1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

*** Official SESSION 9 Review and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jason Seaver, Aug 11, 2001.

  1. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    9,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Session 9 is an okay movie. It could have been terrific. From what I gather, Brad Anderson saw the Danvers State Mental Hospital and knew it would be the perfect setting for a horror movie. And he's right; this out-of-the-way, gothic, huge, decrepit building with various bits of bad history associated with it just crawls with atmosphere. To make it even scarier, Anderson posits that the building is loaded with asbestos, meaning that the dust all over everything is not just eerie, but dangerous.
    So he sends a asbestos abatement crew (populated by well-acted, interesting characters) in there, under an extremely tight deadline (1 week for a job that should take at least three), has one of them find a series of tapes detailing 9 sessions by one patient with multiple personalities, and lets the story unfold.
    Which it does. Slowly. With numerous red herrings. And, most unfotunately, no sense of urgency. We're told that hazmat disposal is a stressful job, and that there's a tight deadline with an associated bonus, but none of the characters ever really seem to particularly aware of it. This situation, which should be setting everyone on edge, doesn't do that so well. The last act does ratchet the suspense up more, but it tosses some things that had taken up a good chunk of screen time to the side.
    One thing about the ending I did like, though, was the ambiguity (BTW, I'm serious about the spoilers):Spoiler:It's not explicitly spelled out whether the killings are a result of some sort of demonic possession, or whether Gordon just snaps. The former is hinted at, but not made anything close to explicit, although the latter is more frightening, IMHO.
    One technical note: I think this is the first movie in (semi-)wide release shot using Sony's 24p high-resolution digital motion-picture cameras (The Anniversery Party and Timecode were both merely HDTV); I know Jason X and Attack Of The Clones won't be released for a while, while Spy Kids 2 won't start shooting for another month. Anyway, it looks fantastic, 2.35 widescreen and no hint of grain, and I only knew this because I stayed through the end credits. As unimpressed as I was with DLP, this "digital film" looks like the real deal.
     
  2. Chris Dugger

    Chris Dugger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 1998
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    1
    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Session 9". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread. Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    Again, without warning, I will delete all posts that are not a HTF member review!
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Dugger
     
  3. Julie K

    Julie K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,963
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really enjoyed this movie (even if I did leave the theater feeling somewhat shellshocked - but isn't that the feeling horror is supposed to leave you with?). This is the film that Blair Witch wanted to be, but failed at.
    It's not for everyone. It moves slowly. I haven't been able to believe my good fortune at finding two movies, Session 9 and The Others, that haven't been afraid to take their time at setting up the story and mood instead of jumping into non-stop action.
    I for one would be extremely pleased if teeny bopper slasher fare becomes extinct and the new horror is born from Session 9 and The Others.
    ------------------
    My DVDs
    "Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,769
    Likes Received:
    2
    I enjoyed Session 9 more than The Others. While Session 9 isn't as tightly constructed, it benefits from the novelty of its setting. It's hard to forget, when you're watching The Others, that the setting is a classic location for a ghost story. Session 9 has a setting unlike any I've seen before, and the place itself gave me the creeps. Perhaps because I found the setting so interesting to explore (from the safety of a movie theater!), the film never felt slow to me.
    I concur with Jason's observations about the quality of the hi-def digital photography. The color, clarity and detail are astonishing, which is even more remarkable if (as I suspect) the 2.35:1 framing was created by cropping a 1.78:1 image. I know there are a lot of technical arguments about film vs. digital, but as far as I'm concerned, Session 9 answers all the objections. This format delivers the goods.
    M.
     
  5. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,208
    Likes Received:
    137
    Saw this in LA tonight after getting back from vacation yesterday. USA Films doesn't seem to know how to open a film if the executives' lives depended on it (Series 7 -- which I saw in freakin' March -- never hit Cincinnati, where my best friend lives, at all), so who knows when it'll hit the Midwest.
    While not without its problems, particularly the too-rushed ending, this is an extremely frightening and atmospheric piece that literally had me jittering with nervous tension. Peter Mullan (from the great, largely unseen The Claim) is rock-solid and the writers do a terrific job in peeling back his unhappy life layer by layer.
    I can't remember when I saw a good horror movie in the theaters (I think it was Stir of Echoes, nearly 2 years ago!) and to get this and The Others in the same week is a most enjoyable -- and frightening -- one-two punch.
    The 24-frame digital photography is largely rock-solid, but not perfect yet. It looked more like blown-up 16mm than 35mm stock, but that could just be becuase I knew this was digital to begin with.
     
