Session 9 (2001) Poster



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Actor David Caruso reports in the official Production Notes that he saw "something pass my window" when shooting inside the Bonner Medical Building of Danvers State Hospital. "I didn't want to tell anybody, because people would start looking at me strangely..."
Behind the tunnel with the rubber gloves, the cast and crew signed the wall. Brad Anderson wrote: "We did ASBESTOS we could!"
Almost the entire film was shot in the Kirkbride administration complex, (wing or ward F) but many scenes were filmed in the tunnels, the roof, and wings A, B, C, D, and E.
This was one of the first feature films shot using Sony's 24P HD video, which shoots at 24 frames per second, like film, as opposed to the 30 frames per second of conventional NTSC video. Using this technology, Brad Anderson and director of photography Uta Briesewitz were able to produce the uniquely effective, deep-focus images using mostly natural light.
The movie is mentioned in the book Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz. The book takes place one night in Danvers State Hospital. A group of teens spend the night to film a movie, and encounter supernatural events - much like the psychological aspect of this movie. The main character in the book references the group's actions as reminding him of Brad Anderson's movie Session 9.
Only 3 rooms had additions outside of the natural setting for atmosphere, the kitchen had meat hooks hung, the tunnel had plastic surgical gloves hung up, and the hydrotherapy room had a metal tub added. Almost everything else related to the asylum setting was found on site as the crew scoured the building for set dressing to keep things authentic.
The film unit only ever used a very small percentage of the building as most of it was off limits as it was unsafe.
The fictional "Patricia Willard scandal" at Danvers State Hospital, cited by Mike at the film's beginning, strongly appears to have been inspired by a real-life wave of problematic "Satanism and sex-abuse" allegations that swept the United States circa the 1980s, including (among others) one involving the Amirault family in nearby Malden, Massachusetts. Reporter Dorothy Rabinowitz won a Pulitzer Prize for her book chronicling that bizarre case, "No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times," in 2001.
Brad Anderson was inspired to use the Danvers Mental Hospital as he drove past it every day.
The script was specifically written to take place at the Danvers State Hospital.
The scene shot outside Danvers when Bill ('Paul Guilfoyle') and Gordon (Peter Mullan) are discussing the bid for the asbestos abatement job, apparently a student pilot was flying circles overhead for about 3 hours. This forced the talent and crew to film the sequence in spurts starting when the plane was furthest away and stopping as it grew nearer.
Mary Hobbes' paperwork states she was fourteen years old in 1951 when the murders took place and it was 1974 when she was committed and interviewed, so Mary would have been thirty-seven.
David Caruso ad-libbed the line "It's going to get ugly."
Brad Anderson had Brendan Sexton III in mind to play Jeff while writing the script.
The grave markers in the cemetery and the doors in the morgue were made of Styrofoam. The morgue was cleared out already, so they had to bring in props.
Very few sets were built for this film.
Brad Anderson was originally going to use a spinning camera motif throughout the whole movie.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A subplot was filmed involving a homeless woman who lives in the asylum. In the original ending, she witnesses all the murders and then kills Gordon. According to the DVD commentary, this subplot was removed because test audiences became confused, thinking she was actually Mary (the voice on the tape).
The only CG in the film is the lobotomy tool which is pulled out of Josh Lucas's eye. Lucas raised his head to signify the tool being extracted from his skull.
The shot in which you see Mike (Stephen Gevedon) walking through the gym from the balcony before his demise, was originally a long shot from the point of view from the homeless woman that was in the original subplot of the film that was cut. The full version of the scene is featured on the DVD's deleted scenes.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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