Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Reviews and Recommendations
Reload this Page >

"The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

DVD Reviews and Recommendations Read, Post and Request DVD Reviews.

"The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 10:30 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Chad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Somewhere Hot Scoville Units: 9,999,999 Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Posts: 12,259
Received 811 Likes on 316 Posts
"The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge



The Ninth Gate (1999)




Selected by shellebelle


Additional Posters:
Spoiler:



















IMDB ENTRY

STREAMING GUIDE INCLUDING AD-SUPPORTED SERVICES

HOOPLA
______________________________

These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

______________________________




S
P
O
N
S
O
R
E
D

B
Y














S
P
O
N
S
O
R
E
D

B
Y



2021 DISCUSSION | 2021 LISTS

Old 10-19-21, 10:03 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
numbercrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: new orleans
Posts: 836
Likes: 0
Received 88 Likes on 62 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Polanski returns with an interesting story about a book dealer (Depp) who gets involved in a satanic cult. A bit long at 2 hours and 15 minutes, but I found it to be an interesting watch. A slow burn, immersive experience.
7/10
Old 10-19-21, 12:50 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Toddarino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northeastern Wisconsin
Posts: 4,389
Received 784 Likes on 519 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

This was my first time seeing this which surprised me. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something seemed off visually. It wasn’t the bad cg, I’m not sure what it was.
Anyways I didn’t like the “humor”. I know it’s supposed to me a noir, but it just didn’t work in that aspect for me. Also the score really took me out of it in some scenes.
I wish it would have been creepier.
Old 10-19-21, 04:06 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,413
Received 38 Likes on 28 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Toddarino
This was my first time seeing this which surprised me. I couldnít put my finger on it but something seemed off visually. It wasnít the bad cg, Iím not sure what it was.
Anyways I didnít like the ďhumorĒ. I know itís supposed to me a noir, but it just didnít work in that aspect for me. Also the score really took me out of it in some scenes.
I wish it would have been creepier.
I was actually surprised at how not creepy it felt myself.
Old 10-19-21, 04:09 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,047
Received 210 Likes on 139 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Surprisingly effective for a film that spends so much time with closeups of Johnny Depp's head staring into books. The premise of cryptic knowledge hidden ahead of us is a chilling one with a score to sell it and it's well paced despite the overly long length. This might be the nerdiest film I've seen so far this month with it's focus on books; there's a joke in here about NG being a film about reading a book. NG uses some of the same 'dance steps' so close to what made Rosemary's Baby work but here much less effective (RB being a top 10 for me). What happens in the film isn't always a logical progression of the plot but often a strange out of nowhere twist - literally like some unknown hitting us all in the back of the head out of nowhere (or the cause of Balkin's fate). The cheesy robe wearing gold chain pentagram Satanists are something from a bygone era and an example of how totally different NG might be if made today 22 years later - Depp would be chasing something like evil digital non-fungible tokens rather than old books. The book props themselves being unconvincing and it's sometimes unintentionally funny how rough pages are turned.

Frank Langeria is a mastermind actor and always a pleasure to watch.

At the end it seems implied that the gates of hell positions themselves to be open for Depp; but it's not clear why he would be selected (which might go back to the weird out of nowhere plot) - the final key literally drifts in front of his feet. It's a very confusing ending that near spoils the film.


Polanski being a whole subject in itself; it's shameless and amusing to me how he continues to get big films and celebrities on them being in exile. He has an obvious talent but is himself a sign of older times before more socially conscious #metoo movements. It is interesting how all the women is significance here are sexual throw themselves at the passive Depp if they are not old/infirmed.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-19-21 at 04:32 PM.
The following users liked this post:
jholmes (10-19-21)
Old 10-19-21, 05:07 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,285
Received 207 Likes on 129 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I am a sucker for stories about forbidden knowledge and ancient volumes of accursed lore, but The Ninth Gate just fell flat for me. You can compare this to "Curse of the Demon" which covers similar territory. The storytelling in CotD is taut, intense, and absolutely delivers on the goods at the climax. It's a solid piece of storytelling with a straightforward plot. Here, though, the plot makes little sense. People show up and turn up dead, but for no concrete reason. Depp has a seduction scene that turns into a fight but the scene has zero relevance to the story. And then the ending is a serious let-down. I expected more from this. As other posters noted, this wasn't even slightly creepy or scary.
Old 10-19-21, 09:02 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
WillieMLF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Not Every Man Really Lives
Posts: 1,281
Received 145 Likes on 97 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I’ve seen this movie too many times, and I have to say it’s my favorite Depp movie. A great mystery thriller where the opportunistic protagonist is trying to solve the riddle of the book written by Satan. Langella is always a joy to watch.

