Video Game Adaptations: Alone in the Dark 2
You know, for the life of me, I cannot possibly think of one rational reason for this film to exist. Dr. Boll’s original was a steaming sack of crap that died on its ample arse at the box office, so I cannot genuinely believe that anyone was asking for a sequel. I know the original was number one in the German box office on DVD for a whole three weeks (to quote Alanis Morissette: “Fuck you Germany”) but, well, that’s Germany and they’ve got no fucking taste at all when it comes to culture. I know I hammered this home unsubtly last time, but I think it’s a bit fucking rich for the rest of the world to have a piss poor sequel inflicted on us because the nation with the taste bypass that committed the ongoing catalogue of atrocities that is The Scorpions liked it. For less than a month.
Pah, Germany clearly sucks,
Alone in the Dark 2 was, and I know this may come as a huge shock, unable to secure the services of Christian Slater, Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff. It’s also an infinitely better film than the original. However, being better than the original still doesn’t mean that it’s very good. It is, and I know this won’t be a shock, actually crap. Basically, writer/directors Michael Roesch, Peter Scheerer threw out everything to do with the first film, which is a hugely wise decision. However, having launched the baby out with the bath water it seems that they didn’t have a fucking clue what to replace it with. So, this time round we’ve got what is allegedly a video game adaptation, sequel that ignores the original film completely and also ignores every single feature of the games. We’ve got no Shadow world, no monsters, no survival horror etc.
So what do we have? Well, I only watched this recently, and I cannot remember a damned thing about it. However, a brief perusal of the internets has reminded me enough: We’ve got a scary evil witch that is somehow hurt by light. That’s original, I don’t think. In fact, I’m sure that some derivation of this was the plot of the execrable Darkness Falls. I find this confusing, seriously, as why would someone rip off a film as terrible as that one? Nevertheless, to be fair, we’ve also got a magic dagger that “marks” you and allows you to be possessed by the spooky witch thingummy. It’s all a bit lame, when it comes down to it.
Nevertheless, despite this being an STV sequel that nobody asked for to a truly hideous film that almost everybody hated, they did clearly rifle Dr. Boll’s contact book and managed to secure the services of a first-rate schlock cast. We’ve got Bill Mosely as a witch hunter, Lance Henriksen as the “is he bad, no actually he’s good” witch hunter, Danny Trejo doing something or other that I can’t remember, Rachel Specter (last seen in the severely underrated Deep in the Valley and the shitty Prom Night remake) as the female lead, and weirdly Bond villain Rick Yune as Carnaby. That’s right, somehow between the two movies Carnaby managed to morph from Caucasian Christian Slater to heavily Asian Rick Yune. THAT MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER!!! Performance wise, Mosely, Trejo and Lance are clearly fucking cashing cheques, and who can blame them. Specter is trying hard, but I suspect that casting her as a porn actress in Deep in the Valley was the end of her range, but the film dies because Rick Yune is just a totally charisma less lead. It doesn’t help that a lot of it is him writhing around in pain, but really, he’s not a great screen presence. He may be a good henchman (although Die Another Day would suggest otherwise, but nobody came out of that shitburger in credit), but he’s sure as fuck not a lead actor.
Moreover, the central plot device of this film doesn’t work. Basically, because having a “magic knife” that transfers the witches mark to the character you need it to on touch is a terrible idea. Particularly as eventually there will be a need for one character to actually be able to, er, touch the fucking thing with no bad consequences. It’s no shock here that that character is Lance. However, his reason for being able to touch it? “That witch crap don’t work on me”. Well, Lance, I have to agree with you. It don’t, and in this film it’s not working on me either. Unless the magic spell is to bore me to sleep, in which case it’s having a remarkable success. That is simply shocking writing, and moreover it is actually revoltingly lazy. Give me 5 minutes and a few pints of Ireland’s finest and I can come up with a better line than that.
I can’t actually be bothered to continue talking about this film. It’s PG13 so there’s no gore, and the very least they could have done is have Specter strip down butt naked for a gratuitous shower scene. However, this too is absent so there is no nudity either. I know neither of these are integral to a good film, but they can be integral to making a bad film passable.
Needless to say, as it lacks even the barest minimum required to be watchable, I don’t rate Alone in the Dark 2, and I certainly do not recommend it. Unless you really want to be bored for 91 interminable minutes. It isn’t the worst film that I’ve ever seen, and it isn’t even the worst film on this list, but it’s not a film that I ever want to return to and having seen it recently it isn’t a film I remember either. I give it 1 Chang out of 4 for basic competence and being better than Boll’s effort, but overall, there’s no word more fitting for a summary of this film than “Avoid”.
Believe it or not, there is a plus side to this film, and that’s that I never again have to waste valuable brain space even thinking about anything called “Alone in the Dark” again. Which, I suppose is a bit of a result. Now, does anyone know where I can download some Earthworm Jim cartoons to get the taste of this rubbish out of my mouth?
Until next time,