5.5/10
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32 user 15 critic

Nine Miles Down (2009)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 28 June 2012 (South Korea)
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A security expert is sent to a remote scientific camp to investigate strange things that are happening.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Thomas 'Jack' Jackman
... Kat
... Professor Borman
Caroline Couret-Delegue ... Journalist
Bruno Andreis ... Scientist
Pierre Cognet ... Scientist
Thierry Goron ... Scientist
Adel Kallel ... Scientist
Attila Szûcs ... Scientist (as Attila Szucs Jr)
Nicholas Waller ... Scientist
... JC
David Story ... Dr. Varga
Andrew Ryback ... Chief Caswell (as Andrew Rybak)
... Alex
Yousef Amin ... Yousef
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil...


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 June 2012 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Dziewiec mil w dól  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Larry Sulkis wrote a draft for it entitled Dark Flame. See more »

Goofs

Thomas often used the term "over and out" to end radio conversations. "Over" means "I have finished speaking and am awaiting a reply." "Out" means "I have finished the communication." "Over and Out" should never be used together in serious radio communication. See more »

Quotes

Jennie Christianson: I don't mean to sound insensitive, but I've seen what can happen when people abandon reason... you could get seriously hurt. You're a good man... but there's no point in having thick armour on the outside if your own worst enemy is within.
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Soundtracks

All Inside My Head
(uncredited)
Performed by Renfey
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User Reviews

 
Despite good direction and an interesting premise, "Nine Miles Down" just can't quite elevate itself beyond the status of "Average B-Movie"
1 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

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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