Monday, April 1, 2013

Nine Dead (2009)

Number Rolled: 38
Movie Name/Year: Nine Dead (2009)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Chris Shadley
Writer: Patrick Wehe Mahoney
Actors: Melissa Joan Hart, William Lee Scott, John Terry, James C. Victor, Marc Macaulay, Lucille Soong, Chip Bent, Edrick Browne, Daniel Baldwin, Andrew Sensenig, Lawrence Turner, John Cates, Emily Hart, Gina St. John, Ritchie Montgomery, Rebecca Newman

A man kidnaps nine people. Each person is handcuffed to their very own pole around a dirty, basement-style room. Upon introduction to them, he warns them that they are all there for a reason. They have a factor that links them together. Every ten minutes until they figure out that reason, he intends to kill one of them.

“Nine Dead” had a very “Saw”-like quality to it. Nine people locked in a room, needing to figure out exactly what they are willing to reveal about themselves in order to survive. The blurb that’s offered by Netflix, that explains this likeness, is what led me to put it on my instant queue. Now I’m faced with a very difficult review.

The very first thing I should note is that the movie is pretty much in real time. Every ten minutes for the characters, is roughly the same amount of time for us. We watch them struggle to accept their position, figure out their link and try to come to terms with coming clean. Between that real time factor, the stereotyping of the characters and Melissa Joan Hart’s ridiculously bad acting, I’ll admit I was bored to tears; at least, at first.

At first, I was pretty certain that I liked the theory of the movie, but not the execution. Somewhere between the steady tick of the flipping clock and the pieces of the intense mystery coming together, I not only began to enjoy it, I began to lose myself in the story. I don’t know when it happened. I don’t know if there was a triggering event or statement in the movie that caused it, but after about twenty minutes of lamenting the real-time aspect I became engulfed.

The mystery plot of this movie was fantastic. I don’t know what professional critics mean when they say they were on the edge of their seat, but I’m saying it now and I mean it literally. When I finally paid attention to myself, I was sitting on the edge of my couch, trying to put two and two together myself.

The move had its faults. It was very slow to get going. The only actor I would actually label ‘good’ was made a non-issue early on. Finally, the ending was horrible. If the movie had ended about eight minutes earlier, I would have loved it. With all its faults, though, the story was simply spectacular.

“Nine Dead” is the equivalent of the perfect one night stand. It was thrilling, stimulating and unforgettable – with little to no repeat value. I don’t see myself sitting through the movie a second time. Now that I know the ending and am familiar with the ins and outs of the rest of the story, there’s nothing else to go back for. The result is what makes this movie. If someone spoiled it for you, don’t bother watching it. However, if you don’t know where the story’s going, it’s worth a single watching.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

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