This one comes to us based on the PC game franchise of the same name, now having these reviews branch out from console games. The games are of the survival horror genre, predating 'Resident Evil', and tend to follow the exploits of Edward Carnby, as he investigates haunted houses or undead-ridden towns. This is yet another game franchise I know absolutely nothing about - just the name. But I do know that it had its fan base, and according to most fans, this was a bitter disappointment, and one of the worst video game adaptations of all time.
The film is evidently meant to be a "semi-sequel" to the fourth game, 2001's 'The New Nightmare' (not to be confused with 'Wes Craven's New Nightmare'), it has almost nothing to do with the 90s series, or any games that would continue in the future. So it's perfectly understandable that several fans would be disappointed, but then there's the cherry on top of this crud sundae - the director is Uwe Boll. This guy would be responsible for several bad video game movies, and this is the second we're covering; the first being 'House of the Dead', which was something I considered the "worst video game movie I've seen in my life". But let me tell you something, this is not much better.
We meet the film version of Edward Carnby (Christian Slater); a paranormal investigator, specializing in the occult, and keeping us "safe" from the horrors we can't see. He has developed a sixth sense for the paranormal since he was experimented on as a kid. He also once worked for Bureau 713 - basically the 'Men in Black' for the supernatural. Carnby investigates a demon-worshipping tribe called the Abkani, who disappeared ages ago. This connects him with his girlfriend, Aline (Tara Reid) who is assistant curator at a museum, and unboxes some Abkani relics, which soon lead to a portal that brings in demonic creatures that Carnby, Aline and Richard Burke (Stephen Dorff); Carnby's replacement in 713 have to fend off.
This probably sounds a little more interesting than it really is, as the film comes out to be dull, badly acted, and a bit of an inexplicable mess as it unfolds. It all opens with a crawl, explaining way too much, and not showing us a damn thing - in fact, the opening crawl could almost be adapted into its own movie. On top of that, you've got Slater's narration that sounds a bit like an eight year old kid presenting a project in front of his class - he's just one-note, uninterested, and shows absolutely no emotion. Then we have Tara Reid, who shows about as much emotion as a lamp post. It also does what 'House of the Dead' does and tries herd to be "awesome" with loud music and gunfire, but it looks more like a commercial for laser tag here or something.
As far as video game movies go, this is definitely one of the worst. Even watching it as its own thing doesn't excuse a lot of the bad that comes with this. It's not quite like 'Resident Evil' in that sense (although, it sure seems like it's trying to be a lot of the time). Anywhere you look at this movie, it's rated terribly, and it's yet another one to watch with a group of friends just to laugh at how terrible it is. However, it's not like this is "so bad it's good", this is just plain bad. It does not allow me to look forward to any future Uwe Boll video game movies I have set up for my reviews, but can it really get any worse than this or 'House of the Dead'? (which I still might consider worse than this, but not by much). We'll see, soon enough.