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Session 9

A movie directed by Brad Anderson

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Disturbing thriller cause shudders,but too long in the tooth

  • Nov 27, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+4
Actually only 3 1/2 stars, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt.

Fifteen years ago, the Psychiatric Hospital on the hill was closed and 2400 patients transferred or let loose. Now it is time to clean up the building, and Gordon Fleming barely manages to get the bid, promising almost impossibly quick results in order to save his business.

Gordon and his friend Phil hire extra men to get the job done, including Hank, who is dating Phil's ex-girlfriend and does not mince words with Phil about it. Our crew is filled in with Bill and Jeff, who is Gordon's young nephew.

The old buildings are now graffiti ridden, dangerous with water damage and heavy with asbestos. During their original tour, Gordon hears a voice speaking to him from down the hallway of ward C, the ward reserved for the most dangerous of patients.

Delving immediately into the huge project, we catch glimpses of each character and see their responses to the eerie environment of their job. Bill runs across some old tapes of a long dead female patient, labeled Sessions 1-9, and begins listening to them. She had multiple personalities, and the more Bill listens, the more disturbed he becomes.

Hank finds a treasure in the wall that enclosed the old crematorium, and abruptly leaves both his job and his girlfriend to go to a casino school in Florida, but young Jeff finds him stalking the grounds of the asylum, and after that things get really weird.

Without revealing anything further about the movie, let me tell you what I liked and disliked about it.
What I liked was the spectacular scenery, stunningly beautiful footage of the old hospital, and deeply sinister shots of its rotting interior. Location was used to astounding effect, providing one of the chilliest atmospheres I have ever seen. Add to that some eerie tunnels with only flashlights for lighting, sunlight streaming hazily through dirty windows, amazing cinematography utilizing the shoot scene to its fullest. Not to mention a creepy storyline of bad things happening in a bad place, and stellar acting by David Caruso and supporting cast.

What I didn't like was that the development was too slow for true terror to strike me, there was too much filler dialogue and too many scenes with nothing important happening. The movie could have been tightened down quite a bit without loosing the magnificent photogenic effects, almost as if not quite enough film hit the editing floor. With 100 minutes not being a long movie, this particular story might have been a better effort at 90 minutes, cutting the dribble here and there that left me starving for the tastier parts.

It's possible that I'm just too jaded for this type of experiment, but I failed to feel any real threat...no tantalizing shiver for my safety and well-being. Too loosely does the movie travel until we finally see any form of evil, and in that I found it to be a bit fatiguing instead of intriguing.

Still, its chilling atmosphere makes up a great deal for the drudgery, and you will want to stick around and find out what Simon has to say. Enjoy!

Session 9

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More Session 9 (2001 movie) reviews
review by . February 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     So according to a lot of critics, a movie like "Session 9" isn't scary; and it's sure no entertaining horror movie either. I personally disagree with any negative criticism, and I am going to come out of my shell and say it; "Session 9" is scary and rare. There are few horror films which can use intelligent scare tactics (one of which being creepiness and imagery rather than blood and gore). It shouldn't take a bold horror film to be good, but here we are. …
review by . June 13, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Lunacy, or...?
If nothing else, director/screenwriter/editor Brad Anderson possesses proven faculties for generating palpable dread and coaxing arresting performances from a gifted cast - and David Caruso, as well! For those eager to see cardboard Caruso diverge from his usual MO, this is perhaps the most ideal example available of the crime drama star's acting, and for once or twice, he's quite good! As usual, he's nonetheless overshadowed by two of his co-stars: Scotsman Peter Mullan (relatively …
review by . May 28, 2009
The Danvers Mental Hospital is a REAL, honest-to-goodness asylum in Massachusetts that pioneered and perfected the frontal lobotomy. Built in the 1850's and closed in the mid-1980's due to lack of state funding, this movie is filmed entirely(camcorder style)in the once crowded (with over 2500 patients) & still to this day, horribly sinister asylum. I must say, that the undisputed STAR OF THIS FILM is the ASYLUM, itself. The cast does a better than average job in delivering real characters, however... …
review by . March 22, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
The Danvers Mental Hospital is a REAL, honest-to-goodness asylum in Massachusetts that pioneered and perfected the frontal lobotomy. Built in the 1850's and closed in the mid-1980's due to lack of state funding, this movie is filmed entirely(camcorder style)in the once crowded (with over 2500 patients) & still to this day, horribly sinister asylum. I must say, that the undisputed STAR OF THIS FILM is the ASYLUM, itself. The cast does a better than average job in delivering real characters, however... …
review by . September 25, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
There are only a few films which I consider very good, but which have disturbed me on such a level that I never want to see them again. "Session 9" has been added to that short list.     Bear in mind that this means I consider "Session 9" to be a very effective, skillfully-made movie; perhaps one of the best horror films (in the classic sense) I've seen in some time. Far more genuinely frightening than "The Ring" or "The Blair Witch Project," while avoiding the "hipness" of the …
review by . October 25, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: The hospital, the actors, the story     Cons: none     The Bottom Line: Watch what you invite into your mind.        disclaimer - I may tell you more than you want to know about this movie so don’t get your panties all knotted up.      Had a friend call me one night, hadn’t heard from him in months and all I get is this cryptic message on my recorder [with no introduction] “What’s with …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Wiki

Few things are more sure-fire creepy than huge abandoned buildings, andSession 9has one of the eeriest buildings you've ever seen. A hazardous-materials-cleanup company has been hired to eliminate asbestos tiles and other toxic material from a gigantic mental hospital that had been shut down in the 1980s. But as one member of the team starts to nose into old files in the office, he uncovers a series of tape recordings of psychiatric sessions--nine of them--related to a notorious sexual abuse case. Soon, toxic materials and dark spirits start to merge. LikeThe Blair Witch Project(and most horror movies, really),Session 9is longer on atmosphere and dream logic than story--but the atmosphere is effectively unsettling. A strong cast (including Peter Mullan, David Caruso, and Brendan Sexton III) do an effective job of slowly cracking under stress and evil influences.--Bret Fetzer

Starring David Caruso, Steven Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas
Directed by Brad Anderson
Writers:  Brad Anderson, Steven Gevedon
2001
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Details

Director: Brad Anderson
Genre: Horror
Release Date: August 10, 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Stephen Gevedon, Brad Anderson
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2002
Runtime: 1hr 40min
Studio: USA Films, Scout Productions, Universal Studios
First to Review

"Session 9 2001"
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