I'll get it out of the way right now, before I get into things about the plot. If you're buying this movie to see Paris Hilton in a starring role, don't bother.
Yes, she's the main feature on the DVD cover, her name is in bigger print than the actual movie name on the spine, and Play has put her name in the item title, but all this is just a cheeky way to reel people in. It worked on me though, so I guess it's worked out alright!
Miss Hilton's role in Nine Lives isn't too dissimilar to that in House of Wax, just with even less of a part here. While the DVD (and those rascals at Play!) want us to believe Paris is the star of this movie, she's virtually an extra.
Now for the minor details. As a supposed "horror" movie, this is seriously lacking. In a nutshell, a ghost of a Scottish patriot comes back to life after one of the characters finds a book in the wall, so decides to possess people and make them lose their eyes. I think. There's never really any sense of tension, or anything to make you jump. I was never set on edge as the characters turned around a dark corner in the mansion, mainly because there's never really anything there.
Also because I kinda wanted them to get killed. The victims here are a bunch of ex-public schoolboys (and girls), all pretending to be 21 but looking quite blatantly older (but to be fair, that's nothing new). For the most part, they're absolute twerps who seem to have got lost on their way to the St. Trinian's audition. The gang bursts into a rousing rendition of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" (eh?) as the birthday boy blows out his candles. I was perplexed.
The only characters I really cared about were the Scottish guy (the only guy who wasn't snobby/dim/a neanderthal) and Philosophy Girl (I missed her name, but she's lovely).
For an (apparently) low-budget movie, it comes across very polished and well-made. No bad camera shots or sound quality, but it's worth keeping in mind the 4:3 presentation, with black borders at the top and bottom too. Not a major problem...just FYI.
I have no idea why this got a BBFC 18 rating by the way. The violence and language is minimal, and there's no sex/nudity or drug use. So it's probably a safe movie to watch with your parents, but if you're into gruesome (or scary movies), you're better off elsewhere.
Overall, not an awful movie, just not a really good one. If you want a much better horror movie, with Paris Hilton in a half-decent role at a budget price, Play also stocks House of Wax.