The ordeal began with a trip to the ticket window. The movie in question, Nine Lives, had not screened for critics, so I had to pay actual money to see the movie in which Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat. As I was paying to see the movie in which Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat, I could not bear for anyone to witness my shame, so I used the automated ticket kiosk. Are you sure? it asked, before processing my credit card. Really think about it. You have people who love you. I’m sure, I replied, pressing “continue”. The ground shook and the smell of brimstone wafted through the air as my ticket printed. Sweet summer child, the ticket kiosk sighed. You know not what you seek.

I proceeded to the theater, some nameless dread in the pit of my belly. How bad could it really be, I rationalized. Surely, this can’t be any worse than Dirty Grandpa. Or Mother’s Day. I’ve already seen some sh*t this year. I’m a battle-hardened film critic, tested and true. Nine Lives, the movie in which Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat, is probably going to be some misguided if harmless family entertainment. Thus girded, I entered the theater. It was—I swear—theater number nine. The significance of this would only occur to me later, when it was far, far too late. I did not know it then, but these were the last moments of my life in the Before Times.

There were, somewhat shockingly, other people in the theater. An older couple—so this is for old people!, I thought—and, strangely, a gaggle of tweens. I sat and, reluctantly, turned off my phone. I was tempted to leave it on, to give myself the out, to have something, anything else to look at if Nine Lives, the movie in which Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat, proved unbearable. But I shut it off. I’m a professional. This is my job. If only I had known then how hard I should have clung to every last vestige of light. In turning off my phone, I severed my connection to the outside world. I was trapped. I began to feel a chill, and the smell of brimstone grew stronger. Nine Lives began.

Kevin Spacey stars as a dickhead who spends all his time at work, neglecting his family to concentrate on building a skyscraper. He treats his son like an employee he loathes. His son is played by the younger—brother? Cousin?—of the guy who plays the Green Arrow. Thus: The tweens. Jennifer Garner also stars, as Kevin Spacey’s wife. She seems embarrassed to be here. There were times when I looked to Jennifer Garner for mercy, but she could not save me. Her dimple magic was not strong enough.

The only way to save Kevin Spacey from a case of terminal dickheaditis is for Christopher Walken to turn him into a cat, so Kevin Spacey spends most of the movie in voice over, talking as “Mr. Fuzzypants”, a photogenic and sometimes computerized cat. As a cat, he learns to appreciate and be there for his family, and then he tries to save his son, who has thrown himself off the family skyscraper for reasons that will never in a million years make sense, by flinging his little cat-body off the skyscraper as well, hoping to catch his son with a telephone cord. This is a real movie that exists.

As the movie played on flames burst forth from the screen, and rose higher and higher all around. Goblins appeared and plucked the eyes from the older couple sitting behind me, and harpies sucked the youth from the tweens, leaving them haggard crones, withered and dead. As demons poured forth from the Hell Mouth that opened during the scene in which Cat Kevin Spacey tries to write its human name with its cat paws, I realized my mistake, my grave error, in going to see Nine Lives, the movie in which Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat. For this was no movie theater, no, this was the ninth gate, the last obstacle between the nightmare dimension and the human world, and all it took to break the seal was an audience of the living to be sacrificed to usher in the dead.

As Beelzebub rises and hell rains down all around, all I can do is scrawl this missive on the inside of a popcorn tub in my own blood. This is not a movie, this is arcane magick which has torn asunder the veil between life and death, and unleashed hell on earth. I know, for by the time you read this I will be no more, as even now the imps are devouring my toes. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize what witnessing this “movie” would do. Please forgive me, and don’t go see Nine Lives, the movie in which Kevin Spacey gets turned into a cat. Save yourse—

Attached - Jennifer Garner running errands in LA on Sunday.