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Session 9 - A Movie that Actually SCARED Me.

2076 Views 31 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  lonwolf615
Every Halloween my girlfriend and I try to find horror/supernatural movies that A: Don't insult our intelligence, and B: Are actually scary ... and every year, it gets harder and harder to come up with new movies we haven't seen.

I don't know where I first heard about Session 9, but I know I read at least one bad review of it ...

Man oh man am I glad I DIDN'T listen to that review, because Session 9 is that rarest of achievements - an intelligent and SPOOKY horror movie. I highly, highly highly recommend it for anyone who likes scary movies where more is implied than actually shown .Any Henry James/Turn of the Screw/The Innocents fans out there will dig the way Session 9 walks the tightrope between the supernatural and the psychological and gets it just about perfect.

The acting is good, the dialogue is good, the cinematography is excellent, and the setting - man, you couldn't get me to spend five minutes inside that place, even with all the lights in the world turned on.

If you like the typical Hollywood CGI cheese-fest, like the Haunting remake or anything else in that mold, you'll probably hate Session 9, but even so you should give it a try because it has now joined my very rarified list as one of the scariest movies ever made ...

If there has been another post about Session 9 (which I imagine there might be) you'll just have to forgive me, but I think this movie is so good it deserves a new thread...I've got to find out if the director has done anything else because if he has I'm definitely going to check it out.
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Some good news Gray--Session 9 holds up VERY well after multiple viewings. Like "Donnie Darko", you can interpret it in a few different ways, and you see more/different things in it the second and third time.

It also doesn't lose its impact. I've seen it at least 4 times, and it's still frightening.
Yeah, this was a great little spook fest. I liked it a lot.
I liked it. I had hoped that it would be a little scarier than it was, as I thought that it was a little slow in parts...

There were definately parts that creeped me out big time.
Its website was scarier than the movie.
You may consider it slow, David, but I liked the way the director took his time in building the atmosphere and sense of unease ... by the end of the movie I felt like I had been wandering around that spooky hospital myself. It really gave me a "you-are-there" feeling ...

EricD, you must scare pretty easily if a website frightened you.
Thanks for the review Gray.

I'll be adding that to my list for Halloween next year (already have 3 for this year).

One question: it's not scary in that "The Shining" kind of way, is it? I just hate that irrational serial killer horror stuff ....
I don't really want to give any plot details away, AcuraCL, but there definitely are some similarities between The Shining and Session 9, mostly in that they are both set in enormous, creepy buildings ... but I thought the hospital in Session 9 made the Overlook hotel in the Shining look like a Motel 6 - meaning that I found Session 9 to be much scarier...both films also deal with characters possibly losing their minds, but again I thought this effect was much more subtle (and thus achieved better) in Session 9.

Even though both movies have some of the same elements, I still thought they were distinctly different. Kubrick fans (and I'm one) will kill me for saying this, but I thought Session 9 was better than The Shining. I saw The Shining again not so long ago and it just didn't seem as scary as I remembered it being. The sense of dread that Session 9 slowly builds up is missing from The Shining, at least for me.

Having said all that, if you didn't like The Shining, you might not like Session 9, for some of the reasons you yourself stated ...
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Ah, thanks for clarifying. I think I'll just rent not buy then ... if I don't like it $1.99 is no great loss .... It sounds like it might be diff. enough that it doesn't push my buttons.
Always wanted to see this but could never find it to rent and hesitated purchasing it for some reason.This thread convinced me to buy it and wow...its been a long time since I've seen a horror movie this good.Thanks for the heads up guys.This is a rare find-a genuinely good film thats also very creepy.Loved it.
I researched this title after your post & realized I had seen it some time ago on cable and remembered it as a "B" type movie. David Caruso is just not my "cup of tea" and may have tainted this for me!!
lonwolf615 - I'm glad my thread encouraged you to see Session 9 and that you liked it as much as I did! You made a good point that I forgot to note: Session 9 succeeds as a "genuinely good film," period, AND it's also a good horror film, which is a very rare combination, especially these days. I thought all of the characters were well fleshed out.

Part of the horror of the film comes not just from the possibility of an evil spirit and/or madness, but from the characters' sense of frustration and disappointment with their own lives ... The guy who dropped out of law school after only one year, for instance, and the guy struggling to keep his head above water with a new baby and a failing business ... Even the young "new guy," with the schlong haircut, who could have been played strictly for laughs, as a sop to gen-X audience members or whatever - even he seemed like a real person and not some cardboard cutout.

The characters were all very three-dimensional and believable to me, and I think the film would have worked even if you took out all the overt horror elements ... It's just a good movie, period.

Carl, I know what you mean about David Caruso - when I first see him I always think of NYPD Blue or going back even farther, Hill Street Blues, where he played the leader of an Irish street gang ... but after watching the first few minutes of Session 9 I overcame my prejudice to Caruso. For one thing, he's not cast as the "star" - he's just another guy in a great ensemble cast. And he does a good job at making his character believable as well.
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Cal me stupid,but I didn't even realize it was Caruso until I read the credits.And then I was amazed by how much I liked him in the role.One other thing about the film,which I think was already alluded to:it can be viewed as a straight forward story, with no supernatural element at all.And viewed that way makes it even more disturbing.If one of the goals of a good scary movie is that it makes you think "this could really happen",well then Sesion 9 is almost too good..
Originally posted by lonwolf615
Cal me stupid,but I didn't even realize it was Caruso until I read the credits.And then I was amazed by how much I liked him in the role.....
That is probably one of the greatest compliments you can pay an actor ....
i must disagree, bought it as a blind buy based on some recommendations (like in this thread)...big mistake; it was slow, wasn't creepy at all (except for the part with the guy running in the basement in the dark), and i found the characters responses/dialogue outlandish.
"What are you doing here?"

That line creeps me out everytime I think of it.
Really good horror movies are hard to come by, but you guys make it sound like I need to rent it. When did this come out, and do I have a chance of finding this at Blockbuster?
Also, Session 9 was not shot on film, but on HD video. The visual style did a lot to contribute to the sense of dread.

I was really surprised by how much I liked this movie.

Highly recommended.
Originally posted by lonwolf615
"What are you doing here?"

That line creeps me out everytime I think of it.

Oh yeah. I've used that line on my girlfriend SEVERAL times after we saw the movie, until she insisted that I quit saying it because it spooked her too much...

Another horror film that I think is quite good (though not as good as Session 9) but under appreciated is The Haunting of Julia, with Mia Farrow ... Unfortunately it is only available on VHS (and a poor dub, at that) but I would still recommend screening it. It's also intelligentlly crafted, spooky, and open to more than one interpretation...
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I watched this movie last week and enjoyed it.

One thing I didn't really understand, though:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Why did Phil (Caruso's character) pretend to talk on the phone and then say that Harry (I think that's his name) went to Miami? What's his reason for lying?

Then when they were looking for him later, Phil started to freak out and say that he's not there...

Could someone explain that? It didn't seem to do anything but raise tension.
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