For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Fear is a place.
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.
As you may be able to gather from my chosen letterboxd username, I really like horror films. Contrary to popular belief, it's not because I find them scary for that's a reserved trait delved out to very few films.
It's easy to not be afraid of vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves or musclebound invincible men in hockey masks because they're not real. I'm not saying those sort of films can never be scary because it really depends on the atmosphere of the film and the person watching it, every film is different and what affects a person's psyche is varied. But when it comes to something as human as a psychotic break, a killer among friends, an isolated location that was…
You stick with this job too long, it'll mess you up man. It gets inside of you - the stress.
This is probably one of the strangest horror films I've ever seen.
It's cheap looking but superbly acted and directed.
It's got a cheesy setup but turns into something you don't expect.
It's got Horatio Cane in a haunted asylum.
Does it sound good already? Well, a lot of people would be inclined to disagree. But ignore those Netflix star ratings, because I think Session 9 is a great little horror flick that I think is horribly underrated and unjustly criticized. Some of those complaints are valid but some I believe we're born out of viewers simply not getting what…
David Caruso is a terrible actor. Or is he?
It could be one of those personal things, I guess, but whenever I see him on screen he just doesn't look right to me in terms of his mannerisms and reactions. Plus, he seems to have put in exactly the same performance in every film and TV episode I've seen him in since right back in the first episode of NYPD Blue I saw him in, regardless of the character he is playing.
I say that as someone who really liked CSI: Miami as well, and as someone who really liked this film. But I am quite sure that I liked…
"Session 9" had been in my queue for quite some time and I'm glad I finally caught up with it. Was inspired after being pleasantly surprised by Brad Anderson's "The Call" and was even more impressed with this film.
It sets up the situation beautifully and the location is perfect. It is ominous and rundown, because it's ominous and rundown - it's not an obvious set creation. Tension builds throughout and we aren't insulted with flash cuts or cheap jump scares. A fantastical story is presented in a straightforward manner that was hypnotic in a strange sort of way. But a very entertaining way. A slow burn that delivers.
This was one I took a chance with. All I had read before viewing was a short synopsis so I figured this would be just an okay kinda ghost story type thing, and was I ever wrong.
This film is so expertly delivered by director Brad Anderson (The Machinist) that I was drawn in right from the start, and the whole cast are on the top of their game. All the performances are very convincing, with the phenomenal Peter Mullan heading the pack.
The pacing and the tight, isolated setting reminded me of The Shining, giving me that same feeling of some impending evil lurking around every corner. And as most of the film is set in the daytime, it…
Refreshing. Session 9 is a great movie with natural acting and a plot filled with tension between characters first and foremost, letting the sinister elements take a back row seat during most of the film. With that said the payoff was very good and should please horror fans across the board.
The digital photography heightened the mood, opened up to creative lo-fi experimenting and even allowed for this great shot;
Brad Anderson appears to have fallen on harder times these days. After two successful romantic comedies in Next Stop Wonderland and Happy Accidents, he was able to independently make Session 9 which although was a flop at the box office, it was pretty well received critically and has become a bit of a cult movie since then. The Machinist was his next big project followed by Transsiberian. Anderson appears to have now settled down in shooting episodes for TV shows as well as directing mediocre horrors or thrillers like Vanishing on 7th Street and The Call.
There's nothing wrong with doing TV as he is doing work for some pretty respectable TV shows anyway. I'd just like to see some…
Really cool atmosphere in spots made this more promising than it actually turned out to be. While the twist ending was interesting and somewhat unexpected, the whole premise of having a twist ending, especially one of this nature, is done way too often.
A very effective first half makes this a compelling watch, but the final scenes descend into nonsense (including some very amateurish horror techniques). The use of digital High Definition imagery (one of the first films ever to use HD) is interesting if not enitrely sucessful.
A note on the viewing: Viewed in Standard Definition on DVD, upscaled using a Blu-ray player to 1080p High Definition. Universal Pictures's DVD is good enough, restricted by both its format and source. A Blu-ray would be useful.
It's not the haunted asylum sort of film, wich is a good thing. The story unravels itself as the character Mike starts listening some old session tapes from a former resident of the mental hospital. When session tape of number 9 starts playing, and Simon is revealed, the film gets really creepy.
This is not scary for something that is classified as a horror flick. There was some interesting characters in this film but none of them really did anything of note. This is just a movie where not much happens until the end which happens to leave you scratching your head in confusion anyway.
More of a thriller than anything else. You can pretty much guess at what is going to happen. If you like being creeped out by a mental hospital, this is a movie for you.
I actually had to stop watching this movie because it atmosphere was so thick I was getting panicked. Of course, that meant when I finished, the atmosphere wasn't as built up so it was lackluster but had I powered through - man! I really regret not finishing it in one go but thankfully I've forgotten the plot so I'm going to find someone to watch it with and watch it between my fingers.
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
- Under the Skin
- Tropical Malady
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
- Inland Empire
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).