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October 30, 2009

Scary Movie Week #5: The Ninth Gate

Filed under: Books,Movies — Miss Plumcake @ 1:00 pm

The Ninth Gate, 2000

The Ninth Gate

One good Polanski flick deserves another, so this one is for you Johnny Depp fans, bibliophiles, Francophiles and anyone who likes a heaping helping of style with their scary substance. Moderately panned when it premiered (it’s not as a good as Rosemary’s Baby, blah blah blah.) The Ninth Gate –based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel The Club Dumas– is my sleeper pick of the week. Depp plays a mercenary antique book dealer who stumbles into a rare folio of dooooom, DOOOOOOM (okay, really it’s a book that shows you how to unleash the powers of Satan or something).

It’s dark, smarter than the Tim Burton flicks Depp’s been doing recently and super sexy. Nothin’ wrong with that.


  1. I may have to give that one another try. I just remember being horribly disappointed when it came out in theaters because it felt like the main plot of the book had been cut for a secondary one. Don’t know why that one cut so deep, I’m usually prepared for what happens to adaptations.

    Comment by Cindy — October 30, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  2. Can I nominate Prince of Darkness for Scary Movie Week? There’s no hotness to speak of in it (unless you count Jameson Parker, which I know someone out there much have a lady-stiffy for), but DAMN did it creep me out. Plus John Carpenter just generally rocks balls.

    Also, The Descent for girl-on-girl-on-creature horror (claustrophobics need not apply) and Dead of Winter for some serious suspense and late-model Roddy McDowall.

    Comment by Lex — October 30, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  3. I could really do with a little less Polanski in this year’s recs.

    Comment by Margo — October 30, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

  4. Way to promote an admitted rapist who ran from the law, guys! Awesome!

    Comment by Chiken — October 30, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  5. He’s a great filmmaker, a scum human being but a great filmmaker. I also will recommend Elia Kazan’s films even though he named names and ruined countless peoples lives during the McCarthy witch hunts. Go read Kate Harding if you want political statements on Polanski, I’m only concerned with his films, which are genius.

    Comment by Plumcake — October 30, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  6. I agree with you, Plumcake, but – there are loads of great film makers who are currently not in the forefront of our minds with awful news, like RP is. Given the current storm, I’d just like to hear more about the less-topical ones.

    Comment by Margo — October 30, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  7. Compromise: borrow Polanski films from the library or buy them used. All of the art, none of the royalties.

    Comment by Maureen — October 30, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

  8. The Ninth Gate is visually stunning but kind of poorly plotted. However, it’s worth seeing for the fabulous Big Girl Baroness and mouldering aristocratic homes. I think the film-makers didn’t trust their audience with having the background needed to follow The Club Dumas. Of course, Johnny Depp is so pretty I’d just plain watch him in anything. Some bone structures were just made for looking at.

    So what scary movies have we to choose from that have nothing to do with Roman? I’m a little scared to recommend as Plumcake might think I have no taste as I am fond of both the Exorcist and Tim Burton. The thing about the Exorcist: I have a “thing” for both Max von Sydow and Jason Miller, and then those bits about hearing your mother in hell, not doing enough for an lonely, impoverished, elderly parent, losing your faith when you are too old to do anything else with your life. Ugh. Maybe it all worked on me because I’m a Catholic, but the scary parts of the Exorcist wasn’t the vomit or the crabwalk.

    Anywhoodily, as Plumcake would say, here’s some anyway:

    The Shining
    Donnie Darko
    Poltergeist (not really that scary, but I list it as having the best movie kisses of all time, when Craig T. Nelson plants one on JoBeth Williams before she goes into the light, all mother-love and whatnot)
    The Ring (scared the crap out of me)
    The Others (atmospheric and interesting)
    In the Name of the Rose
    Les Diaboliques
    El espinazo del diablo and Pan’s Labyrinth (I still haven’t recovered from that one)

    Oh, and I just saw this one the other day and it scared me quite a bit:
    El día de la bestia by Alex de las Iglesia.

    Comment by Lisa — October 30, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  9. Oh, and I LOVE Dead of Winter.

    Comment by Lisa — October 30, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

  10. Lex, I second the nom for Prince of Darkness – I scared myself silly with a late-night viewing one Halloween week when I was living alone. Walked around all night with every single light in the house burning.

    Comment by perletwo — October 31, 2009 @ 1:34 am

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