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Session 9

USA 2001
produced by
Dorothy Aufiero, David Collins, Michael Williams, John Sloss (executive) for Scout Productions, October Films
directed by Brad Anderson
starring Peter Mullan, David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Josh Lucas, Brendan Sexton III, Paul Guilfoyle, Charles Broderick, Larry Fessenden, Lonnie Farmer (voice), Jurian Hughes (voice), Sheila Stasack (voice)
written by Brad Anderson, Stephen Bevedon, music by Climax Golden Twins

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Gordon's (Peter Mullan) asbestos removal company is hired to fix up a former insane asylum that has been closed down 15 years ago, but oddly enough its patients tended to come back after the closure ...

For the removal job, Gordon has scheduled only one week, especially to get the job & the bonus ($ 10.000), although even his second-in-command Phil (David Caruso) doubts they can do it.

The team of workers Gordon brings seems hardly fit for the job, there's his nephew Jeff (Brendan Sexton III), who is completely new to asbestos removal & furthermore has a fear of the dark, there's Mike (Stephen Gevedon), a failed law student who soon shows more interest in some case histories he finds in the building than his actual work, there's Hank (Josh Lucas), who has stolen Phil's wife, there's Phil who not only hates Hank's guts for that, but he also doubts each & every decision Gordon makes & wants him off his own company ... & then there's Gordon, who looks more & more like a wreck, & who seems to have domestic problems (at one point he tells Phuil he has beaten his wife - accidently, but still).

After day one, Hank disappears too - allegedly he has gone to Miami, but Gordon can't shake the feeling that Phil has gotten rid of him one way or the other - & Gordon even gets more 6 more direct in expressing his suspicions.

Al the while, the place gets more & more creepy, until one day, Hank appears to Jeff, but he seems to be totally out of it, & covered in blood. When Jeff wants to show the others though, Jeff is gone, but footsteps from somewhere above suggest that there's really someone there, but when the team tries to hunt whoever-it-is down, it results only in a ll of them panicking ...

The next morning, Gordon finds Phil leaning over Hank's corpse, puts 2 and 2 together, & is now sure about what he had always suspected, that Phil indeed did kill Hank. Phil then calmly tries to persuade Gordon to hush it up & finish their job, but ...

... but in fact, Phil is not even around, Gordon is just daydreaming (or sleepwalking), & he in fact really did kill Hank himself, & now proceeds to kill all his other workers, who arrive at the scene one after the other. Then he calls his wife & asks for forgiveness ... only, he did not only hit his wife, he actually killed both ehr & his baby daughter, & since lives in denial.

... & in fact, he once was a patient of the asylum himself, & his session was recorded on one of the tapes Mike has been listening to, called Session 9.

 

A psycho horror movie that boldly doesn't follow the usual formula of brainless teens being slaughtred, instead tries to flesh out its characters & establish more-dimensional character relations - unfortunately this virtue of the film is at the same time its downfall:: The film spends way more time on developing its main characters (mainly Phil & Gordon though) than actually tell its story, which then shows quite a few plotholes - e.g. how come Jeff sees Hank still alive when Gordon has already killed him days earlier, what does the whole plot of the film actually have to do witht he taped sessions & the fat that Mike is a former law student, & why couldn'T the revelation that Gordon is indeed the killer have come a little subtler since everything was pointing into this direction right from the start (including the fact that he has killed his wife & daughter) ?

After having said all that, I have to admit the film is not quite as bad as my comments have made it to be, at least it tries to nogt insult the intelligence of the audience (as many modern horror films tend to), it just could have been much better.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD