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Soundtrack review: The ninth gate (Wojchieh Kilar – 2001)

Composer of the month Polish composer month

Soundtrack review: The ninth gate (Wojchieh Kilar – 2001)


“The ninth gate” is a horror movie directed by Roman Polanski and starring Johnny Depp. Since the director is so peculiar and special, I expect the score to be the same.

For me, this one is all about the main theme, which is simply gorgeous. It has a romantic period sound and the vocalise by Korean soprano Sumi Jo are haunting and beautiful. It doesn’t sound like the theme of a horror film, it sounds to me like the theme for an Italian romance movie from 30 years ago. I love it and it sits right up there with my favorite Moriconne – Edda del’Orso melodies. The theme returns as beautiful at the end, and I have enough taken from this score to make it a successful listen.

The rest of it is not so brilliant. Polanski’s prints are all over the score and it doesn’t really sound like a horror score. It feels like an elegant horror so to speak. There isn’t a single scary cue in there; everything sounds at most like an European suspense movie score to me. I like the atmosphere, but it doesn’t really fit with the demonic nature of the film.

The only parts I really love are the ones with vocalize. They get to me and I will listen to them again.
The two versions of the main theme, “Blood on his face” are my favorites, and the reason why I will remember “The ninth gate”.

Cue rating: 69 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 13 / 51

Album excellence: 25%


Vocalise – Theme From The Ninth Gate

Opening Titles

Blood On His Face

Vocalise – Theme from The Ninth Gate

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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