Alone in the Dark

By Mark Ramsey | 2005/01/28

Alone in the Dark is certainly what you’ll be if you’re in the theater for this movie this weekend.

Once upon a time, films like this were expected to feature a giant outer space brain lumbering about on strings. Unfortunately there’s no evidence of a brain here, and the only thing hanging by a thread is the attention of the audience.

This flick

has the longest

scrolling text introduction

I’ve ever seen!

…If I had known I was going to do this much reading I would have brought a beach towel. Is this much preamble necessary for a pointless shoot-em-up? How about using cinema to tell the story, guys.

Just moments into Alone in the Dark we’re rewarded with a high speed taxi chase climaxing in one of the Ten aloneinthedark_reid.jpg

Commandments of cinematic car crashes: “Thou Shalt Collide with a Fruit Stand.” What is it about fruit stands that always place them in the hot zone of roadway peril? Is it the navel oranges? For God’s sake, IS IT THE NAVEL ORANGES?!

Who is our hero, you ask? None other than Christian Slater, the “go-to” guy after you’ve already gone to Bruce Willis, then Billy Zane, then Skeet Ulrich, then Richard Grieco, then Dolph Lundgren, then the guy who cleans your pool, and they’ve all said “no.”

Evidently Christian’s greatest fears are evil and shirts with sleeves, but not necessarily in that order. Christian’s character was raised in an orphanage, “Our Lady of Perpetual B-Movies,” and now he’s a paranormal investigator whose first assignment is to investigate the paranormal breasts of co-star Tara Reid.

While I appreciate the notion that Tara would surgically enhance her assets for my benefit, perhaps the doctor could have installed a talent gene instead. As I always say, if saline made you a great actor then Sean Penn would have gills.

In a move that would have type-casting spinning in its grave, Tara plays a bookish museum curator. “A museum curator?” asked Tara. “How do I cure a museum and what do aloneinthedark_slater.jpgI cure it of?” Historically, Tara has mounted many things but an exhibition of talent isn’t one of them.

If only scripts came in kegs, Tara, you could just suck down the dialogue and puke it back out.

“I wish my lines didn’t contain so many syllables and require a delivery with at least the slightest bit of emotion,” complained Tara, as her pants hung so low on her hips they were clinging for dear life. When her agent told her she would be playing a character I don’t think they meant “cartoon.”

Christian Slater has watched as decent roles have slipped through his fingers faster than what’s left of his hair.

Stephen Dorff reemerges from head-shot Hell as the macho leader of a secret government outfit set to rid the world of paranormal beasties. “I want a full security sweep of the area, beginning with the cavernous storage space between Tara Reid’s ears,” Dorff shouts “and if you find my agent shoot him straight between the eyes.”

When Dorff confronts Slater it’s two guys with foreheads so tall their combs have to rock-climb to get to work.

“The hair on the back of my neck just stood up,” Tara tells Christian. “Mine too – both of them,” he replied.

Our heroes need to find an artifact and fit it into a stone…LIKE A KEY! Gosh, I’ve never seen THAT one before.

Whoops! They have accidentally opened a subterranean door to a world of angry lizards and angrier Rock and Roll! “Some doors are meant to stay shut,” says one of our heroes.

And some movies are meant to go straight to video.

Together, they chase down a zillion phony-looking CGI creatures who not only live in the dark but are invisible. Why be invisible when you live IN THE DARK?

The climax was barely upon me when I slumped into my chair, threw my head back, and screamed to the heavens: “Oh merciful God, let it be over!”

Not a moment soon enough.

Photos Copyright ©2005 Lions Gate Films

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