THE NINTH GATE, aka THERE GOES TWO HOURS I’LL NEVER GET BACK

In 1977, director Roman Polanski had sex with a 13-year-old girl, then fled the country to avoid sentencing.

In 1999, he directed The Ninth Gate, starring Johnny Depp.

After watching The Ninth Gate last night, I’m now on the fence as to which is worse.

As history proves, most satanic-themed horror movies and thrillers tend to blow inordinate amounts of ass. In fact Rosemary’s Baby (also directed by Polanski) is an anomaly in this category; a diamond in a long valley of turds. I guess Polanski figured he could capture lightning twice in this regard, but if he was feeling this ballsy he might’ve been better off just hitting on another minor.

In The Ninth Gate, Johnny Depp plays a rare book dealer, given the task of flying around Europe to authenticate a book for a client of his. Right off the bat, this should clue you in as to how much excitement you’re in for. The book in question is some sort of Satanic handbook designed to open the “Ninth Gate” and (presumably) release Lucifer himself, but we all know this ain’t gonna happen. Instead, we get Frank Langella dousing himself with water gasoline and getting covered in computer-animated fire which, given the fact that this was done in 1999, looks about as convincing as a PlayStation cutscene.

As if the ending didn’t suck enough, the near-two hours leading up to it move slower than Susan Boyle on a treadmill; the pacing couldn’t be worse if Helen Keller herself directed this. Johnny Depp seems to get knocked unconscious 12 times (or maybe it was just twice?)  and everyone around him seems to die mysteriously – i.e., off-screen with zero entertainment. There’s also a random blond chick following Depp around, and we know something’s up with her because she occasionally floats and does weird shit with her eyes. Make no mistake; none of this is exciting.

"Don't look at me - I didn't write this."

The post-PlayStation fire ending plays out as such that I imagine the three screenwriters (Polanski among them) were writing this in a classroom when the five-minute bell rang, and they had to hastily scribble out something to end this fucker. It’s even worse than the ending of a Shia LaBeouf movie, and I hate those endings because Shia LaBeouf is always still alive.

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One Response to “THE NINTH GATE, aka THERE GOES TWO HOURS I’LL NEVER GET BACK”

  1. For the ones this movie was made for it was a classic. Most of the audience don’t know what they witnessed.

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