A fairytale-like action drama comedy war mystery movie, The Ninth Configuration is a genre bender if I’ve ever seen one.
The movie follows a crew of post-traumatic military personnel in a castle being used as an insane asylum. They are soon joined by Colonel Kane, an eccentric and grim psychiatrist who’s arrived to help the patients. The movie starts off as a farcical, even slapsticky comedy, but as soon as Kane’s brother arrives at the castle, the movie takes a turn to much darker waters and deals with themes like sacrifice and faith. This is the part of the movie that I much preferred. The act two culminates to the palm-sweating bar confrontation scene that’s a textbook example of building up a tension.
Even if its weirdness feels self righteous and artsy at times – especially during act one – a credit has to be given to the writer and director William Peter Blatty for creating something entertainingly different.