Saturday, July 30, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #15, Alone In The Dark

The ninety-ninth and penultimate movie I have to watch on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the worst-reviewed movies from 2000-09 is one I was saving.  I had intended to watch it for months, but I knew I'd be disappointed if I watched it too early in the process.  There are movies on the list that fit into certain categories and I tried to deal with those categories in kind.  So, the ____ Movie category (Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, et al)?  I tried to get that the hell out of the way as quickly as possible.  Ditto, any period dramas.  I waited quite a bit longer with the three Larry the Cable Guy movies before I could steel myself.  But, from the second I watched Bloodrayne (the only movie that I've watched twice so far), all I wanted to do was watch Uwe Boll movies.  The controversial German auteur had four films on the list and they are glorious.  He has so little care for the quality of his movies -- for good reason in some cases -- that the viewer must simply sit back and laugh and laugh and laugh.  All are ultra-violent with little plot and inane dialogue.  Most of his movies -- and all that were on the list -- are based on video games, which is already a wasteland genre for cinema.  So, I saw Bloodrayne and loved it and House of the Dead and kept rewinding scenes because they were so funny-bad and  In The Name of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and thrilled to the bad music and worse casting.  And I wanted to watch Alone In The Dark so, so badly, but I didn't.  I wanted more of Dr. Boll's brand of genius to look forward to.  After all that, the verdict: Alone In The Dark is disappointing.

I don't doubt that it's the worst of the four movies on the list.  Mostly, it's just really boring.  So much of the movie is so dark -- the monsters in the movie are hurt by sunlight, even though they inexplicably come out into the sunlight at the end -- that you don't get the graphic gore of Boll's other movies.  What little plot there is is so confusing that the movie starts with a ninety-second scroll/narration to explain the story, setting a sleep-inducing tone.  Tara Reid is so bad that Boll excised her scenes from the director's cut, but she's bad in a "Well, yeah, it's Tara Reid, so who cares," sort of way.  The dialogue is all exposition, so it's less funny bad than tune-out bad.  Everything in the movie screams, "Yawn."

There are some funny moments.  At one point, a soldier falls into a pit and the rest of the team searches for him by calling out his name, which was -- wait for it -- Marco.  I have never before prayed so hard for Joel Hodgson or Mike Nelson and crew to be with me when I was watching a movie, because it ended up sounding lame when I called back, "Polo!"  The CGI is Ray-Harryhausen-technology-esque.  The movie has a load of obvious continuity errors and one famed goof, when one of the soldiers is killed but as the camera focuses on her body she lifts her head up right before the scene cuts.  It's not a total loss -- it is, after all, an Uwe Boll movie -- but it is mostly forgettable, which Bloodrayne, for instance, is most definitely not.  I freaking love Bloodrayne.

I'm still happy that I saved Alone In The Dark, because I am so fascinated by Dr. Boll and his films.  It was much more enjoyable than the #2 movie on the list, which I watched a couple of days ago.  I also don't intend to stop watching bad movies forever when the list is finished and that especially goes for Boll's oeuvre.  The list, however, will be finished soon.  Stay tuned, tomorrow, same bad time, same bad channel.  Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.

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