6.5/10
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491 user 145 critic

Session 9 (2001)

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1:51 | Trailer

On Disc

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Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Director:

Brad Anderson
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
David Caruso ... Phil
Stephen Gevedon ... Mike
Paul Guilfoyle ... Bill Griggs
Josh Lucas ... Hank
Peter Mullan ... Gordon Fleming
Brendan Sexton III ... Jeff
Charley Broderick Charley Broderick ... Security Guard (as Charles Broderick)
Lonnie Farmer Lonnie Farmer ... Doctor (voice)
Larry Fessenden ... Craig McManus
Jurian Hughes Jurian Hughes ... Mary Hobbes (voice)
Sheila Stasack ... Wendy (voice)
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Storyline

An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward, if rather rushed, job, is complicated by the personal histories of the crew. In particular, Hank is dating Phil's old girlfriend, and Gordon's new baby seems to be unnerving him more than should be expected. Things get more complicated as would-be lawyer Mike plays the tapes from a former patient with multiple personalities, including the mysterious Simon who does not appear until Session 9, and as Hank disappears after finding some old coins. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fear Is A Place.

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 2001 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A 9a. Sessão See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,493, 12 August 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$378,176
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not many props were needed for the making of Session 9. Unfortunately though, much of the building had been looted and damaged by local teenagers using it as a place to party and drink, which is where much of the graffiti came from. Most of the equipment left behind had been stolen, but a lot of the wall art, such as the taped-up book clippings and photos, were the real deal and had been left behind by patients. Upon the hospital's closure, any official records of which patients stayed at Danvers were moved to other hospitals, to archives and to records management offices throughout Massachusetts. See more »

Goofs

When Gordon is sitting in his van outside his house looking at the christening photographs, we can see in the background his wife Wendy and their daughter Emma both in the garden. We then cut to the garden and see Wendy picking up Emma and carrying her into the house. We then cut back to Gordon in his van looking at the photographs, just before he leans over to pick up his bag and leave the van you can clearly see Wendy through the window carrying Emma into the house for a second time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Phil: Gordy? You look tired, man. You look beat. Your turn to feed Emma?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US DVD contains an additional subplot that was removed from the final cut of the film. A homeless woman resides in Danvers State Hospital, and watches the crew go about their business. Initially presented as a menacing "being", shown as collecting objects (rubbish, leaves, insects) in threes in a room, she then becomes more and more human through the film. The crew observe things to give her presence away. She witnesses their murders, and becomes scared. She then kills Gordon at the end in retribution. Unfortunately, it is badly cut, and shows at several points during the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ti piace Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Piece for Tape Recorder
Written & Performed by Vladimir Ussachevsky
Courtesy of CRI and American Composer Alliance (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"What are YOU doing here...?"
14 May 2002 | by hippiedjSee all my reviews

Seeing a film like Session 9 just reaffirms that there are truly great films still being made.

While many (including the filmmakers) will find comparisons to Don't Look Now, The Shining, and even a nod to The Changeling, Session 9 still stands on its own as a most effective, brooding experience of dread -- and that's a good thing! I found the style and tension more genuine than the grandiose The Shining, and Session 9 relies mostly on real fears and no gratuitous material to entertain. This film wants to creep you out and that's its soul purpose. No pretty young GAP models, no trendy MTV-influenced rap/metal soundtrack, no breasts, no giggle-inducing decapitation effects. If you want those, by all means go watch something else as there are plenty other films that offer that to those with short attention spans. If you want to be drawn INTO a film, a place of fear, and THINK as well, Session 9 is like a therapy session of nightmares.

The story is simple and complex at the same time, as workers removing asbestos from the massive Danvers Mental Hospital slowly unravel along with secrets from taped audio recordings of a former patient. I never saw the characters' backgrounds as "underdeveloped" as some have complained -- you don't need to know EVERYTHING about these guys and besides, more information about them would have slowed the film down even more, and its nice, brooding pace is just right as it is. And don't worry if some of the things that seem like "clues" are left unresolved, that's part of the fun. Just like I still say many of the weird "clues" in David Lynch's works like Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive are just there to be weird and draw you in, not that they actually have any direct connection to the main story.

The actual Danvers Hospital is an amazing setting as the whole structure is a character all it's own and will disturb you without it having to do much but just BE there in the film. The minimalistic soundtrack is unsettling and downright perfect (I even bought it on CD and am still trying to figure out why it attracts me so much, playing it in the background while, say, typing away something like this....).

Each actor does a fine job -- yes, even David Caruso (some of you need to get off his back!) as a guy who seems to get a bit impatient yet maintaining a sense of calm. Peter Mullan, Steven Gevedon, Josh Lucas, and Brendan Sexton III seem like real, regular blue collar guys. It's refreshing to see a film not insecure in having a mature, rough-edged cast. By giving you a sense that these guys are real (yes, even though they tend to be slacking off quite a bit in places when they're supposed to get the job done in a week), the quiet dread of the story will draw you in and you'll be absorbed completely. Of course, if you appreciate less flashy films like this, you'll agree it's damn near perfect. Oh, to those here on IMDb who criticized the scene with a jar of peanut butter left on the floor, welllll, think about this: considering the state of its consumer, do you think that whoever left it there cared where the container was disposed? Man, do you people get picky over the strangest things! Whatever may seem implausible in the story or the characters' actions really doesn't wreck the film, as it is to be appreciated much for its atmosphere and story. I didn't find the ending to be so hard to understand at all, those that had their mind set that they didn't like this film were too busy being angry to just sit back and let everything present itself quite clearly.

If this film is categorized as horror then it's one of the best I've ever seen, definitely one of the best in years. It takes a LOT to scare me, and there's one specific scene with Josh and his experience in the basement that caused a wave of tingling goosebumps all over my body. It was exhilarating to be scared that effectively by a single scene!

Folks, you can't trash this film because it doesn't give you easy explanations or allows you to have some cheap voyeuristic thrills. Many of you who didn't like Session 9 seemed to know from reading its summary that it wasn't offering slam-bang entertainment. If you like your mind to be stimulated and love being absorbed in mysterious and wondrous storytelling, Session 9 is by my definition a flawless piece of work. For anyone else, I'd just say........."What are YOU doing here....?"


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