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DVD Review

DVD cover

Alone in the Dark II


Starring: Rick Yune, Lance Henriksen, Bill Moseley and Rachel Specter
High Fliers Films
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 27 July 2009

When a young street hood goes in search of an ancient dagger which is said to possess mysterious powers, he is attacked by a malevolent force. As something steadily takes possession of him, he undergoes a series of visions showing a confrontation between an old man and a cowled figure. A small group of people tend to the sick man, and use him to locate the lair of the force - which turns out to be a centuries old witch called Elizabeth Dexter. But when the witch comes looking for them, the group is forced to enlist the aid of Abner Lundberg, a former witch hunter who has crossed swords with Dexter in the past...

Alone in the Dark was originally a computer game. In fact, it emerged around the time that I stopped buying them, simply because of a lack of time to set aside. I remember considering adding it to my titles but didn't in the end. The game proved successful enough to spawn a follow-up, in the same manner that the first film, based on events in the game led inevitably to this sequel. Part II contains a who's who of cult actors, with P.J. Soles from John Carpenter's Halloween, Jason Connery from Robin of Sherwood, and Lance Henrikson of Aliens and Millennium all making an appearance.

Unfortunately, there's little tension in the plot, as the witch, who can make herself wispy and therefore invulnerable to bullets, repeatedly shows up, wanders about a bit and then inexplicably disappears again. The only weapon effective against the witch is the dagger, so who can blame her for wishing to get her incorporeal mitts on the thing. However, ultimately she makes hard work of it, bearing in mind that she can't be harmed by conventional means and that she can possess other people's bodies. This is one of those stories in which things happen unless the plot decides that it shouldn't. In other words, in the real world people will act realistically to their means at all times, and the idea that the embodiment of evil would potter about making half-arsed attempts to go Boo, whilst waiting for a bunch of nobodies to find and destroy her is a suspension of disbelief too far.

For the casual viewer who doesn't ask too many questions, Alone in the Dark II might prove averagely entertaining, but for most regular followers of celluloid horror who aspire to competently written intelligent plotlines, this example will prove wanting.


Ty Power

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