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The DVD Shelf
Hosted by: David Rose
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Hosted by: Film Renegado
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Joshua the Anarchist
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Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
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The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
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the agony booth
Alone in the Dark (2005) Movie Recap Page 7 of 8
Posted by The Fili Posted on: October 22, 2007
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Krash reports that her readings are off the scale, which, in her words, is "unprecedented". Er, no it's not, Krash. Every reading you get is off the scale. Why don't you go buy a bigger scale? Oh, right, I forgot, you're not allowed outside.

Krash says something else, but it's drowned out by helicopter noise. Someone tell the audio guy that there are such things as volume controls! Burke informs Tara and Carnby that this is the highest concentration of xenos they've ever seen, and a chance to end the whole thing once and for all. Mighty convenient, wouldn't you say?

Burke gets a standard military report from one of his soldiers, then pulls Military Leader Cliché Line #63c out of his bottomless box: "I don't care what you have to do, get more bodies down here, now! Look at this place, we need more!" He then chews out a guy named Turner for not getting a generator running. No idea what the point of that is.

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And then our three main characters, plus some expendable blackshirts, proceed into the mine. Carnby senses something, so he walks ahead of everyone else. He looks down a tunnel and says they have to go that way. He then follows this up with the indecipherable, "They're all coming here for a reason, and until we know what that is... we're not gonna be able to stop them." That would seem to indicate that they should stop what they're doing, and try to figure out that reason. Right?

Burke replies, "So we go in." Okay. That's not what I got from that line at all. So I guess Burke just hears what he wants to hear. And so they enter, and some poor boy named Miles, who looks like a low-budget version of Johnny Rico, is left to defend the perimeter.

More equipment, more setting up. My favorite is the minigun they trot out. One soldier is standing in front of it, waving her hand, and the gun follows along with the motions of her hand. So, the gun is either controlled by a motion sensor (in which case, she should be thankful that the safety's on), or the fancy glove on her hand is meant to control the gun. If so, someone screwed up the controls, because when she moves her hand to her right, the gun swings left. This shot is all the more hilarious because every time you see the gun in combat later, it stands perfectly still.

Then Miles takes time out from guarding the perimeter to yell at Turner for still not having the generator up and running. Still not getting it.

Pointless cuts to Keyboard Monkey Central show everybody waiting for the generator to come online. Wow. That's quite an efficiency bottleneck they have there at Bureau 713. One guy is a little slow, so 300 people end up just sitting on their hands?

Cut down to the mine for a little bit, and then it's back with the soldiers anxiously waiting. One soldier gets a little overeager, and shoots his gun, but is immediately yelled at by his superiors on the radio. I guess this is supposed to create tension, or something. Good job so far. So, back underground we go. They walk, they shine their lights, they walk some more, until they come to a dead end. Burke says he'll check it out.

Meanwhile, Turner finally manages to get the generator running, and all the lights come on. Excuse me, Mr. Boll, but did that have a point? No, didn't think so.

So let's return to the mine. Burke seems to have "checked it out", because the gang is walking again. I have no idea how they got past the "dead end", and frankly, I have no desire to know. They come to another dead end, but instead of Burke doing his "checking out" thing again, Carnby walks around and finds some Abkani symbols carved into the rock, which the other boneheads completely missed.

Helpfully, Tara explains, "It's Abkani." Yes, I think we have a rough understanding of how these symbols look by now, and we weren't expecting them to find Egyptian hieroglyphics or anything. But thanks anyway.

For some reason, a soldier kneels down to poke at some completely innocuous sand. He declares, "I think I found something!" He's rewarded when a huge hole opens up underneath him, and he plunges down.

The others shout: "Marco!" Hmm, does it seem like with most of these characters, we only learn their names once they've passed on into the Great Big Agony Booth In The Sky? Do you think that means something?

They aim their flashlights and find that Marco has plunged down an insanely deep hole. A close-up of Marco at the bottom shows that he's currently impaled on big wooden spikes. Oddly enough, the beams of the flashlights have no trouble reaching Marco down at the bottom of this impossibly deep hole.

In a previous shot, there was a ladder leading down the hole, which of course you wouldn't have seen unless you freeze framed the shot. So naturally, these idiots decide to climb down there.


Oh, come on, you're fine. Walk it off!

Above ground level, two soldiers discuss how they only have to hold off the xenos until dawn, which is four hours away. And... then what? They all dissolve in the sunlight like Dracula, or something?

Cut to Hudgens, standing on a hill while xenos bound past him, and run out into the woods. So, I guess he's the master of the xenos now, or something? And at over twenty seconds, this is yet another shot that just seems to go on forever.

Back at the mine, somebody yells, "Incoming!" All the soldiers take defensive positions. Krash reports, "Electromagnetics around the mine are off the scale!" Wow, still? Or again? And is this also "unprecedented"? I swear, this woman has a memory like a sieve.

Meanwhile, our old friend Secret Agent Fischer appears, and attacks Turner near the generator. If you'll recall, he got the worm down the throat from Hudgens, so I guess he, too, is a zombie. Oddly, he's now back in his three piece suit, which he wasn't wearing when he got the worm down his throat. How nice of him to get all gussied up for his killing spree.

In a shot that happens way too fast for the human mind to process, Fischer pulls the pins on all the grenades that Turner has on his belt, and blows up everything around them, including the generator. And it takes all of four seconds from the time the pins are pulled, to when the grenades go off. I suppose they got these grenades from the Look Ma No Hands Military Supply & Fireworks Depot. (And they only spend four seconds on this shot, and twenty seconds on nothing but xenos running around?)

Miles the Boy Scout is informed that the generator has been taken out. But this only causes him to make a face like his high school football team just blew the big game. And only then, about ten seconds after the generator was blown up, do all the lights go out. What the hell?


