Session 9

0
0
Subscribe to David Caruso alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th September 2001

Box Office Worldwide: $374 thousand

Budget: $1.5M

Distributed by: USA Films

Production compaines: USA Films, Scout Productions, October Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 42 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Peter Mullan as Gordon, David Caruso as Phil, Stephen Gevedon as Mike, Josh Lucas as Hank, Brendan Sexton III as Jeff, Paul Guilfoyle as Bill Griggs, Larry Fessenden as Craig McManus

Session 9 Movie Review


Director/writer Brad Anderson, who turned heads with the winning romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland, does a narrative about face with Session 9, a creepy, psychological thriller more likely to twist heads than turn them. After displaying a knack for witty dialogue and strong pacing with Wonderland, Anderson applies those skills to the difficult horror genre, and delivers an exciting, low-key treat.

You can think of Session 9 as a kind of 5 Angry Men meets The Shining. A crew of asbestos removal workers -- played with solid force throughout, with notable performances by David Caruso (Kiss of Death, NYPD Blue) and Peter Mullan (The Claim) -- has the unenviable task of spending a week in an enormous, abandoned insane asylum, gutting it at a fever pitch pace in order to make it safe for renovation. The hospital once housed 2,300 "patients" at its peak, and very few of them were happy. Makes for an excellent haunted house story.

As the week progresses, the building, the job, and the lives of the men begin to eat away at them. As the floor and ceiling tiles get peeled away, so too does the crew's psyche, and Anderson (with co-screenwriter and actor Stephen Gevedon) does an outstanding job keeping both us and his characters guessing. Who's cracking? Who's lying? Who's trying to make the job work well for all? The script keeps just enough information away from everyone, resulting in a film that gets tighter and tighter as the days start slipping away.

Shot on digital video (with impressive cinematography by Uta Briesewetz -- sometimes you forget it's video) at an actual empty asylum in Danvers, MA, Session 9 works for all the reasons a thriller should. There's strong, ensemble acting, with Anderson allowing his talented cast to talk over one another, giving the movie a conversational reality and weight. There's a spiraling pace, which deftly picks up speed as the movie heads toward the final act. And, of course, there are spooky visuals -- simple family photographs that hide pain behind the smiling faces, dilapidated "treatment" rooms, and long, dark, corridors.

Anderson's one downfall is in allowing the final act to unravel with a lack of structure. It ends up drawing out the resolution a little too far, and doesn't feel as satisfyingly tight as the rest of the movie. It doesn't taint the total experience, but it does need some restraint. Also, his choice of scary imagery is effective, but he tends to use it too much toward the finale, diluting the freaky feel just a bit.

Overall, though, Session 9 is a real summer winner, with a lot more punch than that Blair Witch craziness from two summers ago. You know you're watching a good thriller when audience members start giggling with excitement when they see something coming (wait, is the generator losing power?). Add in a solid dose of well-acted drama, and that's the general feeling of Session 9.

Before the madness.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to David Caruso alerts

Comments

Session 9 Rating

" Excellent "

Advertisement

More David Caruso

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Advertisement

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement