Sunday, September 13, 2009

9...Not The District.

Once again...Cins is posting about a film that isn't really a horror film on a horror blog. I do strange things...for I am a strange person.

I really wanted to give a shout out for the movie 9.

I know what you're thinking. "Huh, 9 is an animated movie. Yeah its PG-13 but its still probably family fun fare that they're only advertising as serious and action-packed". At least that's what I was thinking when I saw the advertisements. Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge animation buff. In fact, Stac and I met in a Disney's Hercules chat room if that tells you anything about my love. But most main stream fantasy based animated features that claim to be for the older crowd tend to only include the word damn and have more fart jokes and a G rated film (*cough* Shrek *cough*). And while Pixar has made some extremely sophisticated films like Wall-E, The Incredibles, and Up, they are still very geared toward the younger set. Once again, nothing against family friendly since I loved all those movies. But when it came to 9, I expected the same deal. A few talking animals and possible fart jokes.

Boy I was wrong.

Dead wrong.

And I was never more pleased to be wrong.

I won't really go into the story of 9 because its very simple. Simple enough that people think its really thin. But I never thought of it as thin myself. It was shrouded in mystery through the beginning and only gave you teaspoons of information which keeps the audience intrigued. Not all the questions are answered in the film but that didn't bother me. I liked the mystery. It really worked. Also, its a fable and a cautionary tale. The story and characters are presented in a very broad archetypal manner and I believe it truly works that way, even more so when you find out how those little critters were created. The dialog is a little on the cheesy side but it didn't take you out of the moment and I felt worked for that fable feel.
The star of the movie was its breath taking visuals. The whole post-apocalyptic steampunk-esque world and its stitched together characters were so unique and beautiful that I had trouble blinking through the film, afraid I might miss something. Even if you're not a fan of the story, the visuals alone are worth the price of admission and the action sequences were terrifying and exciting (especially the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" scene...go see it to understand what I mean).

Regardless of 9 not being a horror film, it does have some pure unadulterated scares in it and for a brief moment or two, this movie does dip into a horror realm. Therefore I felt it worth mentioning. 9 went there. I mean it. When other animated movies would just refer lightly to the death of the human race, 9 decides to push it a little further by adding some corpses. Also, a few of the violent scenes, while not graphic, were really jarring. It never pulled its punches one bit. If you have children under the age of 10, please think twice before bringing them to this film. This is "Watership Down" territory here when it comes to traumatising films for kiddies. And I heard quite a few little youngsters in the theater screech in terror how they wanted to leave during the beginning of the movie.

Plus, it had this thing.

And this thing is HORRIFYING.

Its a baby faced snake/spider thing that I'm sure is fueled off my fear when on the screen. I had a nightmare about this damn thing! I'm an adult. I can't even imagine how I would have reacted to this nightmare fuel at the tender age of 8.

Overall, I have fallen in love with this movie. It really proves what you can do in the medium of animation and that you do not always need a chatty raccoon or a farting unicorn for an animated film to work. 9 was advertised as a serious movie and that's what you get. A bleak view of our demise but a hopeful view of our rebirth. In my book, its up there with other wonderful post apocalyptic films like Mad Max and Dawn of the Dead. I really hope it finds its audience.

I HIGHLY recommend this movie.


Stac said...

I am SO jonsing to see this. I hope it'll still be here when I get paid again. ;p

Nojh said...

I'm one of those people who feels the story was a little thin. It left me wanting to know more but not in that good way of 'wow that was exciting I want more' but more of a 'Umm... okay that was awesome but what about...?' way. Mostly it was expectation.

Thats all I'll say about that.

Otherwise 9 is utterly awesome just like Cins says. The twins are my favorite characters, followed by closely by 7. Gotta love a woman who can kick butt. The visuals stunning. And souls yes! Snake Spider Doll creepy thingy will likely make it into my next reoccurring nightmare, I don't doubt it.

If I had kids, I'd consider using this movie as a gateway horror film and introduction to post-apoc themes. Likely not in a movie theater, I'd wait for home TV. But adults and teens should definitely go see this film in the theater.

If nothing hopefully they'll make a sequel that will help explain some stuff!

Also I highly suggest looking up the short film /after/ you see the movie. I feel it helps explain a few things. Its at the director's website

The Man With No Name said...

I got your comment. Yes the baby head was scary. Thats interesting you put it up there with Dawn and Max. Upon reflection I would have to agree with you.

Cins said...

No Name>I've been enjoying your blog by the way! I peek at it when I get the chance:)
Yeah, I really felt it was a great end of the world movie. It was extremely unique and really well done.