I don't remember when was the first time when I saw The Ninth Gate. I remember I liked it a lot. I remembered the plot rather well and even then - and it must have been at least eight years ago - I realised that it was very good.
Recently I saw it again. I was surprised how much more I appreciated it this time... Somehow I saw more, understood more and felt more in touch with the movie. It could be perhaps that I researched old books in the last few years and started to be interested more in the old bookbinding techniques and could really see how precious and valuable the books in the movie were. It could be my increased knowledge of the supernatural. It could be as well the fact that it's been a while since I saw Johnny Depp in a serious role or that I know now who Frank Langella is. Or that for the first time I saw it without subtitles and frankly, I didn't need them, even for the bits in French.
I wonder now what would I have done if I was Mr Corso. Would I take the assignment in the first place knowing what this book was for? Would I run at the first sight of danger if I did? Would I, at last, resist the temptation of passing trough the ninth gate myself? And above all, would I have not been afraid to discover the secret that lead to so many deaths of collectors?
Those questions haunted me in my dreams last night. I didn't sleep well, I dreamt I was being chased by blond women with shiny green eyes. I dreamt of being buried under a pile of ancient tomes. I dreamt of burning alive and of my skin being tattooed by the devil himself in strange circular shapes with bizarre incantations on the inside. I dreamt of France, too, turned into piles of dark ash.
I remember once contemplating full immersion into the occult. My knowledge on the subject barely skims the surface and there is much more to learn, but a kind soul warned me once not to go into it for the sake of my own welfare. And I listened. Still, I do know enough to grasp the dangers of dabbling in things I can't possibly understand. I think the Ninth Gate should serve as a warning to those who contemplate the same things I once did.
I fear that the warning isn't clear enough, Mr Corso was half lucky half foolish and he should have died in terrible pain at the end.
For the sake of our welfare.