By Cal Wayne
Session 9 is a psychological horror film starring David Caruso and Peter Mullan. Debuting in 2001, Session 9 was a typical box office disaster; raking in only $373,000 after spending over $1,500,000 in production. The plot features an asbestos clean up crew hired to clean out an abandoned psychiatric hospital. As the film progresses, the characters personal problems begin to weigh on them, and the stress builds as they struggle to finish the job while also fighting off other-worldly factors.
Session 9 could best be described as a clumsy film. It's a film that does manage to conjure up some pretty good scares throughout the entirety of the movie, but the plot ultimately is the demise of this film. Session 9 jumps around from scene to scene, and you find yourself asking why many of the subplots are even featured as they often lead nowhere. This is a movie that feeds off of it's environment, and what better than a creepy mental hospital? I did honestly feel genuine moments of dread as the characters made their way around an almost endless maze of pure creepiness. As all of the characters each begin to have their roles become overly personalized, you begin to lose grasp on where the film is actually headed. This actually does add to the suspense towards the end of the film, but after all is finished, it feels like a feature that further complicates the film to the point of being completely unnecessary.
The film features a fairly unexpected ending; not because it's particularly brilliant, but because at this point in the film you are stuck in a very "what the fuck is going on?" state of mind. While some films swim in schizophrenic confusion, Session 9 drowns in it in the worst possible way. It simply was not a smart or scary enough movie to warrant the pointless complications it was given. It's incredibly unspecific throughout the plot, and even after the finish of the movie you're still not quite sure why any of it happened.
Session 9 delivers some fairly solid scares, but if you're looking for a movie with a complex plot that will make you think, you will find nothing here. This film makes you feel as if there's something more that lies beneath the surface for the entire movie, and when you realize that there's really nothing there, you almost feel kind of pissed off. Despite the unexpected twist, the movie still leaves more questions than answers, and the question aren't all that interesting. I suggest watching this movie if you're a creepy old mental hospital enthusiast, that's about it.