted savage experiments on orphaned children in an attempt to merge man with creature. Hudgens victims survived as "sleepers" - lost souls awaiting the moment of their calling."
— A small snippet of the overly-long Opening Scrollnote 

Alone in the Dark, released in 2005 and directed by Uwe Boll, is a very loose adaptation of the franchise that popularized and kick-started the Survival Horror genre of video games. The film uses a few character names and basic plot elements from 2001's Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, but this is where the similarities between the two continuities end.

The film begins with an extended opening text crawl (narrated!) that tries to shed some light on the story, which involves an ancient race called the Abkani, an experiment by a Mad Scientist named Lionel Hudgens (Matthew Walker), and an orphanage from which he took many of his test subjects. One of these orphans, paranormal investigator Edward Carnby (Christian Slater), is called upon to investigate the remnants of the Abkani, hoping to find out how that's connected to his past (since he can't remember it at all).

What follows is a chain of events that brings Edward back to his old girlfriend, Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid) (who, in the original games, was not romantically linked to him). Eventually, the two of them run into members of Bureau 713 (of which Edward is coincidentally a former member), fight off hordes of aliens, and engage Hudgens in a final showdown.

A direct-to-video sequel entitled Alone in the Dark II was released in 2008, starring Rick Yune as Edward Carnsby, Lance Henriksen, Bill Moseley, and Danny Trejo. Uwe Boll produced, but did not direct, the second movie (the actual directors, Peter Scheerer and Michael Roesch, were also the directors for the House of the Dead sequel Dead Aim).

Alone in the Dark provides examples of:

  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: For about the first half hour no bullets can be seen outside of Carnby's (pointless) bullet time sequence. Then during a frantic firefight the lights go out and suddenly all bullets can be seen, shining brighter than Time Square, and magically able to take down enemies in very few hits, even though prior scenes depicted them as nigh invulnerable.
    • A particularly egregious scene shows a CG tracer bullet fly CLEARLY over the intended target by a good three feet and the enemy still falls over dead.
  • Flipping the Table: Burke gets mad and tosses a table over when he finds out Bureau 713, his employers, are the ones responsible for the monster outbreak.
  • Follow That Car: Inverted in the early Chase Scene — while taking a taxi to a museum, Edward and his driver realize one car has been suspiciously following them ever since they left the airport.
    Driver: You want me to lose him?
    Edward: Wouldn't mind.
  • In Name Only: The movie bears little resemblance to the game it was based on.
  • Jump Cut: Abused to hell and back.
  • The Living Dead: Agent Cheung raises her head a split second too early as Agent Barr walks past her dead body in the cavern.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Reid doesn't get nude for the sex scene. In the DVD commentary, Boll says he tried like hell to convince Tara to do just that but she refused. Boll then complains for quite a while how actresses in Europe wouldn't be so "uptight" about it and all but blaming the failure of the film on Tara Reid not taking her top off.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The film opens with a long text crawl describing the backstory, while at the same time lazily narrated by Uwe Boll himself.
  • Ret-Canon: Lots of ideas from this movie were reused in the 2008 game. An odd fact is that they may have staved the 2008 game off for three years to try and let the bad publicity die down, yet include ideas from this critically panned film.
  • Rule of Cool: Tries on so many levels, and fails on several more.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The movie has this, though watching the movie it can be hard to tell exactly what it is. The movie talks about a dark world that mirrors our light world, but at other times, it suggests that the Abkani tribe that discovered them ARE the evil in the can. But then, it's Uwe Boll, so...
  • Sequel Hook: Subverted. While the obvious Evil Dead rip-off ending is meant to tell the audience that Carnby's and Cedrac's battle isn't over yet, the actual sequel takes a far different turn.
  • Sex Starts, Story Stops: Aline shows up at Carnby's home while he's sleeping and they just start boning. And they never speak of it again.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: Right at the end. They don't even pretend they're being original.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Carnby and Cedrac's relationship is portrayed as this right up until their sex scene, but isn't touched upon again when the aliens show up.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The gratuitous sex scene is set to the song "7 Seconds" by Neneh Cherry and Youssou N'Dour. This would have been fine, had it not been for the fact that it's a song about racism, the choice of song probably resulting from Boll's poor grasp of English.
  • There Was a Door: Twice within a couple of minutes.
  • Wall of Text: The opening text crawl, which was added to explain things beforehand after test audiences complained that the film was too confusing.