Stench of success

Rated 1.0

This weekend, I did a suck-the-double-barrel feature with Alone in the Dark and Hide and Seek, and I’m still trying to figure out which will stand as worst horror film of the year.

I pray there isn’t another contender.

The two are polar opposites in their approach to the genre. Alone in the Dark attempts to be your typical entry in what most folks (correctly) perceive the average horror film to be: lame-assed posturing, plank-faced delivery of “on-the-nose” dialogue, cardboard characters, razor-thin plotting. In that department, it “succeeds” … but it was a bit of a disappointment for me in a seriously wrong way, though not as completely inept as House of the Dead, which easily shouldered aside every contender for worst film of 2003 and proudly assumed the throne (as in commode).

Like House, Alone is a video-game-based howler directed by German blunder-kind Uwe Boll (I’m assuming it’s pronounced “Bowel"), and it’d be hard to find anything thing worse on celluloid since Ed Wood, Jr. died. I’d be tempted to posit that Uwe Boll was the re-incarnation of Wood, but the man died 12 some years after Boll was spawned.

Unfortunately, unlike House of the Dead, this beast isn’t really bad enough to be entertaining.

Here we have Christian Slater posturing as a paranormal investigator trying to keep an ancient artifact out of the hands of a mad professor. Tara Reid is on hand as his bright archeologist girlfriend. You know automatically that she is bright because she wears plain eyeglasses and pins her hair up. Then she opens her mouth. Whoops. I’m sure that there are, well, maybe a couple of brainiac archeologists out there that speak, dress and act like complete and total airheads, but it sure wasn’t helping with my suspension of disbelief here. Call her Miss Read.

The two dodge semi-tangible Alien-looking thingies and semi-zombies as Stephen Dorff pouts about, voguing in his fetish gear as the commander of a 1337 team of paranormal exterminators that are trying to help figure just what the hell is going on. Lots of gunfire ensues and lots of people die. Thingies blow up.

There’s really no plot to get in the way, save to say that if the mad prof gets his hands on the artifact, civilization as we know it will end. On the other hand, if he were to succeed, Uwe Boll would never get to direct a movie again.