9 Dead Review

Nine Dead (2010)
Melissa Joan Hart, John Terry, Daniel Baldwin, William Lee Scott
Dir:  Chris Shadley

Okay, so here's a movie that took the concept of "ripping off Saw" and actually made something original and somewhat clever out of it. The story follows nine strangers who are abducted supposedly at random by a mysterious masked gunman. They are given a recurring 10 minutes to figure out why they have all been brought together; each rotation of the clock costs them one life.
First things first, like I said, this movie feels inspired by Saw (an abstruse kidnapper, a group of bewildered strangers, a crazy connection and a major life changing lesson taught at the expense of the life it was meant to change...yeah), except instead of focusing on the sensationalism and gore, Nine Dead builds around suspense and mystery. We're presented a scenario where these nine "victims" are sequestered in a door-less, windowless vault of a room and provided only chalk to do the one thing that can possibly keep them alive: communicate. Relatively early in the story we find each character has some serious skeletons in their closet and from there they begin to slowly connect the dots.

Let the games begin...

The characters are pretty diverse:
  1. a store owner who speaks no English
  2. a pedophile
  3. a sleazy loan shark of a club manager
  4. a district attorney
  5. an insurance agent
  6. a cop
  7. a small-time criminal
  8. an illegal gun seller
  9. and a priest
Each has their own messed up story to tell, with the help of a few flashbacks, of course. To be honest, I found the story for the most part pretty intriguing, almost in a Fight Club sort of way (every time you watch it you notice subtle clues you missed before). The trade off, though, is while the movie is pretty well written, it just doesn't hit the senses like a true horror film. Towards the end, as the pieces fall more into place, it seems to lose steam all at the same time. I guess if you liked the first, say, 25 minutes of Saw V, then be prepared to see that whole scenario repeated, ad nauseam to a somewhat diluted ending.

"I don't see what was so wrong with the ending..."

"You liked The Haunting of Molly Hartley! Your argument is invalid!!"


  1. Hey, I wrote "Nine Dead." I just googled myself and this website came up. Chris Shadley is the one who directed it. Thanks for the review! And I'd say "Fight Club" is one of the best movies ever made so thank you for for comparing it to "Nine Dead" (in that the next time you watch it you can pick up on the clues).

    1. You're most welcome. I can definitely agree about Fight Club being one of the greatest movies ever and it's a most well deserved comparison. Good luck on your future movies. Hopefully I come across some more to cover. :-)


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