A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
The Ninth Gate
Every book has a life of its own.
An all-expenses-paid international search for a rare copy of The Nine Gates of the Shadow Kingdom brings an unscrupulous book dealer deep into a world of murder, double-dealing and satanic worship.
''To travel in silence / by a long and circuitous route, / To brave the arrows of misfortune / and fear neither noose nor fire, / To play the greatest of all games / and win, foregoing no expense / is to mock the vicissitudes of Fate / and gain at last the key / that will unlock the Ninth Gate.''
Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate is a film that despite its fair share of silliness, always seduces me to enter back into its sometimes campy, but mostly mysterious universe. Johnny Depp embodies Dean Corso (albeit, in a bit of a flat performance), a rare book dealer/swindler who is immersed in a quest to hunt down the remaining copies of…
The Ninth Gate is a strange one from Roman Polanski, a director who has of course dabbled in the occult landscape he again taps here, arguably to greater success. Adapted from the Spanish novel El Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte, Polanski's film is quite an elegant, cultured malaise of a story that could almost define the term 'slow burn', if it even burns at all. To many undoubtedly it's subject matter--an unscrupulous book dealer is hired to find a tome that may be able to raise the Devil--would be inherently boring and Polanski's careful construction of Johnny Depp's lead character's journey snooze inducing, yet oddly enough there is just something about the way Polanski shoots this, something about the manner…
Somewhere in here, there is a good movie. The story is actually rather interesting, but it's ruined as the movie doesn't know whether it wants to be scary or silly, a supernatural noir or a movie about someone hunting down a book. The result is a dull mess where you don't care about the characters but is interested in where the story goes. Sadly, after a while you stop caring about that too, since it's all fairly obvious, aside from the preposterous ending.
Johnny Depp and Frank Langella are awesome though. Together they almost make the movie worth watching, if you're a fan of both and have seen every other movie with them forty times. If not, don't watch this.
At first, you think it's going to be worth your while.
But two hours later...it's not.
Was this supposed to be scary or was I supposed to be drunk?
Johnny Depp has proven time and again that he can act, but his film choices are quite questionable. Even Roman Polanski's direction can't save a script that's so unimaginative and boring. The writers have little experience under their belt and it really shows. An interesting premise that draws you in and has no payoff.
This film isn't scary or very original for that matter. The setup takes far to long and the conclusion is weak. If I didn't know any better, I'd say they ran out of money. A cleaner script would've done wonders for this film, but what we get here is bland storytelling that serves little purpose.
A hot blonde with a French accent can't persuade me.....memorable image though.
My favorite Polanski movie, hands down. I love occult thrillers (a genre that has too few candidates in my book) and The Ninth Gate has that special dry ambience that makes it exceptional. Johnny Depp is perfect in the lead and as an extra bonus we even get Jack Taylor in a small role. And the score.. Wonderful.
Sure, Polanski has made a number of movies that are masterpieces but this is the one I have seen most times. Simply marvelous. Hands down the best movie ever made by a pedophile.
Γενικά, αγαπώ πολύ τον Πολάνσκι. Δεν θυμόμουν γιατί δεν μου άρεσε όμως το ninth gate, παρόλο που το είχα παρακολουθήσει στον κινηματογράφο όταν βγήκε και αυτό κάπως σιγουρεύει έστω την συμπάθεια.
Θυμήθηκα όμως τι ήταν αυτό που με χάλαγε.
Ο Τζόνις ο Ντέπ.
some not great cgi fire at the end but I enjoyed it overall. It has a weird throwback vibe that i love.
The dullest devil movie ever made? Very possibly.
I wish Polanski kept the mysterious atmosphere of The Ninth Gate going to the end, instead of reducing it to a heavy-handed near-comedy towards the end.
The worst parts are the genre scenes copied directly from the book. The best are when Roman constructs his own hermeneutics.
Entertaining occult thriller that employs an uneven tone and certain silliness to move along. It does have moments of genuine intrigue and excitement but some of the lighter moments feel a little too shoehorned in.
The Shite Gate
With the notable exception of Se7en, numerical horror-thrillers are utter rubbish. With their ridiculous twists, over-the-top acting and an overreliance on special effects, they epitomise all that is banal and disappointing about these two genres. You would think that Roman Polanski, the man who gave us Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby, would be able to handle such well-worn material in at least a workable manner. But instead we end up with a ripe old stinker every bit as disappointing as Prince of Darkness.
Polanski has always been a fan of absurdist, quirky comedy, being greatly influenced by France's crown prince of absurdity, Eugene Ionesco. While absurdity in and of itself is no bad thing, Polanski has always been at his best…
Part satire, part horror, this movie had potential with a genuinely interesting story, but the shifts in tone made it a bit of a mess. Even though the plot was essentially a man looking for a book the mystery surrounding it was intriguing and kept me hooked, even if it was pretty slow paced. As dark and spooky as the subject matter was there were some strange comedic elements thrown in along the way that felt entirely out of place with the rest of the events in the movie. In the end the story felt unresolved with an unsatisfying conclusion that left the motivations of Johnny Depp's character unclear. This could have been a lot better if the filmmakers had known what they wanted the movie to be but instead this ended up as a mediocre and fairly silly thriller.
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
- Salem's Lot
- 100 Feet
Horror movies I've seen. List copied from my IMDB account. It will keep expanding.
In no particular order.
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
- Night and the City
- Nothing Lasts Forever
- The Number 23
Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…