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Session 9 (2001)

1:52 | Trailer
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.


Brad Anderson
636 ( 627)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





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 ... Doctor (voice)
Larry Fessenden ... Craig McManus
Jurian Hughes Jurian Hughes ... Mary Hobbes (voice)
Sheila Stasack ... Wendy (voice)
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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


Fear Is A Place.


Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The script was specifically written to take place at the Danvers State Hospital. See more »


In the documents Mike comes across Mary Hobbs diagnosis is D.I.D. In the time period of the tapes D.I.D was still labeled as Multiple Personality Disorder, it was not until 1994 they changed it to Dissociative Identity Disorder to accommodate the DSM-IV-TR (a mental disorder diagnostic guide). See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Silent Hill 4: The Room (2004) See more »


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

User Reviews

terrific horror film - no spoilers
21 April 2004 | by Cam_TSee all my reviews

Session 9 doesn't really break horror film conventions, but what it does do is perfect them. It employs the tried and true, time honored methods of classic horror, and utilizes them to perfection. In order to contextualize my opinion, though, I should mention that I'm a big fan of the horror genre, but oftentimes not such a fan of the films it produces. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is, in my opinion, arguably the best horror movie ever made, but the Night of the Living Dead series, Black Christmas, the original Robert Wise version of the Haunting, the Innocents, the Exorcist, and the Shining (amoung many others) are more my style. Die hard horror fans seem to be so easily appeased, lauding filmmakers (like the Italian `masters') who simply couldn't cut it in any other genre because the bar for horror have always been set so low. These fans and filmmakers gravitate towards puerile, insipid, and senselessly violent films, which succeed and propagate only in an environment of such low standards. So for a genre with such a paucity of decent films, Session 9 is the hidden treasure we "closet" horror fans have been salivating for. True horror fans dismiss it as slow or `cerebral', with none of the trademark gore and cheesy scare-tactics they've come to expect. Simultaneously, critics dismiss anything encompassed within the genre, and so the film never generates the acclaim that it rightly deserves. The cinematography (in digital video) is freaking amazing, truly exploring the potential of the medium. Granted, the Danvers Mental Hospital itself does a lot of the work for them, with its unnerving architecture, sorted history, and dilapidated interiors, but the camera work is so masterful in creating a sense of dread that the images alone, without sound or context, could chill your blood. The story is simple (an essential in most horror films) and the characters are very real. A previous review stated that the characters were unlikable, which is TRUE, though only in so much as they are realistic and flawed (which is the whole point of the movie!). These flaws come through beautifully in the performance of David Carusso, who creates a complexly neurotic and intense character typical of his style, but none more so than Peter Mullan, who's performance is superbly realized and subtly layered. He is a man simultaneously being torn between more than one reality - and even more so between antithetical sides of his personality. The sense of violence and desperation simmering just below his calm demeanor is really effective. Some of his scenes, particularly at the end of the film (as he speaks through a smashed cell phone), are heartbreaking and haunting - two features that couldn't be rarer in a horror film these days. Rather than hyperbolic caricatures of action heroes or saints, these are people like all of us, from whom the most terrible demons can spring (under the right circumstances). That is a scary thing to admit. The distinction between sane and insane is far more nebulous than we'd like to believe. This is a story we know all too well from our own lives, not just Hollywood. This isn't to say, however, that the film doesn't have it's fair share of scares. The scene in the basement tunnels, where Josh Lucas is being pursued by his runaway imagination, more so than any supernatural force, is one of the scariest things I've seen in a movie... well, ever! The director carefully crafts his story, building a sense of dread and tension to the breaking point, but never relies on the ever disappointing, predictable, and LAZY scare tactics so popular in horror movies today (how does the cat get into the closet, and why does it always jump out?). This is a smart, effective, sophisticated, and truly creepy horror film, that is absolutely up to par with the heavyweights of the genre. A loud noise or a sudden movement can definitely startle you, but true horror burrows under your skin and stays there. This is the kind of film that stays with you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

14 September 2001 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Session 9 See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,493, 12 August 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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