"Xenos: 108, Humanity: 0? Oh, man, we got slaughtered!"

More running xenos (can't have enough of these), waiting soldiers, xenos, soldiers, old tires lying around, and soldiers again. Meanwhile, our heroes are rappelling down the hole, and climbing down the crude ladder. Burke reports to somebody that they are "retrieving Marco." I hate to be a killjoy here, but there doesn't seem to be much to retrieve. "Hey, Marco, you've got a dozen spears poking through your chest, how are you feeling?" "Not bad, sir, slight headache. How about you?"

Up above, the soldiers are repeatedly told not to fire until the xenos reach the perimeter. Why? Oh, right. Because then it'll be that much easier for the xenos to break through and chow down on some extras.

And so, the xenos reach the perimeter, and lots of glowing bullets fly through the air, and xenos run around and get shot. Sorry to say, there's not a whole lot to really describe here.

Meanwhile, Burke and Carnby and Tara are still being useful, descending into that ridiculously deep hole. Suddenly, a big round stone column [?] begins to descend from above, and everybody scrambles to get out of the way. They all narrowly escape the stone column, which lands with a huge thud right on top of Marco. So much for "retrieving" him, I guess.

And now we see this group includes Tara's "security detail" soldier from earlier. When did she show up here? But it looks like running from the stone column caused her to injure her leg, and she collapses to the ground. Never mind that we clearly saw her jump away from the column unharmed in the last shot.

I know I'm giving short shrift to the scenes where soldiers battles the xenos, but trust me, you're not missing out on anything worth mentioning (although, it does seem strange that some soldiers are firing bullets into the sky). Miles orders another soldier into the fray, and he addresses her by name, so I guess she's as good as dead.

Down below, Marco's bones and blood ooze out from under the stone column. It's still not too late! You can retrieve him! Carnby points his flashlight at a wall that appears to be made entirely out of skulls. He says, "I don't think we're supposed to be here." Really? Whatever gave you that impression?

Tara finds an Abkani inscription, which apparently is a warning. Nothing new here, either, I'm afraid. You see one ancient warning, you've seen them all.

And then it seems Burke can no longer reach the other soldiers by radio. At the same time, Miles tries to get in touch with Burke, but can't, so he makes an exasperated face like somebody just cut him off on the freeway. For some reason, Krash and the guys at Keyboard Monkey Central also can't get in touch with either Burke or Miles. All of this, of course, is never explained, and doesn't even become important to the plot.

Meanwhile, there's more shooting. At one point, the xenos even climb atop a structure and take down a helicopter. And the movie manages to make even this look boring.

In the cave, some kind of worm thing is crawling through the sand of the cave floor. Oh, for crying out loud, now they're ripping off Tremors! The creature gets to Security Detail Soldier Woman, who can only lie there helpless, because of her hurt leg. The creature pokes his head out of the sand, and looks around as if saying, "Now, what do we have here? Hello everyone, I'm Winston, the resident disgusting life-form!"


Anyone who can come up with a family-friendly caption for this is welcome to it.

And then, Winston and his worm pals attack, and our heroes run around pumping bullets into the sand. Instead of describing this scene, I'll just ask you to imagine the insect fight scene from King Kong, and subtract anything that made it exciting. These guys look more like they're searching for easter eggs than fighting for their lives.


"That's right Tara, I'm you after 30 years of partying and smoking and boozing! Mwahwhahah!"

In the end, Security Detail Woman just dies, and the others continue without her. Unlike most soldiers that die in this movie, she actually received a name a good long while before she died. I just didn't feel like mentioning it.

Up above, all the shooting has stopped, and it appears out of the entire contingent, the only soldiers who survived are Miles and that female soldier who just got a name (which I've already forgotten, actually).

She runs to Miles and yells, "Everyone's dead!" Miles' response is to order to go to "high ground", whatever the heck that means, while he stays behind. Seeing what a sensible plan this is, she immediately complies.


Guess the Emotion #3. Additional question: Did this woman just A) remember she had an appointment at the dentist's, B) see a cute little kitty, or C) find all her teammates brutally slaughtered?

Down in the mine, Carnby discovers a brick wall and declares, "Something tells me we're not the first ones down here!" I invite you to ponder the stupidity of this statement, and to compare and contrast it with the "Murdered! And somebody's responsible!" line from Plan 9. They decide to blow the wall down with explosives. Sure, you're only trapped in a mine. What's the worst that could happen?


"This entire cave wall is made up of some kind of... perfectly rectangular stones! The odds of this occurring naturally must be... 1 in 100!"

Abruptly, Miles is blasting away at a xeno. And I mean that. We don't see the xeno slowly creep up on Miles or anything. We just cut to him, already blasting away at the thing. Again, crack editing job here. The thing dies, and of course Miles just calmly walks away.

Meanwhile, the guys in the cave set about to blow down the brick wall. The last Blackshirt sets the explosives to go off in eight seconds. And then Burke and Carnby, who were looking over his shoulder, decide to get away from it, and then they decide to move Ms. Security Detail's corpse out of harm's way, all in eight seconds. Brilliant.

The explosion sends out a ridiculous amount of smoke and dust and light. We don't even get a shot of the heroes surveying the aftermath of the explosion. We just cut directly from clouds of smoke to Miles, who's wandering across a wooden bridge somewhere.

He enters a mill and finds the mutilated body of his fellow soldier (told you she didn't have long to live), and those of you who love detailed bloody pictures of heads split in two are in for a real treat. And then, Miles gets jumped by two xenos, and that's the end of him, finally. Don't get me wrong, I didn't despise him as much as the rest of the cast. His inability to muster forth any kind of intensity was kind of amusing, actually. It's just we all knew he was going to die, and the movie was just stalling.

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