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Melissa Joan Hart,
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Communication is the key for the survival of nine strangers who have been kidnapped by a masked gunman and told that one of them will die every ten minutes until they discover why they are there. Can they figure it out before they all die? Written by
Just before Kelley's being kidnapped, she's having a call with her iPhone. It displays the keypad, which (including the green "make call" button) is not visible during a regular call. The light sensor wouldn't allow to show the display either, when the iPhone is placed just next to the ear. See more »
"Saw" made history and now is the father of countless flicks that try to copy its themes, its shocking value, it's thrills but always trying to present something a little bit different to don't get accused of being an mere copy. They try all those things but most of them fail in being successful as the movie was. Why? Well, because the first time you see that similarity you get turned off and I think "I've seen this before and better". For our luck "Nine Dead" manages to do some good despite some horrid flaws and a terrible ending (I wanted to use another word for it but I'm not allowed so, I'll let you imagine which was it).
Like "Saw", this one is about a strange gathering of people who never met each other and who doesn't know why they're trapped, cuffed and scared in this dirty room where a mysterious figure comes and says he'll kill each one of them each ten minutes unless they find a way to discover why they're there. Characters selection range from a prosecutor (Melissa Joan Hart), a priest (Marc Macaulay), a convict child molester, a police officer (William Lee Scott), a insurance company employee (James Victor, great presence here), an Asian woman (Lucille Soong) of whom no one understands what's she saying, and other low-lifes. So, the clock is ticking, their lives are at risk and what's the mystery behind this awkward gathering? One that is not worth mentioning here and will keep you deeply interested in seeing this, that's for sure.
Unlike the already mentioned "Saw" this tends to focus in being a thriller rather than a horror film with masochist/slasher things (just one scene if I'm not wrong). It's all about these characters trying to make a connection between them to save their lives while stuck in this place, almost like a play, only interrupted to show some flashbacks about who they were before these events. It's all great when we're fully immersed in this scenario. Then, comes that awful ending that can (and will) ruin part of the experience. All I can say is that it was fast, abrupt, ridiculous and that other word I can't and won't use here. The writer had to bend to the excessive use of plot twists because audiences are so spoiled that they need something like this to feel that it was a movie worth watching. It would be far more decent to not have any decent twist at this point and let the things follow its natural course.
Another (and perhaps unnoticed) problem concerns about a small and pointless role given to Daniel Baldwin in the beginning of the movie. He's introduced along with Lee Scott's character, another cop, that was "blinded" by the mysterious attacker while he kidnapped the other man. Something in this scenes makes us think that he'll be the hero of the movie, he's gonna try to do something to solve the situation, contact his mates and investigate this. No, we'll never see him again, so what's the point of his presence in the film? Maybe his scenes were left on the cutting room floor but they should have taken out his only scene as well because that was pointless. Bigger than the quoted mistakes the only bothering thing is that, in a way, if you have a good memory for names, that it is too easy to find out who the masked man is. Just pay attention to the cast names and see who appeared the least or never appeared and you'll know who he is (ok, I confess when his face was shown I was like "How come I forgot him? His name was on the credits and he was the only one who wasn't trapped there).
Heavily lying on a explosive tank of clichés "Nine Dead" manages to do some good entertainment, awake some of our instincts, and keeps us guessing the whole time. Too bad that when it gets to the conclusion we go "That's it?". Well, that was it. Luckily, to me, it didn't ruin the whole view just disappointed a little. 9/10
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