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9 Minutes (2014)

 -  Short | Drama | Sci-Fi  -  24 June 2014 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 21 users  
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John is in the midst of rehabbing his remote desert home, all alone except for his beloved dog, Jett. Over the course of a day strange things begin to occur culminating in a night that will affect the two of them forever.

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Title: 9 Minutes (2014)

9 Minutes (2014) on IMDb 6.3/10

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John is in the midst of rehabbing his remote desert home, all alone except for his beloved dog, Jett. Over the course of a day strange things begin to occur culminating in a night that will affect the two of them forever.

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It works but is a bit heavy in almost every regard (SUGGESTIVE SPOILERS)
29 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

John is in the middle of the desert working on his holiday home with only his dog for company. In the distance a storm appears to be brewing, with the occasional odd cloud drifting across the sky in John's direction. The dog doesn't seem like all is right, but for John it is nothing to be concerned with.

There is a certain core strength to this film and it occurs in the build up. We have a nice sense of desolation across the start of the film, with the phone being the only connection for John. I liked that we had a bed of tension being built from the start, with animals acting oddly and the distant storm and a single cloud presented with a certain ominous air. The film does take this too far in terms of pushing it with music and other devices to make it seem stronger than I felt they needed to do – the best delivery tends to give the viewer the sense of something so that it niggles them, in the case of 9 Minutes it was always apparent that 'something bad is going to happen™'. This is a shame because mostly the tension is the key selling point but it does overegg it in the end.

The second half of the film is more the delivery of this tension and in this regard it feels a bit too familiar. The mix of Close Encounters visuals and 'found footage' device rob it quite a bit of its own voice, which is a shame. The conclusion is good enough for those wanting something to take away, but for me it was more of an interested "huh" of an ending. The lead actor does pretty well throughout although perhaps when asked to deliver a lot more emotion in terms of fear and loss, Leonard isn't there as much as one would have liked.

It is an engaging short film and worth a look, but it is a bit too heavy in what it does – pushing things to make them work and leaning too much on cultural references and other devices to the point where it feels less confident in itself.


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