There’s quite a bit to admire about “Session 9”. The idea of asbestos workers in an abandoned mental asylum is excellent and simple, the fact that its guys in their 30/40’s or over (for the most part) means its not part of the crap out teen genre, the actors are all gruff and solid, the subject matter is taken very seriously, and the film relies more on psychological tricks than any gore.
However it doesn’t pay off into a particularly good movie, most of the fault of which can be tied to a weak script. As a psychological thriller it fails – character dialogue and interaction is cliched or uninteresting aside from a few moments, and logic leaps are made with the hiring of a very ineffectual crew to carry out a job that has to be completed in 1/3 the originally planned time.
The pace is erratic and scares wise there’s almost too much atmosphere and not enough scary stuff happening (I only really counted one jump in the movie involving a truly creepy bit with a silhouette in a corridor), whilst a subplot about a multiple personality case’s audio recordings (which deal in regards to the title) is a write-off.
Still, the setting is superb, the actors all turn in commendable performances, and the use of handheld cameras give it that much more of a realistic tone throughout which adds to the unease – however the tension is torn apart by a very bloody and muddled ending which feels like a cop out. Its a cool concept that’s been badly executed.