ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Ninth Gate (2000)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Roman Polanski

Starring:
Johnny Depp/Dean Corso
Frank Langella/Boris Balkman
Lena Olin/Liana Telfer
Emmanuelle Seigner/The girl
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Selfish, unscrupulous book "mercenary" Dean Corso (Depp) is hired by Satan lover Boris Balkman (Langella) to find the two other "ninth gate" books (written by Lucifer no less) so he can compare them to his own copy and find out which one is the original…cause you need the original to get accepted into Satan’s fold. On his quest, Corso encounters many dead bodies, unknown assailants, a mysterious eerie girl, a crazy sexy Satanist (Olin), a dark cult and finally his own gloomy destiny.
THE LOWDOWN
A slow, very underplayed movie. Polanski goes back to his Rosemary days while taking a quick stop at the "Angel Heart" hotel. The movie is not very scary, not action packed, not violent but it’s very mysterious, engrossing, has a few subtle optical effects (don’t blink) and grows on you like fungus. I became as obsessed about Corso’s search as he was. Even though the movie has a slow pace, it is never boring, the script is tight, the dialogue sharp, the twists interesting and the ending will have you thinking and yapping for hours on end. This is a movie you will have to watch again to see all the things you missed on the first viewing. You need a good night’s sleep and a brain to fully appreciate this one. Let's walk through the gates together...
GORE
No gore but some minor violence.
ACTING
Solid as a rock. Depp (Corso) shows us once again that he is a great actor. His performance seems effortless and he carries the film on his back. He is our generation’s "Brando" and one of our most interesting actors. Frank Langella (Balkman) is creepier than ever and was born to play this part, Lena Olin (Liana) plays what she plays best…a crazy bitch and though I don’t think she’s aging well, I still got a few strokes left for her. Emmanuelle Seigner (The Girl) does an ok job but it’s more her look that completes the part. With age she has a become an awkward, sexy/ugly being and is perfect for this shady part. Is she good? Is she evil? Is she pretty? Is she ugly? She worked.
T & A
We get to see Olin’s butt (still great) and Seigner's beautiful melons (again…in every film her breasts makes an appearance…no complaints here), Polanski loves to show off his wife. I love the French! Depp! Take off your pants already!!!
DIRECTING
After the great opening credits, Polanski takes us on a slow, moody, creepy and obsessive ride. The lighting is great as usual, the camera movements are slow and graceful…yes, Polanski is in top form.
SOUNDTRACK
The score by "Wojclech Kilar" supports this dark piece perfectly. The score is so strong that I consider it to be a main "character" in the film. It’s not always present but when it shows up…you notice…brrr.
BOTTOM LINE
You have to be observant, you have to think and you have to be patient to fully appreciate this film. This is horror like no one else but Polanski can give us. It’s like getting a soft massage…then the hands get tighter, the grip stronger…gradually chocking you to death. It’s great to see Polanski on the horror bandwagon again. His genre films always stand out.
BULL'S EYE
In 1969, the "Manson Family" murdered Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate who was pregnant with child. If I was a prison guard, Charles Manson’s throat would be slit by now and his cock fed to him. I can’t believe that fuck is still alive, living off our taxes. The world is not a fair place.
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