Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Alone in the Dark
In which V. wastes her afternoon watching dreck so she can blog it for the amusement of others.

Alone in the Dark sports a cast of today's most popular Hollywood miscreant trash. Christian Slater takes time out from his busy schedule of drunkenly groping the asses of middle-aged women on the street to play a "paranormal investigator". And Tara Reid takes time out from her busy schedule of being photographed exposing her nipples and/or falling down and puking outside nightclubs to play a "museum curator". We know she's supposed to be A Smart Girl because she wears nerdy glasses and has her hair pulled up in a bun.

The film begins with some flashbacks. Kids at an orphanage were being mysteriously experimented on. They are taken away somewhere. One escapes. Oh no!

Present Day: Christian Slater, Paranormal Investigator Extraordinaire, arrives in a city carrying a strange artifact from the Abkani civilization. The Abkani are being presented sort of like the Mayans... technologically advanced, mysteriously disappeared. We see a strange man giving orders over the telephone for someone to kill CS and steal the artifact.

Our boy Christian gets into a taxi and starts telling the cabbie rather a lot about his personal life, including the fact that he is a Paranormal Investigator (lest we forget) and explains what that means (lest we are idiots). Then he mentions that he lost all his memories at the age of ten because of something bad that happened at The Orphanage. Could it be?!? Is Christian Slater the missing experimental kid?! This is too transparent to be avoided.

Suddenly they realize that they are being followed by another cab. Chasing ensues. The driver of the other cab is some weird superhuman possibly demonic man. He can jump unusually high, and carries on chasing CS despite taking two bullets straight through the chest. Bullets through the chest might not kill him, but being impaled through the chest with a metal spike seems to do the trick. I find this to be inconsistent, and it pisses me off.

Meanwhile, Tara Reid has gotten a delivery of some Abkani artifacts. Some security guards at the museum discuss how mysterious the Abkani were, just so We The Audience get the point driven in to our tiny helpless minds. Tara Reid is wooden and bimboesque. I am not buying the Smart Girl Science act at all.

Christian Slater lives in a warehouse full of things that look like Mysterious Antiques. He checks his answerphone messages and has one from a guy whose nightmares have started again, and wants to know whether CS is having nightmares too. CS fondles his artifact, and finds some weird gem-looking thing inside.

Flash to a boat. The Mysterious Man (I think the same guy who gave the order to have CS killed, but I wasn't paying close enough attention) and his crew have hauled a solid gold box out of the sea. It's an Abkani relic (remember the Abkani? They're mysteeeeerious). He mumbles something about how they believed that solid gold could trap evil spirits.

Flash back to Christian Slater, everyone's favorite Paranormal Investigator. He's fondling his relic again, and cleaning it with a brush. He examines it closely under a magnifying lens, and notes that it has odd symbols all over it. Luckily he seems to have a library of Odd Symbols stored on his computer. Let's check those out, shall we?

Meanwhile, back on the boat (I really hate rapid scene changes)... Captain Mysterious doesn't want to open the gold box. He says it's a bad idea. His crew decides to beat him up and lock him in a room, and then they bust the thing open. Instead of treasure, there is a Shadowy Creature inside! Oh no!

Back to CS again! Looking on his little laptop at his Odd Symbols. Suddenly he gets a splitting headache! Could he somehow be connected to the Shadowy Creature? His relic has started to glow, but I don't think he sees it.

MASS CONFUSION! At the same time all of this is going on, a few random people we've not seen before are shown having their lives disrupted by some hypnotic urge. They stop whatever they're doing (washing dishes, stocking shelves, etc) and just walk away purposefully into the night. WTF? Also, Captain Mysterious is locked in a room and can hear shooting outside. The crew are trying to stop the creature? And Tara Reid gets mildly creeped out for a few seconds whilst cataloguing her Abkani relics.

Back on the boat, the shooting has stopped. Captain Mysterious breaks out of his little room and finds the entire crew dead. The box is empty and the boat is covered in blood. He mucks around with the box and finds another small relic inside a secret compartment.

Now we go to BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. It seems to be staffed entirely by people dressed like Ninjas. All in black, like they have to be ready for SuperSecret Ops at all times. They do some nonsensical things with an unrealistically futurized computer (computers in films are never at all realistic, are they?) and mutter something about magnetism. Their boss seems dismayed.

Tara Reid gets a phone call from The Professor. He's away on a mission somewhere. Tara Reid mentions that she's cataloguing the Abkani relics. NO NO NO!!! Bad Tara Reid! Bad! Bad! Only The Professor was supposed to open that box! Leave it alone, you stupid twat, he'll deal with you when he gets back. She responds with phrases like "uh... yeah". I'm sure all party girls Super Smart Scientists talk like that.

Christian Slater is having some kind of dream about the orphanage. He and a nun discover that all the missing kids have come back. He wakes up on the floor (I guess he passed out from his headache?) and his mobile phone is ringing. It's the wife of one of the people who Walked Purposefully Into The Night. She's woken up to find him missing. OMG! OMG! What should she do?

I am starting to think that no scene in this film is more than two minutes long...

Christian Slater tells a story in voiceover about how the Abkani monsters join forces with people who lose their humanity. We get a visual of some skyscrapers. I have no fucking clue.

