Directed by Andrew Green [Other horror films: N/A]
So at the time of this writing (7/22/2021, should the reader be interested), Nine Lives has a rather poor rating on IMDb. Sporting a 2.3/10 with 3,372 total votes, Nine Lives is probably one of the worst received British horror movies ever made. I know when I first saw it, it didn’t do much for me.
Seeing it again, though, I personally think that maybe people are being a bit harsh.
Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly not a good movie in many senses (aside from the setting, which is pretty solid, and the occasional decent performance), but I found a lot of it moderately tolerable, and again, while it’s not good, I don’t really understand exactly why this has gotten such terrible ratings. I mean, yeah, it’s not great, but is it as awful as 2.3/10? Maybe to some people, but I don’t see it.
The biggest issue I have with this movie is how it just throws nine characters into our faces with little context, and it took about thirty minutes for me to really get the characters and their relationships down. True to the title, there are indeed nine lives, so look forward to meeting Emma, Jo, Laura, Pete, Tom, Tim, Andy, Lucy, and Damien.
Of these nine, I actually enjoyed four of them, being Amelia Warner (Laura), Patrick Kennedy (Tim), James Schlesinger (Damien), and David Nicolle (Pete). Warner was pretty cute here, and she had some strong scenes, but out of all of them, I think Nicolle stood out the most. A big part of this, I’ll be entirely honest, is that I liked his Scottish accent, and he reminded me of Iain De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) consistently.
When it comes to the other five, none are terrible, but they don’t do anything for me. Lex Shrapnel (Tom) was fine, but didn’t do that much. Paris Hilton (House of Wax and Repo! The Genetic Opera) was playing the same character she always seems to, so yeah, that’s fun. Ben Peyton, Vivienne Harvey, and Rosie Fellner didn’t have much in the way of personality, but like I said, they’re not terrible.
The story is somewhat weak, what with a body-hopping spirit (?) going through a group of friends and killing them (with some weak-ass kills, such as simple stabbings that aren’t even on-screen), and while we get some backstory on this spirit, it just feels shallow a lot of the time. I think that part of it might be that Nine Lives is around 85 minutes, and just feels too long. If ten minutes, hell, even 15, were cut, I think it’d help things out.
Also worth mentioning is the final scene, following the chaos of the finale. We get some first-person narration from a survivor, and it’s just so damn dramatic that it’s legit funny. I mean, I laughed twice during it, and then rewatched it. It reminded me of the final scene from Bates Motel in just how corny it was, but like Bates Motel’s ending, I really enjoyed it. It was terrible, but it was funny, so no complaints.
Nine Lives isn’t a good movie, but honestly, I don’t get the hate. Personally, while I think it’s weak in plenty of aspects, I could easily see myself watching this in the future just for the entertainment value. It may put me in the unenviable position of having to give this one an almost okay score, but screw it; I’ll find a way to live.
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