Alone in the Dark Movie Poster Image

Alone in the Dark

Stupid horror movie based on an Atari game.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Intense and graphic violence.


Sexual situation, no nudity.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a horror film with constant, intense, graphic violence. Many characters are killed in a wide variety of creative manners, including being impaled. There are monsters and other grisly images. Characters use some strong language and there is a moderately explicit sexual situation.

What's the story?

A child escapes from an orphanage when a scientist is taking many other children for medical experiments -- for the future of the species, the scientist proclaims. Years later, that runaway child, Edward Carnby (Christian Slater), is a detective who explores supernatural and paranormal events. He's been assigned to investigate the secrets of the Abskani, an ancient tribe whose worship of demonic forces gave them incredible powers. The Abskani seem to be poised to return to take over the world, Carnby must turn to the one person who has the knowledge to stop them — his former girlfriend, archeologist Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid).

Is it any good?


There's something far scarier about ALONE IN THE DARK than its CGI monsters, whose lack of any apparent weight makes them seem as threatening as the floating Clifford balloon in the Macy's parade. What's scary is the premise: it's based on a computer game by Atari. Yes, video games can have ominous atmosphere and relentless bad guys, but they seldom provide much by way of dialogue, character, or plot. You know, those things in movies that make up for the absence of a joystick that enables the player to blow stuff up. There are a couple of good "boo!" surprises, a couple of cool fight moves, and some gross-out visuals, but they keep getting lost under the cardboard dialogue, the throbbing bass accompaniment to both a sex scene and a shoot-out, and the absence of that thing we often look for in movies -- what is it again? Oh, yes, acting.

If I almost forgot that for a minute, it's because everyone in the movie seems to have forgotten it, too. Slater just appears embarrassed, understandable in these circumstances. And if our expectations for Tara Reid are low, also understandable in these circumstances, she still does not quite manage to live up to them. The pixels in the CGI monsters give a more believable performance than she does. Preposterously cast as an archeologist, with her hair pulled back and drugstore black-rimmed specs on her nose, she delivers her lines as though she is calling for another round of Mai Tais for the house. And no one seems to have explained to her that in English, the interrogative is usually expressed with a rising inflection.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the "greatest good for the greatest number" approach taken by Hudgens.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 28, 2005
DVD/Streaming release date:May 10, 2005
Cast:Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff, Tara Reid
Director:Uwe Boll
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

This review of Alone in the Dark was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 January 22, 2012


Teen, 13 years old Written bySomeoneYouDon'tKnow May 29, 2012

One of those "so bad it's good" situations

That is the only thing keeping me from giving this one star. The script is aweful, the acting is mostly wooden, there are too many plotholes to count, and the CGI is dumb. And as such, I enjoyed it because it gave me lots of unintentional laughs. At the least, this shouldn't have made a wide release in theaters. Perhaps if it went strait to DVD, the critics wouldn't know it too well, and it would be spared the enormous amount of criticism it has earned now. Is it the worst movie I've ever seen? Well, I don't consider "so bad it's good" movies to be the worst movies ever, so I would say no. Just try not to take it seriously and you'll have a great time.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 8 years old July 18, 2012


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking