"Alone in the Dark" [Movie Adaptations]
Alone in the Dark is a survival horror video game series originally developed by Infogrames, inspired by tales from H. P. Lovecraft and H.R. Gigern.
The series consists of six game titles. Although in most of them you play as Edward Carnby, a private investigator who has the daunting task of visiting haunted mansions and hollow towns.
- Alone in the Dark (1992)
- Jack in the Dark (1993)
- Alone in the Dark 2 (1993)
- Alone in the Dark 3 (1994)
- Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (2001)
- Alone in the Dark (2008)
- Alone in the Dark: Illumination (2015)
Also, two films which we’ll talk about today were released, based on these games:
Everything About Alone In The Dark (2005)
This action-horror film is considered the worst videogame movie of all time.
Both in the game and film, Edward is a member of Bureau 713, a government paranormal research agency that focuses on invisible creatures that wander around the dark (therefore, the series name).
Alone In The Dark (2005) Trailer
Production, Release Date, and Reception
Directed by Uwe Boll, produced by Boll KG Entertainment, Herold Productions, Brightlight Pictures, and Infogrames Entertainment.
Distributed by Lions Gate Films (US) and Concorde Filmverleih (Germany).
Not many people know that this movie almost was made based on Alone in the Dark fifth installment, but Eden Games delayed and reworked its production almost entirely.
The Alone in the Dark film was released on May 10, 2005, for DVD and VHS.
An unrated “director’s cut” was released in Australia, France, and Germany, which the latest was a #1 hit for several weeks. The North American version was released in 2007.
It grossed $2.8 million in its opening weekend and a total of $12.7 million worldwide.
As mentioned, Alone in the Dark is considered one of the worst videogame movies (if not the worst), receiving a rating of 1% (out of 100, based on 123 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Only one “positive” review was made for this site by Michelle Alexandria of Eclipse Magazine:“Alone in the Dark isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it largely succeeds with what it has to work with. Just don’t take it seriously and you’ll have a fun time.”
Alone in the Dark was one of the 22 films that received an “F” rating from CinemaScore.
Funny enough, the movie won as “Worst Picture”, Tara Reid won as “Worst Actress”, and Uwe Boll won as “Worst Director” at the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards.
Tara and Uwe were also nominated as “Worst Actress” and “Worst Director” respectively at the Golden Raspberry Awards.
Cast and Characters (Who made Alone in the Dark?)
- Christian Slater (Edward Carnby)
- Dustyn Arthurs (Young Edward)
- Tara Reid (Aline Cedrac)
- Stephen Dorff (Commander Richard Burke)
- Frank C. Turner (Agent Fischer)
- Matthew Walker (Professor Lionel Hudgens)
- Will Sanderson (Agent Miles)
- Mike Dopud (Agent Turner)
- Francoise Yip (Agent Cheung)
- Mark Acheson (Captain Chernick)
- Darren Shahlavi (John Dillon)
- Karin Konoval (Sister Clara)
- Ed Anders (James Pinkerton)
- Brendan Fletcher (Cab driver)
Plot/Sypnosis (What is the Movie “Alone in the Dark” about?)
Supernatural detective, Edward Carnby, who specializes in paranormal subjects, possesses a “sixth sense” that lets him sense the occult. That’s how he was able to work for the secret organization, Bureau 713.
But on the side, Carnby digs deeper into the disappearance of an ancient Mayan-like civilization (called “Abkani) that worshipped creatures from other realms. Aline, which is Carnby’s girlfriend, works as an assistant curator for the city’s Museum of Natural History.
Displayed inside, there’s an artifact capable of opening portals that connect both dimensions (their human and the demonic one).
Review and Opinions of Alone in the Dark (2005)
- R. Jones of Chicago Reader: “Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff, the reigning princes of Hollywood schlock, join forces in this brain-dead adaptation of a popular video game.”
- Rossiter Drake of San Francisco Examiner: “Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?’ ‘Alone in the Dark’ doesn’t come close to matching that standard.”
- Mark Halverson of Sacramento News & Review: “Lame monster movies like this adaptation of the popular Atari video game are scary for all the wrong reasons.”
- Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly: “so bad it’s postmodern.”
As you can notice, the film was a critical failure. Despite this, a sequel was released in 2008.
Everything About Alone In The Dark II (2008)
Three years later, Uwe Boll produced a sequel with a new cast and a story totally unrelated to the 2005 film. This time, it was filmed in New York City and Los Angeles.
It is important to remark that Boll didn’t direct this one, but the film still follows a similar style.
Alone In The Dark II (2008) Trailer
Production, Release Date, and Reception
This time, it was produced with the help of Ari Taub and released on September 25, 2008 (Germany), on July 27, 2009 (United Kingdom), and January 26, 2010 United States).
It was made with an approximate budget of $4,600,000 and it grossed a total of $133,867 worldwide.
11% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes (out of 10,000+ ratings). No Tomatometer Reviews
Cast and Characters
- Rick Yune (Edward Carnby)
- Rachel Specter (Natalie)
- Lance Henriksen (Abner Lundberg)
- Bill Moseley (Dexter)
- Ralf Möller (Boyle)
- Danny Trejo (Perry)
- Zack Ward (Xavier)
- Natassia Malthe (Turner)
- Jason Connery (Parker)
- Michael Paré (Willson)
- P. J. Soles (Martha)
- Brooklyn Sudano (Sinclair)
- Allison Lange (Witch/Elizabeth Dexter)
- Peter Looney (Ward Dexter)
- Lisette Bross (Old Witch)
- Louise Griffiths (Witch Voice (voice))
A former witch-hunter is forced to come back to fight his old nemesis, a century-old dangerous witch, of course. But this time, he joins forces with Edward Carnby and Natalie’s (Carnby’s girlfriend) father.
Together, attempt to track down the witch and prevent her from stealing his daughter’s soul.
This movie starts on a stormy night, where three people (one injured with a seemingly fatal disease) rush from an unseen force. On their search for a refuge, they find a public restroom, where Xavier hears and approaches them.
A woman removes a vial from the injured man’s infected black veins with the help of a dagger, right before the unknown creature finds and attacks the group, along with Xavier.
Three days later, Xavier meets the investigator Edward Carnby and shows that he also contracted the fatal illness. He is later invited to the decrepit place where the butchery took place and driven by voices, Xavier stabs Carnby with the same infected dagger.
Although he shot Xavier with a gun, it was too late. He was carried out, both convulsing and hallucinating about a secret lab and mysterious person asking for the dagger.
Review and Opinions
To be honest, there is almost nothing I like about this film.
Even Bill Moseley, Danny Trejo, or P. J. Soles couldn’t save it with their performances, due to the poorly written dialogue.
All of the cast’s characters seem dumb enough to commit the same mistakes during the 87 minutes of running time.
- R.L. Shaffer for IGN, “Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark did not require a sequel. Critics hated the film. Fans hated the film. … Thankfully though, Alone in the Dark II is a much better film than the first. It’s a touch of light on action, and the setting is far more limited in terms of production design, but the tone is a little more in keeping with the ideas of the game franchise. … Look at Alone in the Dark II more as a reboot than a sequel and it plays OK.”
- Sebastian Zavala Kahn of Más Gamers: “Tedious and unambitious, but at least better than the previous one.”
- “The Foywonder” of Dread Central: “There’s nothing to see here. It doesn’t even have the epic train wreck quality of Boll’s original. It’s just a plain ol’ bad movie.”