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Alone in the Dark

(2005) no stars R
96 min. Lions Gate Films. Director: Uwe Boll. Cast: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Frank C. Turner, Mathew Walker.

Dear Alone in the Dark,

I'm afraid it's just not working out between us. It's not you, it's me. No, if I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, it is you. It's all the little things: your laughably stitched-together plot, your insultingly inept action sequences, your annoying habit of starring Tara Reid. At first, I thought I had a real catch. Like a siren, you had already attracted Christian Slater and Steven Dorff, chewed them up, and spit them out. Then there I was, spending time with you and rapidly realizing that I was wasting it.

I know we've only been seeing each other for 96 minutes, but it seems so much longer. That massive pre-credit scroll, your lingering presentation of a split-open head, and all that nonsense you spouted about the ancient Abkani culture, barely-suppressed demon dogs of the dark, and Bureau 713, the government's secret paranormal research agency, got to me very quickly. It was like dating that Amway saleswoman, that Jehovah's witness, and that Kennedy-assasination conspiracy theorist all over again and all rolled into one. Come to think of it, I guess both of us could use a little therapy.

Oh, Alone in the Dark, we had our moments. I'll never forget that funny little way you have of being based on an Atari video game or of tossing your footage like an ungainly salad chef. But when I'm honest with myself, I have to admit: we never really did anything together. And your chintzy taste! Going over to your place, I had to ask: how could you live that way? I'm glad I never let you dress me like you dressed Slater, in that low-cut black wifebeater and leather overcoat. Don't even get me started on your taste in music, quite possibly the worst I've ever encountered.

Your idea of "action" came from basic-cable sci-fi movies, but one day I'm sure you'll grow up. I am not blameless, of course. I'm sorry that I laughed at you during sex, for instance. Mostly, I blame you. You cheated on me with other bargain-basement creature features: every Alien rip-off you could find. I mean, c'mon! The Relic?! That hurt, Alone in the Dark. Thank God I finally found out what you were really made of: cheap film stock. And I'm sorry, but you look twenty years older than you actually are.

Your idea of sweet nothings was also pretty strange, like when you whispered, "Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it can't kill you." As a film critic, I can't ever believe that (I believe my work protecting innocent civilians does some good). So there it is, Alone in the Dark: we've simply grown apart. It's time for me to start seeing other movies. But I will think of you always, when I sit at the movies, alone in the dark, without you. Or, then again, if I'm lucky, I'll forget you completely.

We'll always have the multiplex,


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