Finally watched thanks to Paul Tremblay's nod in his endnotes to A Head Full of Ghosts. I wonder how, had I seen it, it would have affected my thoughts about applying for the position I was eventually offered at the the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers back in 2005. Danvers State Hospital, by now demolished, retains a spectral grandeur in the local imagination, and Session 9's chief virtue is its vivid evocation.
A terrifically atmospheric and naturalistic horror film that understands it's what isn't seen that's the scariest. The simplistic plot and predictable final revelations don't exactly do it justice, however.
A genuinely frightening film, from the eerie cinematography and locations down to the strange, pallid facial expressions of each character. One of the strongest sound designs in a horror film - it reaches into your psyche and forces you to imagine horrible things.
Usually the reality of a scary movie is exaggerated or nonexistent. Reading the real life history of the hospital and the events that took place after 2001 adds to the psychological effect of this film. Huge props to the actors and crew for shooting on location. A sequel would have been great. Creepy, creepy.
A lot more understated than I expected, but I was still somewhat pleasantly surprised. There's a subtleness to the atmosphere that feels like a whisper against your arm, or a gentle breeze of wind in your hair. You know there's something wrong, and although the revelation isn't jawdropping, the overall progress of events and the mood of the film are worth recognizing. I just wish there'd been more oomph.
It's unfortunate that there were a couple of CSI cast members in there, preventing me from taking the movie too seriously. Concept was interesting, but the ambiguity of the nature of the main antagonist (trying to avoid spoilers there) added an element of the supernatural I didn't enjoy. A few cool scenes though, more of a "might as well watch" movie.