Alone, Hide Seek to Scare

The latest big-screen video game adaptation from director Uwe Boll and a supernatural thriller starring Robert DeNiro compete to scare the pants off of moviegoers this weekend. Today sees the release of Lions Gate’s CG effects fest, Alone in the Dark, and 20th Century Fox’s entry in the creepy-kid genre, Hide and Seek.

Atari’s horror game, Alone in the Dark, gets the Hollywood treatment with a heaping helping of digital animation and other visual effects by Toybox. Christian Slater stars as Edward Carnby, a paranormal detective whose investigation into the mysterious death of a friend leads to a showdown with demons worshiped by an ancient culture. Tara Reid plays his ex-girlfriend, Aline Cedrac, who just happens to be a brilliant anthropologist with some skills that may help Edward thwart world domination by evil forces. The film also stars Stephen Dorff, William Sanderson and Frank C. Turner.

Boll has made a career of bringing video games to theaters. The director’s last film, House of the Dead, was based on the Sega title of the same name and he is in post-production on an adaptation of Majesco’s BloodRayne with Terminator 3’s Kristanna Loken in the title role. In pre-production is Boll’s cinematic take on Vivendi Universal Games’ Hunter: The Reckoning featuring Donald Southerland, and he is also producing a movie based on Crytek’s first-person shooter, Far Cry. Most recently, he optioned the rights to the Eidos game Fear Effect.

Despite a target audience consisting mainly of 13-year-old boys, Alone in the Dark is rated "R" for violence and language. After so many watered-down PG-13 stabs at the horror genre, it’s refreshing to see the return of the R-rated fright flick, such as the next film on our list.

Directed by John Polson (Swimfan), Hide and Seek stars DeNiro as a widower coping with his wife’s suicide. Meanwhile, his daughter, played by Dakota Fanning, deals with the loss by inventing an imaginary friend named Charlie. Strange things start to happen and a doctor, played by the ravishing Famke Janssen, is brought in to assess young Emily’s bizarre behavior. The cast also includes Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) and Amy Irving (Carrie).