  6. Holadem

    Holadem Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is one movie that left me COLD. It has some memorable scenes (power outage) but overall it was just too dull. I found the voice "DO it now.." very annoying. The ending just didn't work for me. I felt like we were supposed to say "wow, so that is what happened" and found out I didn't care what happened. This is no "The Others". Oh well...
    --
    Holadem
     
  7. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Spoiler Alert: This thread is not recommended if you haven't watched the movie!
    .
    .
    .
    I'm really confused after watching this movie. So what was the relationship between Mary and her multiple personalities (as heard on the session tapes) and the killer?
    Gordon never listened to the tapes so why did he flip out?
     
  8. Justin_S

    Justin_S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    3,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gordon flipped out because the Simon entity from the session tapes possessed him. Notice that Gordon hears the voice before the tapes are even discovered. There's also the classic end quote by Simon which gives even further proof to this. As for Mary, Princess and Billy were her only true multiple personalities, while Simon was an entity that had possessed her.
     
  9. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    But there is no indication that Gordon gets possessed by anything.

    And the weird thing is this. Towards the end of the movie and by the sound of it (because it wasn't shown) we find out that Gordon actually killed his wife and kid and even his dog. Now this happened even before he got the job, didn't it?

    I mean, wasn't he already limping the first time we saw him? And his limp was caused by the incident with his wife in the kitchen where he burns his leg with boiling water. This incident ends with Gordon just going nuts and killing his family.

    I don't know. Maybe I got the timeline wrong but I don't think so. It looks more like Gordon just flipped but again, there is not much explanation as to why.
     
  10. Justin_S

    Justin_S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    3,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gordon kills them after he first visits Danvers. He also first heard Simon's voice when he was staring at the wheelchair. I see it that he was definitely possessed. That's my take anyways.
     
  11. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    And a valid take it is Justin.

    I'm curious to know, why do you think Gordon killed after his first visit to the hospital and not before?
     
  12. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to dig up this old thread, but I'd like to know this same thing:

     
  13. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    2,371
    Likes Received:
    1
    I guess the supernatural reading is that he was possessed by "Simon". The alternative is that the ongoing stress of his job and home situation simply made him snap. FWIW, I believe the movie was inspired by a real case of a man with no history of mental illness or criminal record who came home one day, murdered his wife, and then went back to his usual daily routine as if nothing had happened.
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,972
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    139
    Real Name:
    John
    Personally, I always took it that...

    Gordon had just flipped due to stress. The recordings just added atmosphere to the film.


    I think it works quite well. I'm in the group who thinks there needs to be more horror like this and The Others.
     
  16. chicklopez289

    chicklopez289 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just saw this movie, and after reading yalls reviews Im still lost.
    It would make alot more sense if Gordon got "possessed" by Simon. The problems I have are that the room that is suppsed to be Mary's has pictures everywhere of Gordon, his wife and baby. Did he post up the pictures when he was supposed to be cleaning the place up? Someone told me this movie was supposed to be like Identity, in that everyone is a personality of one (likely Gordon or Phil).
    But its not likely that the pictures are actually Mary as a baby and her father and mother...considering her brother is no where in the pictures. To me, it seems as if they tried to do too many things in one movie.
     
  17. caravella1978

    caravella1978 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's what I think...when Gordon and Jeff were sitting on the tree outside, Jeff mentioned that he had the pictures developed from Emma's (Gordons baby) baptism. I think (maybe?) after Gordon killed Jeff and got the pictures and hung them up. Just my take...IT WAS REALLY CONFUSING!!
     
  18. wallygatorca

    wallygatorca New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    You need to watch this movie a few times before it comes into focus. There are many layers involved, but not all that require some great deal of intelligence, just an involved and awake brain will do. The movie can be slow for sure, but it's great when you start to figure it out. The only leap of faith you need to take is that of a supernatural possession. The movie's trailer even displays the word "possession", so you know it was the director's intention. Red herrings galore. Just stay with the thought that it is real, the characters are real, except for a possession. It can get your mind reaching for other ideas, because it's good art. Realize it's real, and it works...well.

    I won't spoil because it's a cool gift to unwrap and it would take up too much of my time to explain all the nuances here. Definitely underrated, and I can see why, it's tough too get the first time through.
     
  19. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    16,851
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    Wow this just keeps popping back up every few years or so.
    Whatever happened to Dugger?
     

Share This Page