Technically, the film’s title is Session 9, yes. Whenever I’m given the chance, though, I like to call this one The Best Horror Movie That You’ve Never Seen. If you have peeped Session 9 before, then many kudos awarded your way. For the millions of others, renting this deeply-disturbing little diamond from underrated writer-director Brad Anderson is your homework, due as soon as possible. Well-constructed, thought-out reactions are mandatory.
Session 9 was dumped into a minimal amount of theaters around the same time that The Blair Witch Project first took the world by storm, so, naturally, Session 9 fell by the wayside. Unfairly. No doubt about it, Anderson’s psychological vice-grip—about four guys losing their minds while renovating the creepiest, largest abandoned mental asylum of all time, the Danvers State Insane Asylum—is far superior to that bitchy Blair Witch. The use of dusty recorder snippets of Mary Hobbes are piercingly unsettling, like voiceovers transmitting from Lucifer’s basement. Subtle organ strikes hit the eardrums like swinging axes, and the sadistic final act drags an already-dark film right into the depths of looney-bin-Hell.
“I live in the weak and the wounded.”
The following choice scene is such spook central that you won’t even need to understand what exactly is going on, though watching this excerpt in its full context makes it even stronger. Also included is a Youtube-accessible handheld cam footage of the Danvers Asylum itself, a real place (its presence in reality making it all the more eerie). Take note of the awesomely Score-Settling-worthy music, taken directly from Session 9. Scene after the jump:
BONUS…..Scared! at Danvers: