Session 9 (2001)


I wasn’t aware of Brad Anderson’s “Session 9,” when it first came out with a limited release, but I’m glad I was finally able to see it, as it’s definitely something different and unique. Filming with digital injects the movie with a lot of dread and tension along with a more realistic feeling. The atmosphere is incredible with its dark corners of the setting often feeling ominous and harrowing.

Gordon Flemming (Peter Mullan) and Phil (David Caruso) are two asbestos cleaners that team for a job to clean an old abandoned Insane Asylum before it opens up again. With warnings from locals, they’re told the Asylum is haunted and still has some demons in it. They heed their warnings but decide to take on the job regardless. Little do they know that beneath the asbestos, they will find something potentially life threatening. Gordon Flemming is a man struggling with his new unwanted life as he scrounges for a job, while Caruso’s character is a druggie who is still getting over his ex-wife.

The setting alone is a character with every corridor shifting moods leaving the audience wondering if something is lurking in the corners. Peter Mullan and David Caruso give excellent performances as two friends who never see eye to eye with the job, providing a tension that adds to the already uneasy scenario. The entire movie is like one giant jigsaw puzzle, with a very plot-driven narrative, and when all the pieces puzzle come crashing together, it’s a jaw-dropper and utterly disturbing. Audiences looking for a quick scare here and there won’t find it here as Brad Anderson’s horror thriller is a stunning piece of art. What “Session 9” lacks in the commercial appeal, it more than makes up for in brains, and a brilliant, morbid peek in to human psychology.