Chris & Marcey’s February Movie Exchange: Week 4 – Session 9 (2001)

Movie Exchange

What’s a Blog-a-thon? This movie exchange is a challenge, its participants have chosen films the other has not seen to watch and review.
Marcey’s criteria for Chris: Horror Films of the 2000’s
Why Marcey Chose This Film For Chris: I first saw Session 9 from Brad Anderson when it hit on DVD as a new release. Back then I was online and always reading up on new films and this sounded pretty interesting. Session 9 isn’t one I read too much on with the plot, and watching it alone on an afternoon I was glued to the screen. This is a great example of a slow burn, psychological horror, but one that works and keeps it’s audience on the edge. It has a cast of great actors, and for the time a fairly unique film for the start of the 00’s. I gave this to Chris because he hasn’t seen it, and this is one every film fan needs to see. I’ll be genuinely shocked if Chris doesn’t find something to like about this one.


Chris’ Review
There are very few films that really leave your skin crawling long after you see it, which in the current era of horror films is extremely hard to do as most filmmakers and studios will prefer to focus on high level gore and generic scares. Brad Anderson’s 2001 horror/mystery, Session 9 is one of those rare finds of what many would consider to be genuine horror.

The concept is simple, an asbestos cleaning crew work at an abandoned metal hospital that has a few eerie stories surrounding it since its closure in the mid 1980’s. Things start to take a turn for the worst when one of the crew discover recordings of sessions with a patient that suffered from multiple personality disorder, as the tapes begin to reveal something much more sinister could be lurking within the halls of the hospital.

The film starts like many of the well made horrors of the past, you don’t know much about the characters until the plot calls for it, be it a revelation about something going on inside the hospital or something casually mentioned in dialogue. The best way to describe this film would be that it is a slow burning thriller that builds up to a twist that no one will see coming, which is something that modern day audiences don’t get the chance to experience much nowadays.


What Anderson does very well is reveal almost nothing to the audience only the fact that things will get creepy real fast, as within mere minutes of arriving at the hospital, Gordon (Peter Mullan) hears a voice and soon afterwards begins to act out of the ordinary. Much like his 2004 masterpiece, The Machinist, Anderson keeps you guessing as to what the final build up will be, so its best not to try and think too much about it, especially with all the little clues that get dropped at various points because you’re going to be dead wrong anyway.

The casting, which apart from Mullan includes, David Caruso, Paul Guilfoyle, Brendan Sexton III, Stephen Gevedon (the films co-writer) and Josh Lucas who does what he does best which is to play a complete jack arse, is really interesting as this is not the type of cast you’d expect to see in a low budget horror film. But because of this type of casting the characters are allowed to feel more real and believable as being an average joe.

I really enjoyed watching Session 9, it had a terrific slow burning feel that led up to a great conclusion that managed to get under my skin, which is something that doesn’t often happen with me.



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