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Scarlett Alice Johnson,
Nine strangers - a priest; a dancer; a designer; an aspirant rapper; a former tennis pro; a woman on probation; an unsuccessful composer and his wife; and a detective - are randomly abducted, drugged and locked in a house by a wealthy maniac. They are informed through a public address system that there are seventy-five cameras following them, and only one will survive and win US$ 5,000,000.00 to keep quiet. The psychological game begins, with fear and greed affecting the participants. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If you want an idea of what House of 9 is like - just imagine Cube, mixed with a little bit of Saw and My Little Eye; sprinkled with a thick coating of horrid, forced British accents that couldn't sound more ridiculous if the Queen herself was putting her voice to every character. As if the mess you're no doubt imagining isn't already bad enough - you'd best find time to imagine that the script was written by a retard and a couple of monkeys; because I know one thing, if I was trapped in a house with a bunch of complete strangers; I'd try and get out. If that didn't work, I'd try again and if I was still unsuccessful, I'd try again. One thing I definitely wouldn't find myself doing is drawing straws as to who shares which room with who and bedding down for the night! The plot is one of the most simple and overused in cinema history (but more so nowadays due to the popularity of reality TV), in that it follows a bunch of strangers thrown into a situation together. We follow them as they try to work out what to do, and get to watch as the group develops. It really isn't as interesting as it sounds.
Scriptwriter Philippe Vidal may think that he's the next Ingmar Bergman, but I can assure him that he's not. Aside from featuring no end of illogical instances, the characters hardly develop above what they are in the first place; and this isn't good considering that this is supposed to be a character orientated film. The plot is divided between two parts. Early on, we've got the introductions to the clichéd characters and some scenario building, and then after a very boring stretch that features two horrible songs; the film becomes what people turned up to see as the characters start killing one another. The second half of the movie is no doubt better than the first; but it's only the lesser of two evils, rather than being a great climax to the film. The cast list is unimpressive, with only two names standing out. Dennis Hopper is ineffective as a priest. If you're going to have Hopper in your movie; make the most of it, don't give him a role like this. The other name belongs to Kelly Brook. I wasn't aware that British model was an actress...and it would seem that, actually, she isn't; despite appearing in the film. To be fair, this isn't all bad; as it's never boring for too long, and certain scenes are well implemented; but really, there's not enough here to warrant giving up ninety minutes of your time.
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