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Film: Nine Dead

Nine Dead is a 2010 Ontological Mystery Drama in which nine people with apparently no connection to each other are kidnapped, and told that one of them will die every 10 minutes unless they can tell him(their captor) why they are all there.

As an Ontological Mystery, much of this page is spoiler-tagged. Highlight at your own risk.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Losing your son and being denied a treatment that could save him.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Kelley planted evidence and convicted an innocent man to advance her career; and then murders the other survivors to protect it.
  • Amoral Attorney: Kelley, who not only deliberately framed an innocent man, but murders Eddie and Jackson to protect her reputation.
  • Asshole Victim: Three of the captives who die are all vile criminals.
    • Sully is a racist, mysogynist, mob-connected loan shark from Vegas who firebombs the homes of those who don't pay back their debts on time.
    • Leon is a home invading thief and occasional street gun runner who would shoot his own brother for holding out on him.
    • Coogan is a child molester who knowingly infected his victims with aids.
  • Asspull: Eddie realizing Coogan had aids, based on a comment made right before he got shot, at the critical point where everyone but Coogan and Eddie's involvement was accounted for.
  • Berserk Button: The captor nearly loses it when Kelley pleads for her life in respect to her son. Understandable, as it is because of Kelley that the captor's son is dead.
  • Cain and Abel: Leon killed his brother. Borderline case, as his brother wasn't much better.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sully. Coogan and Leon also have their moments.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Leon tries to escape but the captor wounds him fatally, then locks him back up in the room and says that he's moved him to the front of the list. Knowing that he's dead anyway, Leon tries to redeem himself by helping the others in his last few minutes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Sully and Leon aren't particularly nice guys, but even they are disgusted at the pedophile Coogan
    • Even Sully is disgusted when Kelley reveals that she intentionally planted evidence to frame an innocent man just to get a successful conviction.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Aside from a few short scenes at the beginning about how the nine captives were abducted, the entire film takes place over the course of about 80 minutes.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Sully. See Shut Up, Hannibal! below.
  • Final Girl: Turned on its head as the only reason Kelley is the Final Girl is because she kills the other two survivors.
  • The Hero: Jackson and Eddie, as they spend most of the movie trying to get the group to work together and solve the mystery.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: It's Sabrina!
  • Hope Spot: The final three, Kelley, Jackson, and Eddie, unravel the mystery and the captor says they can go... but then Kelley pulls a gun...
  • Irrational Hatred: The captor has this towards most of the captives, as he simply seems to be looking for someone, anyone to blame for the death of his son, no matter how responsible they really were. Kelly (for framing Wade to advance herself), Coogan (for raping Wade and giving him AIDS), Christian (for letting an innocent go to prison so he can remain free), and Father Francis (for not turning in Christian, who confessed, so Wade could be released) are the only ones directly responsible for the death of his son. From his point of view, any intervention would've saved Wade.
    • Sully and Leon are remorseless criminals, but only tangentially related to his son's death.
    • Chan made a genuine mistake and didn't intend any harm (if you know Chinese, she even says in her death scene that Kelly manipulated her into selecting Wade from the line-up).
    • Eddie had no choice but to follow his company's rules or be fired.
    • Jackson was being manipulated by Kelly and didn't even know the evidence used to convict Wade was false.
  • It's All About Me: Kelly is quite selfish throughout the film, and ultimately murders both Jackson and Eddie to protect her reputation..
  • Karma Houdini: Either played straight or subverted considering the film ends before the audience finds out if Kelley gets away with it or not.
  • Karmic Nod:
    • Coogan admits that he's a child molester, and the others say that he deserves to die for his crimes. He's self aware enough to admit that's probably true, but asks the others what they did to deserve a death sentence, leaving them wondering about their captivity.
    • When the captor kills one of the prisoners, the prisoner taunts him with a See You in Hell boast. The captor simply replies "I know".
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Kelly's son Billy is actually Jackson's as well, resulting from their affair. Before that Jackson had been trying to conceive a child with his wife, with no success.
  • Loan Shark: Sully is a Las Vegas loan shark who has connections with the mob. He firebombed the homes of the people who refused to or couldn't pay him, which he regrets because he didn't know there were people inside at the time. This later turns out to be the key plot point in the mystery, as it was his loan that Christian had to pay back by any means that set the entire story in motion.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Ironically, The Kidnapper's murder spree ends up revealing to the public that the biggest monster in the room is Kelly, having betrayed and/or murdered everyone in contact.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The Kidnapper wants revenge against his nine captives for the role they played in the death of his son. These include the man who raped him thus giving him AIDS and the lawyer who framed him for a liquor store robbery. Also includes the guy who was owed money by the REAL robber, and a priest who heard the confession of the robber.
  • No Ending: The film ends with Kelley overpowering and killing the Captor, then turning and murdering the last two of her fellow captives to keep her own secret. Then against all logic (she's supposed to be a lawyer) she wanders through the building and out the back door as the cops burst in the front door and find the bodies in the room. Then, cut to black.
  • Ontological Mystery: The protagonists all wake up in a cell chained to a wall. Their captor tells them that one of them will die every ten minutes unless they can tell him why they are there.
  • Papa Wolf: It turns out that the abductor's motivation is to get revenge on the ones he views as responsible for his son's death.
  • Pedophile Priest: Father Francis is accused of being this while trying to find his connection to the others. He isn't.
  • Plothole: The captor's plan largely depends on him knowing information that he simply did not possess or had access to. Having presumably witnessed his son's trial and the insurance company's investigation, he should at least know the identities of Kelly, Chan, Eddie, and maybe Jackson (if he was the investigating officer). He could have found out the identity and whereabouts of Coogan based on information his son would have provided him and some additional research. However, he never knew anything about Christian and Sulley's deal, Leon selling the gun to Christian, Christian confessing to Father Francis that he was the real robber, or Kelley and Jackson committing legal fraud, nor could he have known without being omniscient. This is poorly handwaved by the captor explaining his scheme took two years of planning.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Sully is quite racist towards Leon, a black guy.
  • Prison Rape: Coogan raped the captor's son.
  • Rape as Backstory: Kelley (though that has little bearing on the plot) and the captors son. which definitely does.
  • Rape and Revenge: Kelley reveals that she was once raped and then promptly beat the rapist to death with a bat immediately after the rape.
  • Red Herring: Though it does show the kind of people the characters are, the reveals that Leon killed his brother, Jackson help beat a teenager to blindness, Eddie falsified papers to get his brother in law into an experimental treatment, and Sully torched a store with the owner and his grandchildren inside have little else in bearing to why the characters are in the room.
  • See You in Hell: As the captor prepares to kill one of the prisoners, the prisoner throws out a final taunt by saying that he'll be seeing the guy in Hell. The captor calmly replies "I know" as he shoots him.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Father Francis' Taking the Bullet for Eddie. He dies anyway. Doubly subverted: Eddie was spared by their captor and it looks like he gets to live, but then he's shot by Kelley.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Sully gets an incredible speech, before he dies, telling his captor that he doesn't care about his vengeance and dies a happy man.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Christian, who dies first but plays a vital role in the mystery.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Not at first, but his actions are entirely motivated by the death of his son.
  • Taking the Bullet: Father Francis for Eddie.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: While the film does use occasional flashbacks to earlier lines of dialogue when the characters figure something out, two flashbacks to dialogue from the captor appear no less than five minutes after he actually says them.
  • You All Share My Story: And the mystery is finding out how.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jackson on his wife with Kelley.

Night of the DemonsFilms of the 2010sThe Nutcracker in 3D

alternative title(s): Nine Dead
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