Film: Session 9

".... It's gonna get ugly."

Creepy, atmospheric chiller from 2001 about a cleaning crew busy taking asbestos off from the Danvers State Asylum (opened in 1855, condemned in 1985), which ends up being a much more.... stressful.... job than any of them bargained for. Directed by Brad Anderson and starring Peter Mullan, David Caruso and Josh Lucas.

The movie provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: An actual one, a prominent landmark along Route 1. Very few changes were made to the site for the film. It is now an apartment complex.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Sessions, the 9th of which gives the title of the movie and plays at the end.
    • And delivers one of the most, if not THE most, bone chilling scene in the movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In one scene, Hank finds some equipment for lobotomy. Later in the movie Gordon lobotomizes him with them, coupling it with Chekhov's Skill from Mikey's earlier mock-demonstration/description of the process on Jeff.
  • Daylight Horror: The most chilling moments in the film all happen in broad daylight - with the exception of Hank going back to the hospital at night to collect the valuables of deceased patients.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: It's mentioned that Mike's dad was a DA, and that Mike himself has ambitions of going into law school eventually. None of that really matters, because Mike gets murdered along with everyone else. The same goes with Hank and Phil's relationship drama with Amy.
  • Downer Ending: Gordon killed his wife, daughter and colleagues (even if the jury's still out on Hank), during a DID-induced psychotic break. Or, alternatively, after being possessed by Simon.
  • Eye Scream: See Chekhov's Gun. It's revealed that after Gordon lobotomized Hank, he left the silver 'ice-pick' embedded to the hilt in Hank's eye.
  • Follow the Leader: Frequently compared to The Shining.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted - one of Gordon's victims is his baby daughter.
  • Jerk Ass: Hank. What happened to him was still rather jarring and sad though, mostly due to how drawn out it was. Jerk Ass or not, he didn't deserve that, but that's rather the point anyway.
    • Phil. Very much so. Phil is played as the biggest jerk in the movie, even worse than Hank towards the end, constantly giving the others shit and acting like an irrational asshole. This is probably a Red Herring to make Phil seem even more like the killer.
    • They're all jerkasses aside from Jeff.
  • Lobotomy: The practice of frontal lobotomy is discussed by the workers, and one eventually takes place.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Are the horrific events that take place caused by Gordon snapping and killing his wife and daughter, then suffering Sanity Slippage afterward, or was he possessed by Simon before even that occurred, due to Simon's professed love of "liv[ing] in the weak and the wounded"?
  • Psychological Horror: There are only one or two "scare moments" throughout the film and instead the film relies on a lingering sense of tension and dread.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Craig gets called in after Hank's disappearance, only to be murdered almost immediately after arriving at the asylum.
  • Split Personality: Mary from the tapes.
  • The Killer in Me: Gordon.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The only time you see any blood is in the denouement. Also, the scariest parts ( Gordon killing his wife and infant daughter, Mary's story, Gordon killing everyone) happen off screen.
    • Actually, there's quite a bit of blood towards the end. It just isn't splattered all over the screen.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The patient's room with blood-smeared photos and clippings.
  • Sanity Slippage: Gordon
  • Too Dumb to Live: Gee, Jeff, your Uncle Gordon is coming towards you holding a sharp object in his hand, splattered in blood, and looking pissed, and you think it's about the Oreos? Although this might be excused due to Jeff coming down from an adrenaline rush and nyctophobia attack.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Double subverted. Gordon initially appears charming, friendly and easy-going, before... well, you know.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Was Hank in the room at the end?
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Gordon