Monday, 21 July 2014

Review: Session 9 (2001)

Session 9
IMDB rate: 6,6
Genre: Possession

Second time watching Session 9. I'm not really sure what genre to put this in. It's a bit possession I think? But is that because of the institution of because of the person? I'm not too sure, but let's keep it with possession. But if you disagree with that, please let me know what would be a better fitting genre for Session 9.

Session 9 is quite a slow movie and I'm still not too sure what to think of it. It has great moments and great shots but what's the best about this movie is the location I think. 

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.

I think that abandoned buildings are the best places for horror movies, they have something mysterious and in the case of an insane asylum it's actually kinda frightening. I think it's fair to say that I have a small obsession with abandoned buildings and I think the location of this movie is what made me interested in watching this movie. The movie is particularly set during daylight so you don't have to be scared of scary faces showing up in the dark. Or well, that is if they're not going into the hallway under the building, where there is almost no light. 

It's very interesting to see that a movie in this location is set during daylight, because the night would give a much scarier vibe to it. But that's not necessarily the purpose of this movie, to scare people. If it was, the storyline would've been very different and they would have used this amazing location very differently (probably a bit like Grave Encounters). But it gives a nice vibe to the mysterious thing happening to them while it's still daylight. 

What's most scary about this movie is when Mike is playing the tapes of Mary Hobbes. It's not necessarily what she says, it's the way she says things. When she suddenly switches voices with one of her personalities it's very creepy sounding. A great touch to this movie.

What I did not like as much in this movie was the acting. And with that I mean David Caruso's acting, I think he's one of the worst actors out there. His face is pretty Kristen Stewart like, and the way he speaks is pretty annoying. What I hated most was when he said to back off or something, they dramatically zoomed in on his face. Not his fault of course, but he was in the shot so it's still a bit his fault. Actually, the acting wasn't too bad if we're just ignoring David.

It's well written and unpredictable, it's very different compared to usual horror movies. I think a lot is left to the imagination and that is a nice twist for a change. 
The first half may be a bit slow and perhaps slightly boring, but in the second half the movies fights his way back and gives us some action with it as well. 

Session 9 is an interesting movie but you do need to pay attention to it if you want to get the story. The acting is good with the exception of David Caruso's acting abilities. It needs imagination to like the storyline, but I think the location helps quite good with that. I did expect that there would've been more action though, and it would've been more interesting if the beginning wasn't this slow.

My personal rate: 6,5/10


  1. 6.5 is fair. I'd say more like a 7 for me, but I think this movie falls between being over-hyped and underrated. It's not as great as many claim, at least in my eyes, but it's not as terrible as others make it out to be either. Great review.

  2. Session 9 gets a lot of love from the horror movie community, but I'm with you. The best thing about Session 9 is the location, and that location could easily have been used to create a far scarier movie. Of course, we should always judge a movie based upon what it actually is, not what we want it to be.

    That building is (was) the Danvers State Insane Asylum, by the way. It has since been demolished to build apartment buildings.


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