This third Uwe Boll video game instalment is based on the 2002 hack and slash game of the same name, which has since spawned a popular franchise that, once again, I have never dabbled in. I don't particularly know how well this does as far as an adaptation goes, but of the Boll video game movies I have seen, so far this has been the most tolerable. I still wasn't what one might call a fan, and its clear that Boll's stiff direction is ever present here, but unlike 'House of the Dead' or 'Alone in the Dark', it didn't actually get under my skin enough to genuinely bother me. Having said that, it's still not something I'd consider to be a good movie.
Things open at a side show travelling carnival, as we're introduced to Rayne (Kristanna Loken); a dhampir, a half vampire, unaffected by crucifixes, able to tolerate the sunlight a little better, and does not have a strong thirst for blood. Her downfall, however, is that she's still affected by holy water. We soon learn that she's the daughter of a Vampire King named Kagan (Ben Kingsley), who plans to annihilate the human race with an army of human and vampire thralls (or slaves). Rayne manages to escape the travelling freakshow through various acts of violence, and some of it seemingly deserved, to go off and fend for herself.
Meanwhile, three members of a vampire hunting squad called the Brimstone Society, Sebastian (Matthew Davis), Vladimir (Michael Madsen) and Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez) get wind of the carnival freak who may be a dhampir. They plan to find and recruit Rayne in order to fight against, and bring down Kagan. Little do they know, however, that Kagan is also looking for her, at the thought of her potentially interfering with his hostile takeover of the human race. Rayne's only real hope is to obtain the talisman that Kagan is after to complete his plan in order to gain an audience with him. Will Rayne be able to face her father head on? Will she aid the Brimstone Society? Will the movie actually be a bit better than Boll's previous two?
In my humble opinion, this is still not good, but it's far more tolerable than the messes that were 'House of the Dead' and 'Alone in the Dark'. This has all the Boll tropes, like stiff acting, and a bit of a jumble of a plotline, but I feel this has something the other films don't have, and that would be a niche fanbase. While 'House of the Dead' offers up zombies, and 'Alone in the Dark' offers up a series of random monsters, this offers up vampires, and vampires are one race of creatures that has a particularly heavy cult following. There's a certain fascination that comes with them as opposed to something like zombies where you just plain know the mindless corpses you're getting. Vampires have personality, and there's a bit more wiggle room to play with that.
In the end, I tried viewing this as more of a straight up vampire movie than one based on a video game (as, again, no dabbling in said title). As a result, I think I managed to avoid knowing where the film screwed things up as an adaptation, and I think I'm a little more forgiving than others with it. Having said that, there were still some bothersome things about it. We have stiff acting and bad direction, even considering some of the cast (I'm looking at you, Kingsley) along with some rough dialogue and editing here and there, and it's certainly not something I feel like I need to see again. But I will say that of the Boll video game adaptations, this has been the most tolerable so far. I may not be its biggest fan, but I can think of a few who might check it out based on their interest in vampire stories.
Leave a Reply.