It should come as a surprise to nobody that films based on computer games are, just about without exception, bad. From Street Fighter to Resident Evil to (it had to be mentioned) Super Mario Bros., they’re universally bad: there may be a counterexample somewhere, but I haven’t heard of it. The converse is generally also true: with a few notable exceptions, they’re generally lacklustre spinoffs intent on making a quick cash-in on the film. However, back to films. They generally range from bad (Tomb Raider) to astoundingly bad (the aforementioned Mario Brothers film).
You’d think we’d all be used to this by now, but occasionally a game-based film will come along which is so excrementally poor that it has to generate a smelly brown blip on our radars. Alone in the Dark is one such film – just check out the reviews and you’ll see precisely what I mean. Possibly the most definite danger sign about the film is that it’s directed by Uwe Boll, a director with an amazing record of taking game licenses and making them into shit films. So far he’s managed House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark, and he’s apparently working on a BloodRayne film (a game based on a Nazi-killing vampiress dressed in black leather – I think I sense a really bad film on the horizon) and has announced a film based on Far Cry (which is going to suck almost as badly). I think I can safely say this is one man who should never be allowed near a camera again as long as he lives.
I’m not really sure why abysmal game-based films grate on me so much. It may just be that they’re taking a licensed property and ruining it (which is also true of comic book licenses such as Catwoman or, going back a bit, Spawn), but I think it’s also the negative stigma they pin on gamers. I can imagine a “normal person” going to see one of these films and thinking “Damn, these ‘gamers’ like this kind of crap? What sad bastards”. Whichever it is, I think we can agree that some things should never see the light of day. Alone in the Dark is one. Uwe Boll is another.