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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying tension!
This is how a horror movie should be done. There are no aliens, no men in rubber suits, no cliched celluloid psyopaths and definitely no bad CGI monsters. What we get instead is almost unbearable, terrifying suspense, a film that truly makes the most of it's creepy location and will have you looking over your shoulder by the time the credits role. For maximum fear this...
Published on 31 Jan 2003 by Mr. B. J. Roberts

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Superior thriller with flawed ending.
A team of contractors are given the job of cleaning up an old asylum. Soon the internal dynamics of the group start to fracture and before you can shout wife swap they’re bickering like children. Then the most flaky member of the team stumbles across a stash of valuable old coins and jewellery, a grisly memento from the asylums crematorium. Meanwhile another member...
Published on 14 Jan 2004 by russell clarke


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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying tension!, 31 Jan 2003
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
This is how a horror movie should be done. There are no aliens, no men in rubber suits, no cliched celluloid psyopaths and definitely no bad CGI monsters. What we get instead is almost unbearable, terrifying suspense, a film that truly makes the most of it's creepy location and will have you looking over your shoulder by the time the credits role. For maximum fear this should be watched alone, late at night with the lights down low.
David Caruso and Peter Mullan head an impressive cast, (Mullan particularly shines) who have the unenviable task of clearing out an abandoned asylum. That should be enough to put the creeps up anybody, but it soon becomes clear that the asylums past history may be coming back to haunt them.
What could easily have become territory for a bad B-movie, instead becomes a tale of terror as the tension mounts and the truth is slowly revealed. The brilliant location is expertly used to instill in you a fear that something rather unpleasant is waiting just around the corner, but it never once resorts to cheap thrills.
It is shocking to think that with all the rubbish that comes from Hollywood every year, an original film like Session 9 doesn't even get a cinema release in the UK.
You do however get the feeling that it will struggle for a convincing ending and indeed it does fall apart a little in the final thirty minutes. That said, this is still a brilliantly understated pyschological chiller, that is part "Blair Witch Project", part "The Shining" and it deserves to find an audience, hopefully it will find it's home on DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric creepy supernatural thriller, 15 Aug 2009
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
This is the first time I have written a review but I just wanted to redress the balance as it seems to have very caused very mixed reactions. Some other reviewers have gone into more depth so I will not repeat everything already said.

I found this film to be chilling and scary in a way that gory, slasher type films are not. It builds nicely to its quite frightening climax, which was bloody but not too over the top. The actors were great in portraying the dread the building was imposing on them. The voice on the tape at the heart of the story was very spooky.

