Friday, June 08, 2007

When will I learn that movies based on hit video games almost always invariably turn out to be a total waste of time? Among the most recent were the disappointing Silent Hill, the egregious Doom, and to add to the list of stinkers is Alone in the Dark. Yes, I saw this one on the DVD rack at Gramophone and jumped at it without hesitation. The fact that the movie never made the big screen here should have told me something.

AITD was a brilliantly atmospheric chiller of a game -- quite possibly the grandaddy of today's survival-horror genre. Although rendered mostly on wireframe, it blended sound and music effects with disturbing, claustrophobic environments, and limited the effectiveness of weapons and the availability of ammo, so every shot, every whack had to count.

Somebody forgot to tell the movie version that running around with a squad of marines, guns ablaze, doesn't actually qualify as being Alone in the Dark. So, squad of paranormal investigating marines go chasing after some evil creatures released from millenia of slumber by a bunch of greedy, careless deep sea salvagers. The creatures are from another dimension, and the scientist studying them inexplicably wants to open the portal to their dimension. It's not clear if he just wants to live with them, or let them all loose on earth. Do mad scientists need a reason?

On the other side are the do-gooder marines, a.k.a. Bureau 713. They shoot everything that moves, but one-by-one the squad gets decimated anyway. It sucks being on the losing side. What do we expect? After all, their enemy can become as insubstantial as smoke when they're being shot at, but can solidify at will to slice and dice their victims with enormous claws and teeth.

Despite lots of rockin' and rollin' with either fists or semi-automatic weapons there were places at which I fell asleep watching. So possibly some of the plot gaps I'm missing is a result of that. But, really, if this was supposed to be an action thriller, it didn't work for me.

Et tu, AITD? Bleh.

No comments: