Books have always played essential parts in horror films. There is the book of spells (or ancient tome of forbidden knowledge); there is the diary or journal which reveals that a character is completely mad; and then there’s the book whose plot starts to actually come to life.
But what I hadn’t expected as I watched The Ninth Gate during AMC’s Monsterfest, was that a book could be a new kind of character in a scary movie: a victim.
Believe me, there’s nothing scarier than seeing a leather-bound book, supposedly over a century old, being handled by an alleged book collector who noisily turns its pages without gloves, while smoking. You just keep telling yourself, it’s only a movie.