With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
Kate and Martin escape from personal tragedy to an Island Retreat. Cut off from the outside world, their attempts to recover are shattered when a Man is washed ashore, with news of airborne killer disease that is sweeping through Europe.
Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.
Robert De Niro,
In the Sahara desert, a sandstorm batters a deserted drilling station. Thomas "Jack" Jackman a security patrolman, battles through the high winds to find out why all contact with the station has been lost. Originally built for gas exploration, and then abandoned, the site had recently been taken over by a multi-national research team intent on drilling deeper into the earth's crust than ever before. Written by
When Jackman and Christianson are talking about the "poetry" of life vs. the science of life, she states that phenylalanine is a chemical produced by the brain when you fall in love; it is instead an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. The chemical in question is Oxytonin. No real scientist would ever make this mistake. See more »
Thomas 'Jack' Jackman:
You know, when I was a young boy... my mother told me that the sun was driven around the world in a chariot drawn by four horses and a wizard sprinkled the stars on the roof of the sky.
My mom told me the sun is one of a hundred billion in the galaxy, which is one of a hundred billion in the universe and that some starlight has traveled since before dinosaurs were on the earth... and in it's journey right here, right now. That's not a mystery, that's a fact.
Thomas 'Jack' Jackman:
Oh... don't you think that sounds a ...
[...] See more »
All Inside My Head
Performed by Renfey See more »
Despite good direction and an interesting premise, "Nine Miles Down" just can't quite elevate itself beyond the status of "Average B-Movie"
I both was and was not surprised to learn that this film was once scheduled to be helmed by John Carpenter in the 1990's, before he dropped out. While I didn't expect to hear that news, it made a lot of sense, since this seems like the sort of film that Carpenter could really sink his teeth into, and I'm actually quite sad that we never saw his version of the film.
Regardless, Anthony Walker stepped in to fill Carpenter's empty director's chair, with a cast including Adrian Paul of "Highlander: The Series" fame, and Kate Nauta, known for roles in films like "Transporter 2" and "The Game Plan." And despite this being a very obvious and often-times heavily flawed B-movie, it's actually fairly well made for the most part. Though unfortunately its flaws are too great for it to elevate itself to anything beyond "average."
Based loosely on the infamous "Well to Hell" hoax (a sort-of social experiment/prank in which heavily modified audio from 70's horror film "Baron Blood" was circulated with the claim that it was audio from deep underground of people being tortured in Hell), the story focuses on tormented Security Expert Thomas "Jack" Jackman (Paul), who is sent out to investigate a remote drilling facility in the Sahara. He discovers that the team working at the facility on a deep-drilling experiment have suffered many casualties, with only one member remaining- JC, portrayed by Nauta. After a series of grisly discoveries, including wording written in blood and a bizarre audio clip from deep underground that sounds eerily similar to the wailing of people being tortured, "Jack" begins to question his sanity, and whether or not the situation has a logical explanation... or if the situation is being controlled by the forces of Hell itself.
The acting unfortunately is fairly underwhelming. As much as I liked Adrian Paul in his "Highlander" glory days, he's unfortunately just not a particularly skilled actor. But I will give him credit, because he is at very least clearly trying to give a good, compelling performance. And he is quite charming in the role. The same could be said for Nauta, who similarly is just not very good here, but is giving it a very decent shot. Bit parts by the likes of Amanda Douge and even director Anthony Walker are decently played, however.
Walker's direction is the standout part of the film. While I have hated some of his earlier works ("An American Werewolf in Paris" being particularly noteworthy of being poor-quality), here, he gives us a very stylish, slick visual representation of the story, and I liked a lot of the touches and ideas he brought to the film. Although I will question some of his choices, including a bizarre and unintentionally funny detail during the opening sequence, in which "Jack" investigates the drilling facility, and every single one of the hanging lights is "wobbling" for creepiness-effect. It just seems forced and silly that every single light in every single shot is wobbling.
The script by Walker and Everett De Roche is unfortunately the undoing of the film, and is the main factor in bringing it down a few points. Because, frankly, despite having a lot of cool ideas, it's very confused, contrived and convoluted. And it is so over-stuffed with double-crosses, tonal shifts, twists and turns to maintain a sense of ambiguity, that I ended up finding myself losing interest, since it was trying too darned hard and giving me a headache trying to follow the story in any capacity. I understand that Walker and De Roche want the film to be dripping with mystery, intrigue and have an ambiguous tone where the audience has to decide what is happening... but it's just so forced here. It feels very amateurish in how the story was constructed. Ambiguity can be accomplished with tact, class and deliberation in good films, but here, it's accomplished through poor writing and needless amounts of twists. And without spoiling anything, the final 20 minutes are a cluster of constant twists and shifts that are so overwhelming and needlessly confusing, it almost ruined the entire film for me. I also will admit that I found a recurring motif of suicide (as "Jack" lost his family when his wife killed herself and their children in a murder-suicide) to be very uncomfortable, off-putting and somewhat too exploitive for the film. (Though this could just be my gut reaction as someone who is dealing with the recent suicide of a friend.)
And unfortunately, that script drags down what would have been an otherwise pretty good, decent film down to the score I am giving it- a very average and sadly underwhelming 5 out of 10. I would still say that horror fans should give it a shot, because the direction is very good, and there are things to like about it, but the sloppy script holds it back from achieving its full potential.
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