26th May2021

‘The Ninth Passenger’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jesse Metcalfe, Alexia Fast, Veronica Dunne, Tom Maden, Sabina Gadecki, Corey Large, David Hennessey, Cinta Laura Kiehl, Timothy V. Murphy | Written by Corey Large, Steve M. Albert | Directed by Corey Large

When a group of students hire a luxury yacht for an end of term party they are looking forward to a night of drink and debauchery. They soon discover, however, that there is an additional passenger on board – a mutant creature that is determined to pick them off one by one. The night of their lives soon becomes something straight from their nightmares.

The first thing that strikes you about The Ninth Passenger is not the cast of chads, or the choice to shoot scenes in a ridiculous soft-focus… No, it’s the goddamn soundtrack. Whomever mixed this film needs to got back to sound mixing school – this is one of those films that throws stupid, overwrought, over dramatic music into the film at intermittently intervals but cranks the volume of said music to 11, drowning out the casts conversations and having the audience reach for the remote to turn down the volume! It gets REALLY grating, real fast. Trust me.

But what of the rest of The Ninth Passenger? Well the convoluted set-up involves getting random strangers on a boat, having the boat head out to sea and then things kick off… That’s it. It’s a simple plot, though co-writer/director tries to make things more complex by throwing in a conspiracy-like plot about a big corporation that is damaging the environment and, in a twist you see coming a mile away, is responsible for the creature that stalks the cast onboard their luxury yacht.

Speaking of strangers, the characters in The Ninth Passenger, bar Alexia Fast’s Jess and Jesse Metcalf’s mechanic-come-spy Brady, are ALL instantly unlikeable. Especially the chad-like Lance and Marty – both of whom should’ve been kicked to the kerb by Jess and her friend after their first encounter with them. It would’ve saved them from their ill-bound sea-faring fate… and the audience from this movie! A movie that spends FAR too long on its set-up and filming its cast get drunk and stoned; and not enough time on the monster-filled shenanigans of the latter half.

Billed as “from one of the executive producers of It Follows“, probably raises the bar far too high for The Ninth Passenger. If it was sold as “from the producer and co-star of Anti-Life and Cosmic Sin” then audiences might be wiser as to what to expect. There’s a big idea here – as there was in Large’s aforementioned films – but the execution is sorely lacking. In fact here we’re TV movie territory, with most of the film involving the interactions between the cast and then, when we do get to the good stuff, the kills are mostly off-screen, a la a myriad of TV horrors. Disappointment is not the word… Oh, and don’t trust anyone who tries to sell this film as Alien-like (claiming thats what Large and co were aiming for with its unseen monstrous killer), that’s heaping far too much praise on a film the unfortunately – for a genre film – is remarkably dull.

* 1/5

With a DVD cover that is seriously the most interesting part of the film, The Ninth Passenger is out on DVD now from High Fliers.


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