Horror Movie Review: Nine Miles Down (2009)

What if hell was somewhere reachable? What if way below the crust of the earth the nine circles existed & all it took was for us to drill down in a specific area?

Nine Miles Down suggests such a thing could be true…and it’s not as idiotic as it first seems.

Thomas ‘call me Jack’ Jackman is a GNE security agent sent to a remote drilling station in the Sahara desert. The 25 scientists that were working there have stopped contacting base & he is tasked with investigating why.

When he arrives he finds the station abandoned & in disarray & as he explores the deserted buildings he comes across religious symbols & signs painted all over the walls. Things take a turn for the stranger when he discovers a jackal slaughtered in what looks like a ritual…


The place seems empty until he runs into Dr. Jennie ‘J.C.’ Christianson who is anxious to leave but extremely secretive.

It turns out that the drilling team were attempting to break into a huge cavern that was nine miles below the surface of the Sahara desert to see what might be inside. What they found drove them mad & caused them to kill each other (a point proved when J.C. shows Jack some ‘on ice’ bodies).


It appears they drilled into hell….J.C. wants to leave but Jack gets orders to stay & wait for the police. As he investigates further he starts to suffer from hallucinations relating to his late wife & 2 kids (his wife killed his kids then herself because she thought he was cheating) & it becomes apparent that J.C. may not be telling the complete truth.

Nine Miles Down is a psychological horror that will keep you guessing to the very end…it’s a movie that wants you to disbelief everyone & everything.


Based off the interesting true story/hoax, Well to Hell where a team of Russian scientists supposedly drilled nine miles down in Siberia & recorded the screams of the damned. Nine Miles Down makes a good attempt at being spooky while not over-doing it on the supernatural front.

The slow start where Jack explores the deserted station uncovering more clues set the movie up perfectly. The introduction of the attractive J.C. left me a little cold & her lack of concern or explanation at first made it seem like it was a very predictable movie.

When she does chose to reveal to both us & Jack what happened it sets up the creepiest bit of the movie depending on how you feel about the whole concept of hell. She explains that once you know you can’t ‘un-know’ & has him listen to a recording of what was heard in the cavern nine miles down.


It’s an excellently tense moment & is the catalyst for what follows, the hallucinations gathering strength & making Jack & us wonder what is real & what isn’t. Sadly the pace of the movie does drop & a lack of any real explanation is disappointing. Did they really uncover hell or was the explanation of a noxious gas released from the cavern that caused hallucinations & paranoia a better fit?

Most of the film is set around J.C. & Jack; & their acting is pretty good although I saw a bit too much of their bare butts in the end. To see the calm & collected Jack slowly losing his mind was well done but J.C. gets a bit laughable nearer the end.


It’s a movie that’s impact will be decided on what you believe or find interesting. I don’t believe in hell but I love the idea behind it & am fascinated by things such as The Divine Comedy & the Well to Hell hoax.

A real surprise of a movie in the end & a much more enjoyable watch then I first thought it would be. I really like the idea suggested here & it plays on a tale that fascinates me. It keeps the tension high & only really drops away in the final third. It’s a pity that there wasn’t enough bravery to give the movie a definite answer in the end but I can’t say I saw many of twists & turns coming.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Nine Miles Down
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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