The mental hospital itself was a wonderful setting for this type of film and gave it the most fantastic atmosphere. My son worked in a mental hospital very similar to this in England before it was closed down and said that it always gave him the creeps at any time of day and now I know why. Anyway please give this a try if you like being scared but not sickened.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy as hell!, 7 Jun 2010
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
a quick review - chilling, blood curdling, creepy as hell. Atmospheric and with effective supernatural overtones. Keeps and air of mystery too, so amazingly effective as a horror.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a good horror film, 6 Nov 2003
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
I read a review of this film in the USA this time last year and it was actually in the critic's top 10 scary movies! On returning to the UK I was annoyed that the DVD could not be found anywhere but, lo and behold, it was eventually released and on the back of the review, I jumped at the chance to see it.
I can see why it had no cinema release here : No massive stars, no nubile young girls and no overly gory scenes. In fact, the opposite to the usual fare on offer these days. Instead, you have a slow, well acted and beautifully shot piece of cinema that is worth watching for these factors alone. In terms of the story, it is a little confusing, particularly as what you expect to happen, may not actually happen. The good thing is that it leaves you asking questions and demands to be seen again and even again!! 'Horror' fans per se may not love the film but if you love cinema in general and like to be 'moved' be it by horror, suspense or just good acting, then watch this movie!!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great budget horror, 16 May 2007
By 
Neb (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Whilst lacking depth and never really drawing you in enough, Session 9 oozes atmosphere and is one of the most beautifully shot horror films of recent years. Furthermore, if you buy it for the same reason I bought it - a look around the disused psychiatric hospital that is the real star of the film - you will not be disappointed. In many ways this is the perfect urban explorer's horror film, every nook and corner of the hospital explored, with great use of familiar props like patient's drawings, dusty boxes of documents and restraint chairs. An original plot, great ending and some truly creepy moments add up to make this the best horror film you've never heard of.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Session 9 : Meet your hypnotist, 6 Jan 2004
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
The cover of the dvd was what drew me into it initialy, a solitary wheel chair at the end of a poorly lit corridoor (pretty much the signature shot of the film), how eerie. Basicaly Session 9 returns to the formula of ,arguably, the greatest horror films made (The Shining, The Haunting et al) by setting the entire movie in a large deserted location. (a hotel, an old mansion etc.) And this time it's a mental institution that closed down about ten years ago. It's huge and looming, the perfect setting.
The direction is spot on (in my opinion) sound overs and flash backs are utilised perfectly.. although maybe a particular scene is replayed a few too many times.. it is an important one though.
Ten minutes or so into the film and it really does deliver the same sort of psychological tension that the above classics do. You can feel something big coming. And it's not something like the typical scenes that characterise horror in the 80's to present day. It doesnt rely on shock moments, or hack and slash moments, instead it has some truly disturbing scenes that really are impressive. You'd be hard pressed to find any moments as chilling as the parts where we hear the tapes of an interview with a particular ex patient at the hospital. Absolutely terrific. There are other good moments, including the 'running from the dark' bit but I wont go into them. The film pretty much
sticks to the famous saying by Robert Wise (Director of 'the Haunting') "What you dont see is infinetly more frightening than what you do"
Unfortunatly however, this isnt a perfect ten. With such a good setting and build up plot, I felt this film had a lot more potential than what was produced in the end. Don't get me wrong, it's good, but it could have been so much better. The Ending is a tiny bit baffling really, but not totaly illogical and when you manage to peice together what's going on you'll wonder how it confused you in the first place. The good thing about the DVD is that it has an alternate version of the film on it.. well sort of.. there's a few deleted scenes and an alternate ending that if they had been included would have changed the film considerably. Infact all the extras included on the DVD are pretty cool and worth a peek. The actors aren't hugely famous, David Caruso being the most well known, but they all do a fantastic job. And To be honest, Session 9 is easily one of the best horror films of the last decade. Considering that it was pretty low budget and released in the UK very quietly. If you like Psychological horror, then this is definetly worth checking out. I mean.. look at the cover.. there's a wheelchair..ahh
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no cheap scares here!! ''Do it Gordon.....'', 25 May 2009
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This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
This is by far the most atmospheric psychological horror of it's kind, it drips atmosphere and the cast is perfect for the story.The location is the perfect mix of beauty and terror, you genuinly wouldn't want to be in that abandoned mental institution, no matter how bright a day it is.
If you buy the dvd watch the extras and listen to peter mullen's experience while shooting on location, more than 'a little strange.'
The scares aren't cheap ones they are based around the psychiatric therepy session recordings that are found in the basement of the facility and they creeped me and my friends out no end.
If you're sick of 'horror' films that rely on naked teens and masses of fake blood to drag it's way to the 90 minute mark then this is the film for you. It's got depth,heart racing 'did you see that?' moments and plenty to keep you coming back for more.
The first time you watch this don't be alone,because the second you here the words 'Do it Gordon' you'll understand why.
Buy it enjoy it and see why you don't need a multi million dollar budget to make a good idea work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice slow suspense thriller, 17 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Ok, so I'm not usually into horror movies as I find them rather boring as they are never scary, but I decided to watch Session 9 as it sounded interesting. I wouldn't class this as a horror but a suspense thriller sort of movie.
Appearences are made by some good actors, who I thought fit the roles well. And the location fit well too as the building was amazing.
First half of the film was a little slow but it built up well to the ending and I thought that there were some great moments. The film wasn't really very gory so if its lots of violence that you look for in a film then this film isn't for you. However there were a couple of cringe worthy moments. I thought that it was clever the way that the film was structured (I liked the day by day structure of the film) as it came down to getting you thinking who the bad guy was and there were two choices. It kept me thinking is it him or him?
The recordings of the patient interviews was quite spooky as it sort of fit with the characters and I thought that the scripting and voice acting for these was well done.
Overall a slow but interesting film - worth the watch.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Session 9 and The wonders of Danvers State Hospital, 23 Feb 2007
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Session 9 was recommended to me by a friend who stated it was pretty close to actually watching a Silent Hill movie (and we all know what happened with the eventual one they released)This film is very clever in many ways.

Firstly I wouldn't state that it is a Horror film, more a fictional Biopic about the breakdown of a man's mind. That could be a contradiction in terms but it does closely follow one man's decline from a Hard working typical 'American' style family man to a terrifying conclusion.

I won't say too much, but the very fact that the majority of this film is filmed through the bright sunshine of the day with it streaming through broken windows, following the laborious efforts of an Asbestos mitigation team really does denote the least suspense filled plotline until we find ourselves in the belly of the beast itself, the Danvers State Hospital, where this film is set and actually filmed.

The place itself really does end up becoming the most watchable character in the film and it does leave you wanting to see more of the Hospital itself, hence the Documentary is absolutely fantastic to watch.

Whilst i've not said too much about the film itself, I conclude simply saying that this is a wonderful memorial to the now demolished Danvers Hospital, so get this film and don't expect to be 'shocked' in every other beat of it, but do expect to find yourself roped into the falling apart of one mind's mind with terible consequences.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Session 9 [DVD] (DVD)
I would agree in general terms with most of the reviews already posted, but I think that the ending was actually far better than the other reviewers have let on. In fact, it seemed to me to do justice to the mounting psychological tension in a way that was unexpected, shocking and (in the end) little short of epiphanic. In one of the interviews included with the extra features, Peter Mullan (I think) talks about the feeling of dread that working in Danvers Hospital inspired -- and that is precisely it: dread, not abject fear or revulsion, is what the plot trades on, and the climax is faithful to that. If it were a novel, it would Lovecraft, not Stephen King (or maybe Lovecraft with Clive Barker writing the screenplay). It is the closest thing that I've yet seen to Lars von Trier's equally excellent RIGET, in terms of atmosphere and sheer creepiness. I highly recommend it and think it deserves better than 3.5 stars, so I'll give it 5 stars and hope that bumps it up a bit.
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Session 9 [DVD]
Session 9 [DVD] by Brad Anderson (DVD - 2003)
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