Friday, 15 January 2021

The Ninth Passenger (2018) - Horror Film Review

The Ninth Passenger
is a creature feature from the executive producer of It Follows - Corey Large in his debut directorial role, and who also co-wrote this as well as co-starred. The film suffers from a slow first act, an uninspiring story, and bland forgettable characters, but at least in the few milliseconds you get to see the creature it looked cool.

By a series of various misadventures a bunch of eight relative strangers all end up on a yacht out at sea together. These people include Marty (David Hennessey) whose business man father owns the boat, as well as his slimebag best friend Lance (Tom Maden - Scream: The TV Series). Also on board is Jess (Alexia Fast - Jack Reacher) and her best friend, Marty's ex, Christy (Veronica Dunne), the ship's cook, Malcolm (Large), his date, and a mysterious man who claims to be there to fix the engine (Brady, played by Jesse Metcalfe from Dead Rising: Watchtower). Anyway, while at sea the boat loses all power and so a bunch of the passengers decide to head to a nearby island to find a radio to call for help. Soon both those who remained on the boat and those on the island come under attack from some sort of deadly humanoid creature.

For a simple story it sure took a while to get going. The film is about eighty minutes long yet it is a whole forty five minutes into the film that anything remotely horror like begins to happen. The lengthy peril-free beginning is just used to establish how all these characters came to be stranded at sea, I really don't know why so much time was spent with this dull part of the film. When the horror does finally arrive it would be nice to say there was a sudden huge improvement, instead it is let down by lacklustre kills that mainly see characters suddenly whisked off camera to the sound of a loud distorted bass sound that previously I had only heard on 'dank meme' compilation videos on YouTube.

The acting is fine, and by that I mean it is neither good or bad, it is passable for the type of film this is trying to be. The characters here are wafer thin and fall easily into their stereotypes, such as Lance who couldn't be more of a scumbag if he tried, and Jess whose anti-corporate views seemed to shape her character entirely. The best character went to Large, I enjoyed the humanity he brought to Malcolm, though he didn't really get to do or say much of note before vanishing from the movie. Appearing to be inspired by Alien you are never given a good look at the creature, all the way up to the film's conclusion this being is only seen in shadow, or with an extreme close-up of its admittedly fantastic looking maw. This lack of screen time also makes for a foe that became dull, you never once see it attack, instead those moments all take place via the previously mentioned off screen pull. This means there are exactly zero fights against the creature which is another boredom infused nail in the coffin of the potential thrill factor of The Ninth Passenger

There are some interesting parts relating to the origin of the creature but outside of that this all seemed a little pointless. The first half is wasted with a decidedly non-horror story, while the second half is lacking in scares due to never wanting to commit to showing the object of the horror unfolding on the boat and random island. The Ninth Passenger is due for release on 10th May by High Fliers Films.


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