Wednesday, February 21, 2024

9 Miles Down: bad casting kills a horror movie

Greetings, commies!

Winter is a great time for self-reflection and self-flagellation, a great opportunity to remember all those times you wronged others and reflect on how you are going to pay for them ... in the afterlife. Just kidding! I am no moralist. However, if you come across "Nine Miles Down" while flipping through your Amazon Prime options, consider giving it a go. 


Nine Miles Down is a 2009 horror film[2] based on the Well to Hell, a widespread urban legend (spread mostly in the 1990s) that Russian scientists had drilled so deep that they had broken through into hell and recorded the screams of the damned emanating from the borehole.[3] It was the last feature film credit for writer Everett de Roche.[4] It is an international co-production between the UK, Hungary, and the US.

My thoughts:

Released five years before a more known and acclaimed "As Above So Below" (2014), "9 Miles Down" takes the idea of personal hell to new depths, blurring traumatic memories, fears and imagination into an unsettling concoction. The problem is that the actors portraying the two lead characters are too ... generically "hot". Jack, played by Adrian Paul, does not come across as a bereaved father and husband, tormented by guilt. And Kate Nauta looks like a cast member of "Baywatch". She's just not a good actress. Her abilities are suitable for C-rated direct to stream flicks. Her seductive antics are affected and borderline histrionic. Meredith Ostrom is another traditionally hot and awkwardly stiff as Jack's betrayed wife Susan in the flashbacks. She looks like a model who walked off of a bikini photo shoot into a horror movie set. The casting director could have made different choices to make the characters more convincing and sympathetic. The casting choices do nothing for the plot and detract from the overall message. 

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