Here’s the next installment of my top 31 horror films since the year 2000.
#2 Session 9 (2001)
In keeping with the theme of losing one’s mind, Session 9 explores the idea that it only takes a push in the wrong direction, from the wrong stimuli, to shatter one’s reason and lose all sense of control.
Session 9 is a haunted house story, that tells the story of Gordon, played with such deft cadence by the always incredible Peter Mullan, who owns an asbestos abatement company in financial tatters and in order to stay in business, he underbids and over-promises to stake claim on the massive job of cleaning out an abandoned mental institution. He promises the job completed within days instead of weeks, stretching his crew very thin in order to finish the task, and in turn, they teeter on exhaustion and the unbearable pressures to finish on time. Working in the creepiest place on Earth also contributes to slow ebbing away at their sanity. The very foundations of life become monumental struggles, but is it the stress of their mammoth task that makes them unravel, or is it the ghosts of the broken souls who once resided in the hospital? Soon old records and files of the patients are uncovered giving insight into the cruelty and insanity of the patients, including nine taped sessions of a young girl with multiple personality disorder who murdered her parents on orders from one such personality, who reveals himself to the doctor recording the sessions on the ninth and final tape. As the tapes are played, one by one, the voices heard seem to echo not only down the expansive shadowy halls of the hospital but also in the heads of the workers.
It’s wonderfully gothic stuff, but without the romanticism. The acting is fantastic, especially by Mullan and, wait for it, David Caruso who is excellent as the voice of reason. But no doubt, the best performance is by the very real Danvers Lunatic Asylum, that actually stood abandoned and was used to set the film. The film’s cast and crew swore that the place was haunted and that it really messed with their heads while filming at night, giving the film a very unnerving vibe throughout. Session 9 is scary, smart horror that stays with you long after your stay.
Check out the trailer below and come back tomorrow for my number one pick!!!