I’m always amazed at how all these rare book people manage to treat these ultra rare books like they are yesterday’s copy of Cosmopolitan magazine. Smoking, storing rare collections on the floor of a window heavy room, etc.

Last edited by WillieMLF; 10-19-21 at 09:14 PM.
Old 10-19-21, 09:18 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
jholmes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Posts: 808
Received 231 Likes on 160 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I love this movie. I think this is the third time I've watched it.

Like Gobear, my favorite subgenre of horror is the occult--specifically films that take the occult seriously and don't just copy the old spinning-head-demonic-possession stuff. That's why A Dark Song is in my top 5 films, and I also love As Above, So Below. This film is in that category and does it extremely well, IMHO. The three books that have different illustrations (book nerd alert!), the mysterious angel/demon helper, the rich collectors of the esoteric and European locations, the mystery format... I love it all. Even the ending.

I really like Polanski's films. As for his politics or relationships with women, I don't care. Maybe I should, as a woman, but he's had some hellacious experiences in his life and I have sympathy for him for that reason (Woody Allen, on the other hand, creeps me out). Anyway, this film isn't as great as Rosemary's Baby, but it beats most of the common horror directors to me. If you have never seen A Pure Formality (1994), I'd highly recommend it. Polanski has a talent for the metaphysical. It's not classified as horror, but I'd say its horror adjacent, especially the ending.

5/5 stars from me.
Old 10-20-21, 01:41 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
clckworang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The toe nail of Texas
Posts: 9,524
Received 746 Likes on 485 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I've seen this movie before and enjoyed it more then. I think a lot of it was just my mood last night. I was tired, and the film just wasn't connecting with me. Good cast, solid filmmaking, but I wonder if something got lost in the editing (or some script issues).
Old 10-20-21, 04:46 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
pacaway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1,190
Received 42 Likes on 35 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by clckworang
I've seen this movie before and enjoyed it more then. I think a lot of it was just my mood last night. I was tired, and the film just wasn't connecting with me. Good cast, solid filmmaking, but I wonder if something got lost in the editing (or some script issues).
I haven't seen this before, but had the same experience last night. Was tired and didn't care for it. After reading so many positive comments above, I rewatched it this morning and it was much better. I see now that I had dosed and missed a couple of things. Still not great, but at least good now...

3 out of 5 stars.
Old 10-20-21, 05:28 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 26,975
Received 718 Likes on 605 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I've always liked the mood and atmosphere Polanski establishes, it carries much of the film. A very Old World European tone for a Hollywood production, which I guess is all due to Polanski.

I enjoyed the movie enough to check out the novel it was originally based on. The novel is more mystery than supernatural thriller, taking a deep dive into the world of esoteric and occult book dealings. I'd definitely buy it on UHD if they ever made it available.

The Ninth Gate has become something of a popular meme movie and gets repeatedly brought up when discussing underrated horror films. I see it mentioned a lot for a movie that wasn't a box office smash.
Old 10-20-21, 08:55 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
rbrown498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,257
Received 193 Likes on 147 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

This was a first-time view for me, in spite of my having had it in my collection for quite a number of years. I really wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did; but then again, with my being an English major, it really did hit a lot of my geek buttons just right, and I've generally liked the majority of films that I've seen starring Johnny Depp and/or Frank Langella. I've also never seen a Roman Polanski film that I didn't like, but I've only seen about a half-dozen (and have avoided Pirates), so I could be giving him more credit than he deserves. Still, I could tell from the first few minutes of this film that I was in the hands of a true master; I thought that the film looked gorgeous, and there was always something going on, either in the plot or in the frame, that kept my attention from wandering. And that's a BIG compliment these days, as YouTube seems to have destroyed my attention span.

