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.
While brilliantly mastering the eerie setting (standing out only for it) through image, sound and mystery (that, sadly, never reaches to a horrifying level), it completely loses its boundaries and focus while dancing through various genres leaving a conclusion that doesn't fully satisfy to its ambiguious nature. However, the different interpretations you can corroborate with the periodic clues are fairly interesting.
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.
Although I had somewhat of a special circumstance (sick day watching whatever at 11 am with a utility guy spraying the house for bugs), this is one of the most suspenseful and frightening films I've ever seen. I was impressed this sort of thing could still be done.
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.
Very good psychological horror/thriller/drama flick. The film moves quite slow but with a clear purpose and utilizes the protagonists mundane existence and petty squabbles as a breeding ground for a silent and creeping dread. As the movie progresses things slowly fall apart for the characters and the end, while not that hard to figure out, still manages to thrill and horrify in equal measures. Well worth your time!