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:
- Abandoned Mine: Hudgens' secret lab (which is abandoned also) where he performed his experiments on orphans is inside an abandoned gold mine.
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: So where exactly is "New-FOUND-land", Dr. Cedrac?
- Artistic License Martial Arts: Carnby manages to initiate a somersault kick while lying on his back, violating several different laws of physics in the process.
- Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: One character dies from a bullet that obviously misses her by about two feet. Considering how all the bullet effects were CGI, therefore post-production, one can conclude that they clearly didn't give a damn.
- Captain Ersatz: If their appearance wasn't obvious enough, the monsters are even called "Zenos".
- Chewing the Scenery: Stephen Dorff as Richard Burke.
- Coitus Ensues: Aline shows up at Carnby's home while he's sleeping and they just start boning. And they never speak of it again.
- 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.
- Hot Scientist: Aline Cedrac, played by, oddly enough, Tara Reid (better known for her roles in American Pie and The Big Lebowski). Boll actually says in the commentary that the glasses and her hair in a bun make her look really intelligent. One critic remarked that this would be "like casting Dame Judi Dench as a crack whore".
- 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 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.
- 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.