Alone in The Dark

Crimes

  • Opening with the world's longest crawl, but still requiring lengthy exposition and numerous flashbacks
  • Creating a scenario so daft that the casting of glassy-eyed party girl Tara Reid as a brainiac museum employee seems sensible
  • Inexplicably hiring two lead actors (Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff) whose Jack Nicholson-as-callow-Brat-Packer routines essentially cancel each other out

Defender
Director Uwe Boll

Tone Of Commentary
Clammy and unpleasant. Boll rants semi-coherently in a comical accent—imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger crossed with Dr. Strangelove—about the more obscure aspects of financing when not venting bitterly about his film's reception. But if audiences are willing to put up with it, they'll learn an invaluable fact: Shooting in Vancouver is cheap.

What Went Wrong
Boll notes that he was particularly disappointed by the film's box-office failure because its competition—specifically Darkness, White Noise, Hide And Seek, Freddy Vs. Jason, and Boogeyman—scored despite being, in Boll's opinion, "all not really great movies." The problem? Boll seems to feel that the "mysterious" Alone In The Dark frightened timid audiences with its genre-blurring insanity.

Comments On The Cast
Boll fumes that Reid is not "losing her bra" in the film. He attributes her modesty to American actresses' reluctance to get naked, but notes that Reid spends half her time being photographed at parties in various stages of undress. Boll describes Reid as being better at comedy and not the right physical type for the role, but heaps praise on Slater, whom he deems far superior to the "stoic and flat" Keanu Reeves.

Inevitable Dash Of Pretension
During one jaw-dropping stretch, Boll rails against the spinelessness of American movies. Later, he proudly announces that Ron Howard liked one of his films, then suggests he was punished for delivering an arty David Lynch ending instead of a more conventional horror-film conclusion.

Commentary In A Nutshell
Over footage of a bespectacled Reid looking confused, Boll says, "Tara Reid looks really intelligent with eyeglass," then chuckles before adding, "I hope."