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Alone In The Dark II
cast: Rick Yune, Lance Henriksen, Rachel Specter, Bill Moseley, and Zack Ward

directors: Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer

88 minutes (15) 2008
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
High Fliers DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
In low- and mid-budget horror films these days is seems there are a few rules that must be adhered to in order to be classed 'horror'. Usually there is gore, blood and guts if you like, then there is death; in most horrors someone dies somewhere. As well as this, there has to be suspense and if possible some psychological terror perpetuating said suspense. You can substitute gore and suspense for each other or do both if you like. Then there has to be a mix of gender and race in the cast that represents all facets of the society. One vital ingredient that is usually missing is innovation.

Alone In The Dark II generally adheres to all of the above guidelines, but especially the 'no need for innovation rule'. The problem is that it is all so tedious. The acting, direction and even the effects are all of a laudable quality. Lance Henriksen (Aliens) as Abner Lundbert, a rather worn-out witch hunter, is the standout actor in the movie and effortlessly outshines those around him. Some of the other cast members are slightly underused, but in the main this is a well acted and presented movie. The cast has some familiar faces in Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn), and Rick Yune (Die Another Day) who plays Edward Carnby, a character who was played by Christian Slater in the first film.

So why the long face..? Well, this has nothing I haven't seen a million times before. The title leaves little to the imagination and so we find ourselves with a lot of spooky scenes set against a twilight backdrop of menace. It is probably this part of the movie that gives most consternation, as it struggles to define itself as a supernatural thriller or horror and in the end does neither. The scares are limited and the character building errs on the side of caution. In the end we find ourselves watching the man who fights evil fight with the evil inside himself. It is pretty predictable.

Despite all of the above, Alone In The Dark II is a film that is watchable. If you are prepared for an evening of light entertainment without too much cerebral effort, then this is ideal. If you like a bit of intrigue and suspense without getting too scared, watch Alone In The Dark II - if you are home alone, you won't need to sleep with the covers over your head (unless you already do so). In the end, I'll leave it with Thom Yorke to sum up this film: 'No surprises.'

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