Some films have everything they need in place to be well received. Basing Session 9 in an abandoned lunatic asylum? Yep. A group of blokes wandering around doing a job all by themselves? Yep. Creepy goings on? Eventually. Being left with plenty to think about? Undoubtably. So it is a bit of a shame that Session 9 never got the praise that it deserves at the time of it’s release. But, as with so many horror films, they get a new lease of life in the home viewing market.
Session 9 follows a clean-up crew as they take on the job of cleaning up all the hazardous waste from the Danvers State Asylum. Gordon’s (Peter Mullan) small company agrees to take on the job by outbidding others and also makes a claim that it can be done in the unlikely timeframe of a week, greatly increasing the pressure on him and his young family.
Starting slowly, as a lot of horror films do, we get a sense of the place that these guys are going to be inhabiting for this week. Large, run-down and creepy. It doesn’t take long for one of the crew to find and become obsessed with listening to therapy session tapes of a patient, Mary Hobbes, who exhibits multiple personalities. As these tapes continue and we learn more about the disparate personalities, strange events start to occur around the crew. Never a film to show everything, Session 9 plants an idea and then lets it grow, returning to it later when it has had time to gestate.
The ending is a sad, soul destroying affair but the build-up is fantastic, leaving you guessing what has been going on and what is still going on here at Danvers. It does feel very much like it TV movie production values but is elevated by Brad Anderson’s direction, excellent plot and storytelling and some of the performances. Very much one to watch and experience.
Horror Rating: ★★★☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★ ½☆