TV & Video Review: ‘Alone in the Dark: Director’s Cut’

Have you ever wondered if director Uwe Boll had a different, better vision for this film and given the opportunity he could make vast improvements? Well, he’s decided to answer this question with the release of a Director’s Cut – and the answer is no.

Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) is a paranormal investigator and former employee of a government agency that handles unexplained phenomena. There is something supernatural being unleashed on the city and it is linked to a past Carnby cannot remember. With the help of his girlfriend (Tara Reid) and government agent Burke (Stephen Dorff), Carnby will have to try to stop whatever it is before it’s too late.

This was Boll’s second video game movie (following the also dreadful House of the Dead), which was highly criticized by reviewers and fans alike. In this new DVD version, Boll has cut a few “boring” parts and added several scenes of action and blood spill. Unfortunately, the film still suffers from a lack of story and laughable dialogue.

Raging Boll: The Stuff of Legends is a featurette with a misleading title. It does not document Boll’s now infamous boxing match against four of his critics, but instead explores the personality of the man-behind-the-camera. Interviews with his producers reveal their own apprehensions about some of his creative decisions and style of filmmaking. (It’s good to know the people around him question these things too.)

The feature commentary with Boll and two of his co-conspirators (a visual effects artist and producer) reveals why certain decisions were made and what modifications have been made to the theatrical version. Viewers can take solace in knowing Boll’s opinion of Reid’s performance probably matches their own.

Most of the other DVD extras are uninteresting, particularly if you watch them after listening to the commentary. This cut does not fix the numerous problems that plagued the theatrical release, including a confused ending, but some of the added sequences and effects are decent.

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