Review done by: Jon Price
Starring: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, Peter

Directed by: Brad Anderson

Story: Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an
abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.


Many have ignored Brad Anderson’s Session 9, due to the classification it has
with senseless “Haunted House Stories.” But don’t be fooled, this dark chiller
has the perfect setting (Danvers State Hospital), filled with fantastic visuals,
and a story that will leave you paralyzed in your seat. Session 9 is a 2001
horror film directed by Brad Anderson. The film is set in and around the
Danvers State Mental Hospital. Five asbestos removers led by Gordon (Peter
Mullan) and Phil (David Caruso) arrive at the asylum to try to complete an
Asbestos abatement job in only five days. As the days progress, each man
begins to crack under the strain of the harsh deadline and unnerving
environment. Additionally, their distrust of each other is balanced by the
increasing feeling that something is evil in the building. The film is softly
paced and slowly reveals the psychology of the men whilst testing their

There is a side story about one of the previous patients, Mary Hobbes, who
seems to have a troubled past. Everything we learn about Mary comes from
recorded tapes that one of the crew members finds in the basement. Mary
has had a very troubled past, with repressed memories of Satanic abuse
when she was a young girl. Her interviews with the psychiatrist reveal that
Mary has three other personalities; “The Princess”, symbolizing her
innocence, “Billy”, her protector, and “Simon”. As each personality is
discovered, the main story unfolds…leading up to the climax in the final tape,
“Session 9”. Being a low budget feature, little to no money was spent on
special effects. In turn, the film relies on the considerably eerie mood of the
hospital, which itself is enhanced by an excellent soundtrack. Undoubtedly,
the location itself plays a huge role in the film.

In broad daylight, Danvers is still one of the creepiest locations to date.
Scenes where darkened corridors are looked into are particularly effective,
and an air of paranoia is carefully built up where we question the motives of
certain characters and just how much truth there is in what they say. From
the opening scenes, an eerie presence is implemented, prevalent throughout
the rest of the piece. With the undeniable mood set by the brilliant writing,
on key acting, and creative imagery…Session 9 stands its grounds with other
great Suspense classics such as Psycho and The Shining. Contrary to recent
films that have been released, Session 9 is driven by a powerful story that
pulls you in early, and leaves you with a cold chill. This is a must have for all
Horror Suspense / Thriller fans.

Overall: 8/10
Genres: Horror, Thriller,
Drama, Mystery

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2001

Runtime: 100 minutes

Studio: October Films


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