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Session 9
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Session 9 (2001)

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Plot Summary:
"An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward, if rather rushed, job, is complicated by the personal histories of the crew. In particular, Hank is dating Phil's old girlfriend, and Gordon's new baby seems to be unnerving him more than should be expected. Things get more complicated as would-be lawyer Mike plays the tapes from a former patient with multiple personalities, including the mysterious Simon who does not appear until Session 9, and as Hank disappears after finding some old coins."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 28 September 2004 My Rating: out of 5


Whilst waiting to see Brad Anderson's 'The Machinist' I decided to re-watch this thrilling chiller, and have to say that it still managed to creep me out.

The plot follows five men who are working in an abandoned mental hospital that was the scene of various scandals and rumours in the years before it's closure.

The men set to work and strange things start to happen, but we are never quite sure if they are down to the stress of everyday human life, or the effects of ghostly goings on.

From the opening scene, this film was visually interesting and intriguing storywise. The performances from the talented cast and the creepy sound design and imagery all added to the freaky atmosphere.

The film is slowly paced but manages to keep you enthralled for the entire 90 minutes.

I don't want to give too much away but there are many scenes here that really scared me, and the visual style and movements of the sparsely static camera all added to the ensuing terror experienced by the characters, and indeed this audience member.

A truly remarkable cast and a well scripted story make this an unforgettably creepy chiller that will stay with you for days.

Reviewer: Steven Davies @braindeadsteve
Location:Luton, UK
Review Date: 03 August 2004 My Rating: out of 5

Session 9 is another one of those sadly overlooked psychological chillers that just slipped through the radar and out of sight. But in spite of never even reaching UK cinemas it has still managed to gain a small following of genuinely enthusiastic fans of the movie.

Comparisons to the psychological and haunting tones of the Blair Witch Project (released a couple of years before) were prominent in the marketing and quite probably the execution of the film. Something, which you would of thought, makes it more of a profitable project. And as previously mentioned unfortunately for director Brad Anderson (whose current project is the long anticipated Christian Bale thriller, The Machinist) the whole thing just passed us all by.

Gordon Fleming and his asbestos abatement crew begin work on their latest job at an abandoned insane asylum, the Danvers state hospital. With a mere one week to completion and a hefty bonus if completed on time the team, full of very uneasy characters, try to work in and around the condemned premises. All goes pretty smoothly up until wannabe lawyer Mike discovers and plays the session tapes from a former patient with multiple personalities.

Hauntings and possessions go hand in hand like zombies and comedy. And with an explosion of more in-your-head orientated shockers in the late 90's Session 9 certainly stands out from some other poor efforts to date. Again, most of what plays out of screen and that feeling of 'what I thought I saw' is very prominent in most of the more intense scenes. There is ghostly goings on which at first seem unexplainable, in fact for many bits and pieces towards the end it all seems a bit all over the place and trying to figure out what's going on yourself is a bit of an effort in its own right. But all events and explanations are eventually made.

The performances are decent and character development is handled well by the performers. The standout being Scottish actor Peter Mullan, who plays team leader Gordon. Peter is a genuinely great actor anyway but here he shows great character development and some amazingly acted scenes.

The music, background sound, and even the subtle twist and voice shifting on the session tapes them self give a lot to the overall eerie atmosphere. The absolute horror find of the century has to be the abandoned Danvers building, purposely in mind during the script stages. It has an absolutely terrifying quality just from an aesthetic point of view.

Session 9 is a well crafted chiller. Excellent performances and above par editing. I still feel it lets itself down slightly towards the end but its not majorly disappointing. The sound and visual treats on occasion are wonderfully executed and can shock successfully. It's a continual intense situation that would put chills down the spine of anyone. You would never catch me working, sleeping, or let alone driving past this place on my own!

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