The Ninth Gate Ending Explained: Why Did Corso Enter The Ninth Gate?


Roman Polanski directed, produced and co-wrote The Ninth Gate, a 1999 neo-noir horror thriller. The film is based on Arturo Pérez’s 1993 novel Le Club Dumas and is an international co-production involving the United States. States, Portugal, France and Spain. The plot of The Ninth Gate is all about proving the authenticity of a rare and ancient book containing a magical secret to summon the devil as we head towards a strange ending.

Despite all the themes we’ve discussed so far, The Ninth Gate finale is probably the most disconcerting part of the film, and given how bizarre it is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Some text details have been edited by Polanski. Although the film’s ending contained some elements from the book, it was ultimately unique.

That wouldn’t be a problem on its own, but given how out of context it is and how little explanation there is, you have to wonder what went through the writers’ minds when adapting Club Dumas for the screen. The ending of the original book was also weird, but the plot got us there. We were also brought to the conclusion, but that didn’t even come close to making sense in the context of the movie. So what happens in The Ninth Gate Ending?

The Mystery Girl was the Whore of Babylon

Liana steals the Balkan Edition from Corso’s hotel room; the latter pursues her and sees her performing a demonic ritual with the book. Balkan abruptly interrupts the wedding, strangles Liana and flees with the engraved pages and her copy. Corso tried to help but was stopped by the young woman chasing him.

Corso follows Balkan to a distant castle depicted in one of the engravings, where he discovers Balkan preparing for the final ceremony. Balkan traps Corso in a hole in the ground after a struggle, then performs his summoning ritual, which involves placing the carvings on a makeshift altar and recreating a set of words relating to each of the nine carvings. Balkan then douses himself in gasoline and bursts into flames, sensing that he is now free from pain. Balkan’s summoning fails and flames envelop him, causing him to scream in pain. Corso is freed, shoots Balkan to end his misery, steals the engravings and flees.

The Ninth Gate Ending Explained

Outside, the girl makes love to him again in front of the burning castle, her eyes and face changing as she circles around Corso. Balkan failed, she informs him, because the ninth engraving he used was a forgery. She gave him a message regarding the eighth engraving before leaving Corso, causing him to return to the Ceniza brothers.

He discovers that their store is absolutely deserted, and it is there that he discovers the real ninth engraving. In this one, the Whore of Babylon, a woman riding a many-headed beast, looks a lot like her stranger. Corso arrives at the castle with the final print in hand. He completes the procedure and enters the light through the ninth gate.

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The ending of the ninth gate explained: Corso enters the ninth gate

The conclusion of the Ninth Gate was a bit perplexing. If the film ended with Corso discovering the original etching, it would have been perplexing, but Polanski chose to go even further. Now, there’s no denying that the film is one big enigma. The Ninth Gate, on the other hand, depicts Corso as someone who battles the dark forces around him. Balkan, not Corso, is the film’s antagonist. Corso seems like the badass detective who stays on the edge of the shadows but doesn’t actually step into it.

Dean Corso, in the end, defeats the ritual he so desperately wanted to stop and disappears into the light of black illumination. What’s the point of all this? Well, there’s not much to the finale in terms of plot, as it doesn’t seem out of place with the rest of the film and the book; the novel ends with the ritual gone wrong and Corso flees. He returns here to pass through the dreadful Ninth Gate, thus destroying the entire movie (if he hadn’t already been ruined by then).

The Ninth Gate Ending Explained
Corso enters the ninth gate

Specifically, the power of darkness seemed too great to resist, and the temptation of the Ninth Gate, which had enveloped Balkan, had now shifted to Corso. That’s what the movie’s invisible enemy wanted, and it turned out that Corso’s journey wasn’t to fight evil but to become the evil he was meant to fight. In the end, despite being aware of the dangers, Corso surrendered to dark magic, deciding to satisfy his curiosity rather than risk his life. There is no other explanation that makes sense, as nothing in the movie suggests there could be another cause.

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