Sunday, July 25, 2010

Session 9 (2001)

"Satanic Ritual Abuse Syndrome. It was big in the '80s."

A lot of people who think they know everything about the horror genre are going to completely disagree with everything I'm about to say about this film. Others will just plain think this movie is boring. Still others won't ever even give it a chance because it went straight to video almost 10 years ago, before going straight to video wasn't as bad a thing. Well, you're truly missing out on one of the most creepy and unsettling experiences in horror cinema if you listen to anyone of those people. From Brad Anderson, who is quickly turning into the guy to watch in the horror/suspense genre these days, "Session 9" tells the story of a Hazmat crew cleaning the asbestos out of a condemned asylum. The best moments of this film follow the same formula that all the great films of the 70s followed: less is more. What you don't see can be and is often as scary as anything the filmmakers could show you. One scene in particular involves one of the Hazmat crew looking out the window of a cell, staring down into the yard at an empty gazebo. You never see anything...or do you? Its all about what your mind comes up with and you always feel as if something is just around the corner. The movie begins to progress faster when one of the men finds a series of tapes documenting various therapy sessions with a schizophrenic patient who also happens to have multiple personality disorder. As he goes from tape to tape, these various personalities manifest and allude to one very bad character who you will meet in the tape documenting session 9, hence the name of the film.

Some surprise performances come in the way of CSI Miami's David Caruso and rising star Josh Lucas. Paul Guilfoyle from CSI also makes an appearance near the beginning of the film. It has a sort of twist ending, which was all the rage 10 years ago, so that may turn you off. I assure you however, that this film's ending was satisfying and as good as the rest of the film and better than anything M. Night Shabadoo could come up with. While a little rough around the edges, it makes up for it with an amazing atmosphere and interesting setting. If you like original horror or Independent films that don't' disappoint, you owe it to yourself to pick up "Session 9". 4/5 -andy

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