Alone in the Dark (2005 film)

Alone in the Dark is a 2005 action horror film loosely based on the fourth installment of Infogrames' video game series of the same name. Directed by Uwe Boll, the film stars Christian Slater as supernatural detective Edward Carnby (the main character in the games), and also features a cast of Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Frank C. Turner, Matthew Walker, Will Sanderson, Mike Dopud, Mark Acheson, Darren Shahlavi, Karin Konoval and Ed Anders. Upon release, the film was both a commercial and a critical failure, receiving overwhelmingly negative reviews and being considered one of the worst films ever made. Despite this, a sequel was released in 2008.[2]

Alone in the Dark
Alone in the Dark 2005.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byUwe Boll
Produced by
Written by
Based onAlone in the Dark
by Infogrames
Music by
  • Reinhard Besser
  • Oliver Lieb
  • Bernd Wendlandt
  • Peter Zweier
CinematographyMathias Neumann
Edited byRichard Schwadel
Distributed by
Release date
  • 28 January 2005 (2005-01-28) (United States)
  • 24 February 2005 (2005-02-24) (Germany)
Running time
96 minutes
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • United States
Budget$20 million[1]
Box office$12.7 million[1]


Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) is a supernatural detective who specializes in the occult and other paranormal subjects. He was apparently the subject of strange experiments when he was a child, leaving him with heightened abilities as well as a "sixth sense" that allows him to sense the paranormal. Throughout the film, we also learn that Carnby used to work for Bureau 713, a secret government organization that seeks to protect the world from paranormal dangers.

In his spare time, Carnby investigates the disappearance of the Abkani, an ancient Mayan-like civilization that worshipped demonic creatures from another dimension. Central to the plot are several artifacts un-earthed in 1967 and now on display at the city's Museum of Natural History, at which Carnby's girlfriend Aline (Tara Reid) is the assistant curator. Carnby soon finds himself investigating the very scientist who conducted experiments on him as a child, while working with Aline and former protégé (now rival) Commander Richard Burke (Stephen Dorff), his replacement at Bureau 713, to stop an invasion of the demonic creatures who are pouring through a portal opened by the Abkani artifacts.


  • Christian Slater as Edward Carnby: Raised at an orphanage under Sister Clara, Carnby lost his memory when he was ten years old. At twenty, he was recruited by Bureau 713, gaining knowledge on the paranormal soon after. His current assignment is investigating his past along with researching the disappearance of the Abkani. Due to the experiments conducted on him as a child, he has the ability to sense paranormal activity and has increased strength and speed, which allow him to perform acrobatic moves that a normal human could not do.
    • Dustyn Arthurs as Young Edward
  • Tara Reid as Aline Cedrac, an archaeologist and museum curator; Edward's girlfriend who knows about the Abkani and their culture.
  • Stephen Dorff as Commander Richard Burke, the Commander of Bureau 713, formerly worked under Carnby's direction.
  • Frank C. Turner as Agent Fischer, the head of the medical unit of Bureau 713; he is one of Carnby's few trusted allies and friends.
  • Matthew Walker as Professor Lionel Hudgens
  • Will Sanderson as Agent Miles
  • Mike Dopud as Agent Turner; he is killed by Fischer while working on a power generator
  • Francoise Yip as Agent Cheung
  • Mark Acheson as Captain Chernick
  • Darren Shahlavi as John Dillon
  • Karin Konoval as Sister Clara, owner of the orphanage which cared for Edward. In the '80s, she was persuaded by Hudgens to allow experiments on the orphans. She keeps this secret from everyone but is inwardly guilty for her immoral actions.
  • Ed Anders as James Pinkerton, a former Agent of Bureau 713 who went missing in action in the 1980s. He and Hudgens were in charge of the investigation of the disappearance of gold-miners at Brutan Goldmine. Pinkerton became an experiment for Hudgens, who attached a Xenos creature to his spine. His abilities included increased awareness, strength, speed and willpower.
  • Brendan Fletcher as Cab driver

Alternate scriptEdit

Blair Erickson came up with the first drafts of the script for Alone in the Dark. According to Erickson, Uwe Boll changed the script to be more action-packed than a thriller. Erickson stated his disgust at the treatment and spoke negatively of his working relationship with Boll on Something Awful.

The original script took the Alone in the Dark premise and depicted it as if it were actually based on a true story of a private investigator in the northeastern U.S. whose missing persons cases begin to uncover a disturbing paranormal secret. It was told through the eyes of a writer following Edward Carnby and his co-worker for a novel, and depicted them as real-life blue-collar folks who never expected to find hideous beings waiting for them in the dark. We tried to stick close to the H. P. Lovecraft style and the low-tech nature of the original game, always keeping the horror in the shadows so you never saw what was coming for them.

Thankfully Dr. Boll was able to hire his loyal team of hacks to crank out something much better than our crappy story and add in all sorts of terrifying horror movie essentials like opening gateways to alternate dimensions, bimbo blonde archaeologists, sex scenes, mad scientists, slimy dog monsters, special army forces designed to battle slimy CG dog monsters, Tara Reid, "Matrix" slow-motion gun battles, and car chases. Oh yeah, and a ten-minute opening back story scroll read aloud to the illiterate audience, the only people able to successfully miss all the negative reviews.

