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By Steve Anderson | August 1, 2003

Well, that’s it, folks. I hope you all enjoyed civilization, because life as we know it has ended.

They put Paris Hilton in a movie.

And it’s NOT PORN.

Yes, yes, I know…Paris is only actually IN this for ten or fifteen minutes but it’s ten or fifteen minutes too many for this sad, debauched wreckage of humanity.

The storyline, however, is fairly simple. I guess that was so Miss Hilton could actually FOLLOW THE SCRIPT. Sad that it didn’t come in pop-up book format…. Someone apparently inherited an old Scottish manor, belonging to a Scottish patriot who died under very nasty circumstances, including having his eyes gouged out.

The movie gets off to a thrilling start, a girl running through a darkened house carrying a large knife screams that she “can’t find him.”

But for some reason, the movie then jumps to a convoy of black cars driving down the road.

What, did Paris do the cinematography, too?

For those of you who may be getting upset by seeming logic holes, the movie, almost begrudgingly in small white type, prints “earlier that day” on the screen.

Paris, meanwhile, gets off to a booming start, mocking the Swiss and chattering inanely about fashion and “fabulous”ness with a nearby girl, ostensibly her friend.

The next ten minutes or so are spent sitting around a table empty except for clean plates and enough wine to float the Bolivian Navy home. And the conversation is as empty as the table. The after-dinner conversation is emptier still, and laced with even MORE alcohol. If there were a serial killer in this movie he would have SUCH an easy time of it because all these kids would be:

a. blind drunk


b. hung over

when he came to do the killing!

Meanwhile, Paris has vanished. I don’t know what happened, and I find I really don’t CARE what happened. My guess is they could no longer afford her.

Ah, here we go. It only took them twenty minutes to stop drinking and introduce the main evil of the movie, the “ghost” haunting the manor. Ostensibly, that murdered patriot we just heard about.

There was, I believe, less liquor in “Animal House” than there is in “Nine Lives.” My liver hurts just WATCHING these boozebags sop it up.

But then, the movie takes an interesting turn. Instead of the ghost manipulating objects around him in a poltergeisty manner, throwing them at our unsuspecting socialites, the ghost uses a rare means of attack.


That’s right, the ghost takes over the bodies of the people in the house and immediately uses these bodies to kill the rest off. With each kill, a new host is taken, giving us a measure of surprise in each new killer. Who’s next? Who knows!

The only way to tell is in the eyes. Whenever one of our booze-soaked socialites is possessed, his or her eyes go completely black.

These kids are not the best equipped, physically or mentally, to deal with a survival horror situation as this one is. Yes, it’s really only a microcosmic version, but still. Worse yet, it’s snowing outside. The blinding snow, howling winds, and sub-zero temperatures mean they’re pretty effectively trapped in the house.

And they aren’t making things any better by their own actions. No one trusts anyone, and they’re not bothering to notice patterns.

However, they do start noticing the patterns eventually, and this is a point in their favor.

The rest of the movie is a surprisingly harrowing buildup to an ending that doesn’t disappoint, for once. No cheese, no twists, just a solid ending with our last survivor. A little sad, but still.

There’s almost nothing in terms of extra features here…just some interviews with the cast, no doubt cashing in on the Paris Hilton angle, and trailers for “Godsend,” “Girl With A Pearl Earring,” and “Shattered Glass.”

So all in all, “Nine Lives” overcomes a slow start to be an innovative horror film.

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