I’m usually turned off by movies that in any way relate to religion, but The Ninth Gate won me over with its unique attempt at portraying the topic differently. Johnny Depp stars as Dean Corso, a rare book dealer who is sent to find two copies of a book that supposedly contain passages which can summon the Devil. While in Europe, he finds that getting access to these books won’t be as easy as he thought.
I enjoyed this film because, for once, the subject matter was anti-Hollywood. It was not overdone with special effects or layered with unnecessary, stereotypical garbage that often finds its way into movies about the Devil. Moreover, it was refreshing to see a film that didn’t flip the coin of Good vs. Evil. Besides leaving out God, and any representation of an opposing force, Polanski dissects the idea of Satan as a hellish being and replaces it with the mysterious justification of Lucifer.
I thought he also did a good job of portraying humans in comparison; that is, how pride and thirst for power are often the downfall of the bright and brilliant. Of course, no one could better play the role of Corso than Depp, and any of his loyal fans know that the actor wouldn’t take on a role or movie that he didn’t believe in.
Overall, The Ninth Gate is a murder-mystery, filled with intriguing biblical and historical references that will make you want to watch the movie twice. Plus, I guarantee half of those who saw the film did not like or understand the ending, which in my mind makes a film worth watching.
The Blu-ray version features commentary with the director, a featurette, storyboard selections, a gallery of satanic drawings and the original theatrical trailers. It is presented in 1080P High Definition and Newly Remastered Widescreen Presentation.