Feb 012017

The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a mix bag of a film, it’s weird enough to make it an engaging mystery-drama and the young man portraying Drax wasn’t half bad, however the soap opera aspect of the story wasn’t good. In the end, though, if the trailer manages to grab you, it’s probably worthy of a rental.



The 9th Life of Louis Drax

Genre(s): Drama, Mystery
Lionsgate | R – 108 min. – $24.99 | February 7, 2017

Date Published: 02/01/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Alexandre Aja
Writer(s): Liz Jensen (novel); Max Minghella (screenplay)
Cast: Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Julian Wadham, Jane McGregor, Barbara Hershey, Aaron Paul
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 21.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5

Note: This review contains plot spoilers so readers beware.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax is based upon the novel written by Liz Jensen, screenplay by Max Minghella and under Alexandre Aja’s direction. It’s a movie that I so wanted to love but fell far too short due to a story that doesn’t quite connect, but other times does, a critical scene that was on the silly side rather than emotional or dramatic.

The plot focuses on 9-year-old Louis Drax (AIDEN LONGWORTH), a loner of a boy with an overprotective mother, Natalie (SARAH GADON), and with his odd behavior and thoughts, as told through both narration and a psychologist (OLIVER PLATT), is a borderline psychopath. That said, this is a young man with both good and rotten luck with each year overcoming ordeals that should have killed him from a chandelier crushing him in his crib, food poisoning, electroshock and finally, upon the film’s opening, falling off of a cliff into a cold body of water. He survives and taken to the hospital only to be declared dead; two hours later, luck has it, he awakens on the autopsy table and stabilized but he’s in a coma.

Dr. Allan Pascal (JAMIE DORNAN), a specialist in the realm of the mind mapping, or something like that, is called in to study Louis’s case. At the hospital, Pascal makes an immediate connection with Natalie and soon the pair form an emotional, and eventually, physical bond in spite that Pascal is married. But something strange begins happening when notes, which looks to be in Louis’s handwriting, begin popping up at his home concerning Pascal’s relationship with Natalie. In the meantime, we also get into Louis’s own mind where, in his comatose state, has formed a friendship with a barnacle man (looks like Swamp Thing) as well as getting flashbacks concerning his relationship with his father (AARON PAUL) whom the police are hunting down for pushing his son off the cliff.

I actually was digging The 9th Life of Louis Drax for the first half or so, especially when we delve into Louis’s fantasy state and interactions with Swamp Thing™. It’s when the script goes into the soap opera territory where it lost me, particularly the “steamy” relation between Pascal and Natalie. There’s also the issue with the mystery surrounding the father’s whereabouts which, when the truth is revealed, was not surprising in the least, though an additional twist was nearly redeemable.

The performances all around were solid enough with the young Aiden Longworth being able to be the typical precocious movie child while avoid the obnoxiousness that comes with the role. Jamie Dornan and Sarah Gadon were decent, though Dornan still has the stench of his 50 Shades of Grey character and Aaron Paul does offer the more emotional core of the main cast.

The film was helmed by Alexandre Aja who came onto the scene with 2003’s High Tension which he parlayed into The Hills Have Eyes remake, Mirrors and the Daniel Radcliffe fantasy-horror, Horns. Here, his unique style is not quite in full form but with the barnacle-man, there are flashes that really keeps 9th Life from being a forgettable and throwaway drama to something with that makes it a worthwhile rental.



This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

The Making of The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2:46; HD) is an incredibly short EPK featurette that includes interviews with the cast and crew.

PreviewsAmerican Pastoral, Come and Find Me, The Whole Truth, Fathers & Daughters


VIDEO – 4.0/5

The 9th Life of Louis Drax comes to Blu-ray through Lionsgate and is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and an AVC-encoded 1080p high-definition transfer. This was a weird movie in terms of tone with your central character being a 9-year-old boy so there are splashes of color but detail is sharp and there were no major flaws like artifacting, aliasing or banding.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The disc comes with a basic but effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is serviceable considering the vast bulk of the film is dialogue driven with some score thrown in making modest usage of the front and rear channels.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a mix bag of a film, it’s weird enough to make it an engaging mystery-drama and the young man portraying Drax wasn’t half bad, however the soap opera aspect of the story wasn’t good. In the end, though, if the trailer manages to grab you, it’s probably worthy of a rental, but not much more than that. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate includes good video/audio transfers but the solo feature was shallow.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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