He goes to visit the panicky wife. She has incredibly large boobs and Christian Slater keeps looking down her shirt. She worries that her husband has left her, and CS promises to "straighten this out". I guess the missing guy was one of the orphans too? Which would make sense...

We get another voiceover of CS asking someone for a favor, while the visual is an SUV driving over a bridge. I begin to think the director is abusing the voiceover technique. He winds up at the orphanage. The Nun is still there. She is happy to see him. He says that George has disappeared. She says "it's happening again." WTF? She gives him the files of the other orphans.

True to form, that scene was under two minutes long. He's back home now, looking up missing people on his laptop. No wait. He's doing a voiceover again, with a visual of more skyscrapers. He used to be an agent with BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. Remember that favor he called in? He's meeting an agent. He bribes the agent with pie, and the agent confirms that 19 former orphans went missing last night. He wants to know what CS is up to, and CS is deliberately vague.

Christian Slater, America's Next Top Paranormal Investigator, goes to the museum. Seems like Tara Reid is his girlfriend! OMG! She punches him because he's been incommunicado for months and she thought he was dead. Her trousers are way too tight. Not in a sexy way, but in a sad and ill-fitting way. He gives her his little relic, and they talk about it. Then the lights flicker. The security guard wakes up (!) to find that the cameras aren't working!

Everyone starts wandering around with flashlights. The film's editor finally breaks the two-minute barrier. The security guard gets killed by the Shadowy Creature. It crushes his skull. All right! CS and TR find the body and are then pursued through the museum by the Shadowy Creature. Just as they are about to get eaten, agents from BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS absail in through the skylights. I knew there was a reason that they were perpetually dressed like ninjas.

There are lots of dramatics and agents storm the museum with rifles. They find nothing. There's some tension between Christian Slater and the Leader of the Ninja Agents. They wrestle. CS steals some kind of security tag or computer disk or maybe flash memory or something off him and walks away.

Oh, it's a security clearance. CS goes to BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS and finds an old guy doing an autopsy on the superhuman man who tried to kill CS earlier. He has a parasite thingy fused to his spine. They say some boring stuff about symbiosis. It is implied that CS has a parasite thingy inside him, too. OMG!

This film is only halfway through and already I have written a Bible. Blame the editor's ridiculous two-minute scene maximum.

At the museum we find out that Captain Mysterious is actually The Professor AND a former agent. Yawn.

Back at 713 HQ we find out that yep, Christian Slater has a thingy inside him, but his thingy is dead. Probably because CS was electrocuted as a child. WTF?!? Removing it might paralyze him.

Captain Professor has a Shadowy Creature in a cage and he pokes it with sticks. He injects the creature's blood into his arm. End scene. This is worse for one's attention span than MTV.

Back at 713 HQ, we are getting a LOT of dodgy science. The dodgiest. Loads of stuff about specific elements (osmidium?) and light frequencies, and electromagnetic disruption, and something that was called something like "liquefied irradiated photon resin". BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Yeah, okay.

Christian Slater goes home with a big suitcase full of photon resin (BWAHAHAHAHA). He strips down. We see that Christian Slater is totally Not In His Prime. More voiceover, but I kind of don't care any more. Tara Reid comes over and can't resist his bloated manliness. They have sex. Eeeeew.

Okay, you know that friend CS has at Bureau 713? The one he bribed with pie, and then found out about the photon resin from? Well, Captain Professor goes to that guy's house and infects him with a parasite and his eyeballs turn grey. Cool!

Back at Christian Slater's house, a bunch of parasitic orphans show up along with a full-blown Shadowy Creature. He shoots it with liquefied iridium gum or WTF ever. And then ninjas agents from 713 show up and more creatures and there is a full blown lengthy shootout scene accompanied by industrial death metal.

CS and TR join forces with BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. They all go to an abandoned gold mine. The unrealistic computers indicate that the mine is home to all the Shadowy Creatures. This is when I start losing interest, and watch at 3x speed for a little while.

The mine has some Abkani stuff in it. They find a secret shaft. Yawn. General chaos. Shooting, explosions. I am very tired of the film at this point and really want it to end so that I can go do something fun.

Oh, here's something mildly interesting. Hidden deep in the mine they find a lab. Turns out it was BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS who actually infected the orphans with evil parasites. Why? WHY?!? The leader of the 713 agents (who might possibly be Skeet Ulrich?) gets all pissed off because they've been trying to stop something and the whole time it was something THEY created. WHY!!???

They find a secret door, and Christian Slater's little relic is The Key. Tara Reid sagely mentions that "some doors are meant to stay shut." Gah. Just shut up and go back to nightclubbing, Tara Reid. At least you're good at THAT...

Christian Slater decides to "trust the Abkani" and leave the door locked. But here comes Captain Professor and he threatens to kill them all unless they hand over the key. So they do, and he opens the door, and then maybe-Skeet-Ulrich kills him with a knife thrown to the chest. Inside the door is a black void full of monsters. Um, k.

Maybe-Skeet-Ulrich stays behind to blow up the mine and CS and TR escape. Practically everyone is dead. Back at the orphanage, the Nun is dead and all the orphans are missing. Oh wait, never mind. The city's been evacuated. The end.

Dear lord. This was tedious. It wasn't as awful as I expected it to be, but it sure wasn't good, either.