I mean hell, Boll knows that's where the real scares lie.[3]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS and DVD on 10 May 2005. An unrated director's cut was released in Germany, France, and Australia and was #1 on the German DVD market for three weeks.[4] It was released on DVD in North America on 25 September 2007.[5] In the newest version of the film, the sex scene between Carnby and Aline has been removed.[6]

Original film and game tie-in conceptEdit

Originally, the film version of Alone in the Dark was to be released with Alone in the Dark 5, the fifth title in the series; however, the creators of Alone in the Dark, Eden Games, delayed the game and reworked it entirely from scratch. This appears to be one of the causes for the public backlash from gamers on how the film version of Alone in the Dark appeared to deviate from the Alone in the Dark game franchise save for the fact that the film was in some ways a sequel to Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. Uwe Boll stated his disappointment on the region 1 DVD commentary but also said that Atari had face shots of Christian Slater for the newest game – Alone in the Dark 5, which was released on 26 June 2008.


Box officeEdit

Alone in the Dark grossed $2.8 million in its opening weekend, ranking at #12; by the end of its run, the film had grossed $12.7 million worldwide.[1]

Critical responseEdit

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 1% based on 123 reviews, and the site's critical consensus reads, "Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it's good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter."[7] CinemaScore gave the film an F grade; as of April 2020, it is one of only 22 films to receive such a rating.[8] Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an F grade, commenting that the film was "so bad it's postmodern."[9] In the film's only positive review cataloged by Rotten Tomatoes, Michelle Alexandria of Eclipse Magazine wrote, "Alone in the Dark isn't going to set the world on fire, but it largely succeeds with what it has to work with. Just don't take it seriously and you'll have a fun time."[10]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Subject Nominee Result
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Picture Alone in the Dark Won
Worst Actress Tara Reid Won
Worst Special Effects Won
Worst Song "Wish I Had an Angel" (Nightwish) Nominated
Worst Director Uwe Boll Won
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director Nominated
Worst Actress Tara Reid Nominated


Alone in the Dark: Music from and Inspired by Alone in the Dark
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
Released25 January 2005 (2005-01-25)[11]
GenreHeavy metal
LabelNuclear Blast
ProducerAll Shall Perish, Matt Bayles, Rob Caggiano, Steve Carr, Andy Classen, Jean-Francois Dagenais, Brian Joseph Dobbs, Dying Fetus, Patrick W. Engel, Steve Evetts, Fear Factory, Robert Flynn, Jacob Hansen, Tuomas Holopainen, TeeCee Kinnunen, Meshuggah, Misery Index, Fredrik Nordström, Zack Ohren, Eric Rachel, Nick Raskulinecz, Samael, Ben Schigel, Andy Sneap, Waldemar Sorychta, Patrik J. Sten, Peter Tägtgren, Devin Townsend, Paul Trust, Zeuss[11]

The 2-disc soundtrack was released by Nuclear Blast, with Wolfgang Herold as executive producer. The German band Agathodaimon's contribution was the title song. Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish had a music video of "Wish I Had an Angel" directed by Uwe Boll, with clips from the film.

Disc 1
  1. Dimmu BorgirVredesbyrd
  2. Shadows FallWhat Drives the Weak
  3. Fear Factory – Cyberwaste
  4. In Flames – Touch of Red
  5. Strapping Young Lad – Devour
  6. Agnostic Front – Peace
  7. God ForbidGone Forever
  8. Chimaira – Down Again
  9. Dark TranquillityLost to Apathy
  10. Exodus – Blacklist
  11. Machine Head – Imperium
  12. SoilworkStabbing the Drama
  13. Lacuna Coil – Daylight Dancer
  14. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Panasonic Youth
  15. Meshuggah – Rational Gaze
  16. NightwishWish I Had an Angel
  17. Cradle of Filth – Mother of Abominations
  18. Ministry – The Light Pours Out of Me
  19. AgathodaimonAlone in the Dark
Disc 2
  1. Arch EnemyDead Eyes See No Future
  2. Death Angel – The Devil Incarnate
  3. Diecast – Medieval
  4. Fireball Ministry – Daughter of the Damned
  5. Heaven Shall Burn – The Weapon They Fear
  6. Hypocrisy – Eraser
  7. Mastodon – Blood and Thunder
  8. Misery Index – The Great Depression
  9. Mnemic – Ghost
  10. Dew-Scented – Slaughtervain
  11. SuffocationSouls to Deny
  12. Raunchy – Watch Out
  13. Kataklysm – As I Slither
  14. Bloodbath – Outnumbering the Day
  15. All Shall Perish – Deconstruction
  16. Bleed the Sky – Minion
  17. Samael – On Earth
  18. Dying Fetus – One Shot, One Kill
  19. The Haunted – 99
  20. DeathstarsSynthetic Generation

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Alone in the Dark at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Alone in the Dark II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  3. ^ Erikson, Blair. "Behind the Scenes: Uwe Boll and Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark". Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
  4. ^ Alternate versions for Alone in the Dark (2005)
  5. ^ "Lionsgate Double-Dips Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark?!". Archived from the original on 18 August 2007.
  6. ^ "Alone in the Dark Comparison: R-Rated, Unrated Director's Cut".
  7. ^ Alone in the Dark at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Dowd, A. A.; Rife, Katie (3 April 2020). "Is an "F" from CinemaScore Actually a Good Thing? Our Critics Weigh In". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  9. ^ Scott Brown (2 February 2005). "Alone in the Dark Review | Movie Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Alone in the Dark – Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Alone in the Dark: Music from and Inspired by Alone in the Dark". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 December 2012.

External linksEdit