Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thoughts on Session 9

Review by - Steve Mezo

Session 9 (2001) has to be one of my favorite psychological thriller/ghost story movies. It was written by Brad Anderson and Stephen Gevedon, and directed by Brad Anderson.

The story revolves around Gordon Flemming's (Peter Mullan) Hazmat Elimination Company being hired to remove the asbestos from long closed down The Denver State Mental Asylum.

Gordon gets the bid by giving a quote where the work can be completed in a single week. His supervisor Phil (David Caruso) isn't exactly happy about it but knows Gordon is a new father and work hasn't been as steady due to competing companies, so he goes along with it. Another thing that Phil is not looking forward to is working with a man named "Hank" who is now dating his once long time girlfriend.

As the work progresses one of Gordon's workers Mike (Stephen Gevedon) finds a reel to reel tape recorder and a tape reel boxes labeled "Evidence - Sessions 1 through 9" in one of the rooms of the asylum. During his breaks and when he can sneak away he listens to the recordings of a session being conducted with a 37 year old woman by the name of Mary Hobbes in 1974 9 (she is also known as patient #444). As he listens to them he's fascinated in hearing her speaking through multiple personalities who claim to reside in different parts of her head, they communicate to each other but all refuse to deal with one by the name of Simon. And there seems to be more to her story that involves a China Doll given to her for Christmas in 1951 when she was fourteen that she's holding back on. 

Another member of the team is Gordon's nephew Jeff (Brenden Sexton III) who suffers from Nyctophobia (Fear of the dark). And being the young guy on the crew spends most of his time being told which task has to be done. During a little down time Mike gets Jeff up to speed on who not to piss off (Mainly Phil) or he'll spend the rest of the week doing the worst of what has to be done. 

During a conversation between Gordon and Phil we find out that Gordon has been sleeping in his work van for a few days after having an argument with his wife and had hit her. He's been trying to reach her on his cell phone, but she won't answer his calls. Phil reassures him that she'll talk to him when she's ready, and once the works done and he has the money it'll help allot with the stress between them. 

Hank manages to come across a little find of his own, and gets a boat load of trouble along with it. And after he doesn't show up for work the next day tempers flair and goings on take a real bad turn from then on.  

I think the main reason I connected with it so much was I literally grew up on job sites. When I wasn't working for my Dad I would work with demolition companies allot, and it was wild how dead on the movie got the personality types down. I was the chuckle headed kid (Jeff) being told who not to piss off (Mainly the Supervisor) but grew into the guy that had the cool weekend stories with the pictures to prove it (Hank) and reliable enough to where the supervisor had to tolerate allot of my crap.

The companies were always owned by an old school hard worker like Gordon that you respected and tried to keep up with. And run by an over achieving Gordon wannabe like Phil who was good at telling people what to do, but never had the brass ones to start their own crew.  

But the ones that always stuck with me the most were the (Mike) types. They always had some kind of degree, were really cool to talk to and always managed to steer you away from the rocks. And they would always make you think "You're beyond smart why the hell are you swinging a mallet and eating dust with us here?" 

And you were always in some half lit beyond run down building somewhere where you were expecting Leatherface or Jason to come out after you. 

If you never had a job like this the cast does a great job of drawing you in and making you feel like it was your first day there. And it's definitely not a run and slash but it delivers a great creep factor.