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'Alone in the Dark': Sorry Atari

By Desson Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 28, 2005; Page WE38

As far as I could follow this movie -- and let me tell you, it was hard to write notes while trying to block out ear-shattering explosions with both hands -- Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) is a detective of the paranormal, who has shut out memories of something horrible that happened to him as a child. It has something to do with the hideous killer velociraptor-meets-the-Alien creatures that are now threatening the earth. He's been kicked out of 713, a government agency created to deal with paranormal phenomena (with special emphasis on the paranormal in bad movies). But since these creatures and bad guys (humans who have been implanted with icky, wiggly wormlike implants that enter their spine) keep trying to kill him, he has to continue the good fight anyway. This means reuniting with estranged 713 Commander Richards (Stephen Dorff) and other allies, including paranormal scientist helpmate Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid).

The movie's based on a video game (of the same name), and so, like those modes of entertainment, the action consists mostly of "Look there! Monster! Shoot! Shoot again! Oh, go ahead, shoot a lot! Ooh, another!," etc. This is definitely for people who 1) love the video game, 2) think Slater and Dorff are eminently watchable, no matter what bad flick they're in and 3) are wearing industrial-strength ear plugs. I'm not sure why Edward and his motley allies get so freaked out about these critters. They're such obvious CGI creations, all they have to do is laugh them away.

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ALONE IN THE DARK (R, 96 minutes) --Contains obscenity, impalings, explosions and other action violence. Area theaters.

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