• Guy Jeffries

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Review


Director: Alexandre Aja

Starring: Jamie Dornan, Aiden Longworth, Aaron Paul, Sarah Gadon, Molly Parker, Terry Chen, Oliver Platt, Barbara Hershey.

Score: Patrick Watson

French horror film director Alexandre Aja famed for his remake of The Hills Have Eyes gives us a mysterious thriller around a nine year old boy name Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth) who is plunged into a coma after falling from cliff and being pronounced dead for two hours with his father (Aaron Paul) being the prime suspect.

The boys resilience to incidents and illness sparks intrigue, especially with a sleep doctor played by Shades of Grey, Jamie Dornan who also develops a special interest in the boys mother, Natalie, played by the alluring Sarah Gadon. Dornan looked and acted a lot like Henry Cavill's Clark Kent having an air of chivalry about him.

There's something special if not eerie about the boy and everyone starts getting raised suspicions about what actually happened and how the boy returned to unconsciousness which we visit in forms of dreamy flashbacks that help piece together the plot.

The mystery deepens as the story goes on but unfortunately becomes very predictable. It's paced well for 108mins and is quite surreal having a dreamy glow around certain parts which, although unrelated reminded me of The Butterfly Effect. It's based on a novel of the same name written by Liz Jenson and I imagine the book would be a better read, mystery novels tend to give off my suspense than their visual adaptations.

It was good to see Oliver Platt even if playing a slightly typical role for him, a psychiatrist who has background knowledge of the boy. Also, even if for a small part, Barbara Hershey as the boy's Grandmother but maybe this film was lacking a larger star and I feel this film will go unnoticed purely because of that.

The score was brilliant but maybe too enchanting for this film, giving it a fantasy style feel, but I think that was what the composer was going for, who is indie rock musician, Patrick Watson. His end credit track 'Man Under The Sea' is quite enlightening for the film.

Its started off so well and keeps you intrigued until you figure out what's going on, which isn't too difficult and the rest of the movie just falls into place. It has a good original story but it lacks the punch and shock at the great reveal and whilst the core is predictable, some parts are left unexplained leaving you felt cheated. Not a film for the big screen.

Running Time: 6

The Cast: 5

Performance: 5

Direction: 6

Story: 6

Script: 5

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 7

Job Description: 2

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

49% 5/10

#AlexandreAja #LizJensen #JamieDornan #AidenLongworth #SarahGadon #AaronPaul #MollyParker #TerryChen #OliverPlatt #BarbaraHershey #JulianWadham #PatrickWatson

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