The Ninth Gate


Dir: Roman Polanski
Star: Johnny Depp, Emmanuelle Seigneur, Lena Olin, Frank Langella

You are a specialist in old books, hired to look into a mysterious tome rumoured to be co-authored by Satan. Suspicious deaths and mysteriously-powered babe Seigneur start dogging your every move in roughly equal proportions. At what point do you say "Sod this for a game of soldiers", hand said book back to its owner (Langella) and return to parting widows from their first editions of Don Quixote? If you're Depp, you plough on, well beyond the point at which any sensible individual would realise they were inhabiting a Dennis Wheatley novel. Such qualms aside - somewhat addressed through Depp's initially unlikeable persona - this is nice, spooky horror of pleasing intelligence, in contrast to many recent genre entries. Depp whizzes round Europe, trying to find which of the three copies is legit -- gotta catch 'em all, Johnny... If the ending would benefit from further explanation (or, indeed, any explanation at all), it doesn't really matter: the journey is the thing here, and that's entirely competent.

B-


Book 'em, Dano
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