Yeah, this was definitely one of my two favorite first-time watches of this year's Challenge so far (with the other being Curse of the Demon).

My subset film rankings for the Challenge thus far:

1. Battle Royale
2. Carrie (1976)
3. Curse of the Demon
4. Slither
5. The Ninth Gate
6. Tower of Evil
7. Witchfinder General
8. A Bay of Blood / The Spiral Staircase (averaged together)
9. Planet Terror
10. Silent Madness
11. Slumber Party Massacre II (based purely on its out-of-left-field aesthetic)
12. In Search of Darkness
13. Road Games
14. Cure
15. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
16. Grave Robbers (Ladrones de Tumbas)
17. The Severed Arm
18. Fade to Black
19. The Mortuary Collection
20. Cutting Class

Last edited by rbrown498; 10-21-21 at 03:58 PM.
Old 10-21-21, 03:43 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
wishbone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,424
Likes: 0
Received 161 Likes on 113 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I have seen this on cable since the fight by the river and the end of the movie were familiar. Johnny Depp got beaten up more than Mannix in this one. Was his character's hair getting more grey as he pursued the books?

Slightly long but it held my interest; not a bad watch/rewatch.
Old 10-24-21, 09:17 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 15,552
Received 788 Likes on 486 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Like others here, I liked this more than I expected. I could have sworn I maybe watched this around the time it came out but then noticed on IMDB that From Hell came out just a little after and I think I was maybe confusing the two. Either way, it felt like I had never seen it before.

I liked the quirkiness of it all. The humor was light and never over the top. Depp was great in it and the movie unspooled almost like an intellectual Indiana Jones film.

My only complaints is that it is definitely too long, some character's actions make little sense and the ending was a terrifically anti-climatic. After spending 2.25 hours on a movie that held my interest throughout, I expected better. I thought it was leading to something more profound so I was completely deflated at the sudden end.

As a collector of books, movies, etc., I thought I was going to get hives on how they were handling these supposed rare books. I kept expecting at least one person to pull out gloves to handle these. But no...let's manhandle them to drive the audience mad. I am glad others here noticed this as well. Maybe it was intentional?

And I have forgotten how many people were still smoking everywhere just 20 years ago. Damn, I am glad that is all but gone now.

My rating: *** out of *****

ps. I would watch a sequel with the same character going on random book authenticating adventures. Why didn't they franchise this like Indiana Jones?
Old 10-26-21, 08:29 AM
  #15  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,745
Received 620 Likes on 413 Posts
Re: "The Ninth Gate" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Love the premise and the locations and the general feel of the film. As much as I think he escaped justice and somewhat resent the fact that his films still get made, he is a masterful filmmaker.

Langella is so good in everything he does, wish he had more time here. Agree that it could have been creepier, and that the ending flat out sucks. Still, glad that I finally plopped this BD in the xbox.

Stealing rbrown’s subset ranking idea:

Curse of the Demon, 8/10
The Phantom Carriage, 8/10
Carrie, 8/10
Fade to Black, 8/10
Cure, 8/10
Battle Royale, 8/10

The Spiral Staircase, 8/10
Slumber Party Massacre 2, 7/10
The Ninth Gate, 7/10
A Bay of Blood, 7/10
The Frighteners, 7/10

Road Games, 7/10
Slither, 7/10
Witchfinder General 7/10
Planet Terror, 7/10
The Mortuary Collection, 6/10
Cutting Class, 6/10
Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou, 6/10
In Search of Darkness, 6/10
Tower of Evil, 5/10
Grave Robbers, 5/10

Silent Madness, 5/10
The Severed Arm, 4/10

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.