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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."
Alone in the Dark, released in 2005 and directed by Uwe Boll, is a very, 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, and an orphanage from which he took many of his test subjects. One of these orphans, paranormal investigator Edward Carnby, 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 disjointed and Plot Hole-laden chain of events that brings Edward back to his old girlfriend, Aline Cedrac (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.
Much like Boll's previous film adaptation of House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark was met with a tremendously negative reaction both from filmgoers and movie critics. There is very little connection to the games the movie is purported to be based on, and the film itself is full of bad special effects, mediocre acting, plot holes, and lots of Padding to attempt to cover up the plot holes.
Despite the movie's critical and commercial failure, a direct-to-video sequel entitled Alone in the Dark II was released in 2008. 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).
Tropes associated with this film:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: So where exactly is "New-FOUND-land", Dr. Cedrac?
- Actor Allusion: Perhaps by coincidence, but a character falls to his death in a pit of spikes. Said character is played by Ho Sung Pak, who'd portrayed Liu Kang in the first two Mortal Kombat games.
- Captain Ersatz: If their appearance wasn't obvious enough, the monsters are even called "Xenos".
- Chewing the Scenery: Stephen Dorff as Richard Burke.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu
- Coitus Ensues
- Darkened Building Shootout
- 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 the Leader: A late follower, no less. It may be loosely based on a video game, but the monsters, the action scenes, and much of the plot are blatant ripoffs of Aliens, which came out a good 18 years before this movie.
- 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
- Jump Cut: Abused to hell and back.
- 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 proceeds to bitch 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.
- The Other Darrin: Christian Slater is replaced by Korean-American actor Rick Yune in the sequel.
- Prolonged Prologue: The film opens with a long text crawl describing the backstory, while at the same time lazily narrated by...someone.
- Ret Canon: Lots of ideas from this movie were reused in the 2008 game. An odd factoid 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 film, this critically panned film.
- Rule of Cool: Tries on so many levels, and fails on several more.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Sequel Hook: Subverted. While the obvious Evil Dead rip-off ending is meant to tell the audience that Carnby and Cedrac's battle isn't over yet, the actual sequel takes a far different turn.
- Shaky POV 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/Isn't It Ironic? : During the sex scene, a Neneh Cherry song called "7 Seconds" plays. This would have been fine, had it not been for the fact "7 Seconds" is a song about racism.
- Although this certainly isn't justifiable, it is at least explainable: Boll's English is reportedly very poor, and it's quite likely he had no idea what the lyrics were actually saying and just picked a song he thought sounded cool.
- There Was a Door: Twice within a couple of minutes.
- Wall of Text: The opening.
- What Could Have Been: Blair Erickson's script was much closer to the games, detailed in this article, on the second page.