StreamFocus: Session 9

Session 9
Runtime: 100 min, Grade: B, Netflix Page

There’s a surprisingly small number of films that use haunted mansions, hospitals, and other gothic-shaped structures nowadays. Why filmmakers don’t tap into these naturally frightening structures is beyond me; one recent flick that does is Session 9, a psycho-paranormal thriller from director Brad Anderson. He focuses on this incredible bat-shaped hospital that requires an asbestos-sweep crew for cleansing, which is heavily ironic considering the fact that much more needs to be purged from this horrible place than that. Of course, as we twist and wind around every corner of this structure, images of peeling paint and dilapidated session chambers rely on their own natural properties to evoke quite a chilling atmosphere.

Led by the ever-eerie David Caruso (YEEEAAHH!), Session 9 slyly introduces the audience to a host of blue-collar cleaners driven by testosterone, money, and for-the-moment satisfaction. Their personalities are surprisingly distinct, creating a strange dynamic that neither makes them out to be appealing or villainous. Much like average humans, there’s bits and pieces from both sides of the spectrum in these guys hired to flush this hotbed of horrible memories of its filth. Once one of them disappears in the corridors of the asylum, it becomes a downward spiral of bizarre whodunit mindplay. When its chaos begins to intertwine with the sound of eerie tapes that illustrate one of the patient’s horrific schizophrenia, Session 9 becomes a balancing act between wondering whether it’s the haunted structure’s fault for swallowing up one of the cleaners or whether it’s something orchestrated by these regular guys – or a combination of both.


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