- Session 9
name = Session 9
caption = Promotional poster for "Session 9"
director = Brad Anderson
John Sloss, Dorothy Aufiero, David Collins, Michael Williams
writer = Brad Anderson,
David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, Peter Mullan. Brendan Sexton III
Climax Golden Twins
editing = Brad Anderson
released = 2001
runtime = 97 min (USA)
country = flagicon|USA USA
language = English
amg_id = 1:249869
imdb_id = 0261983
Danvers State Hospital has been closed since 1985. Gordon Fleming (played by
Peter Mullan), the owner of a small asbestos removal company, makes a bid to remove the asbestos, ambitiously claiming he can finish the job in just two weeks in order to get the contract; Gordon is desperately in need of money. He is also a new father, and the stress of work and parenthood have been causing problems between Gordon and his wife, Wendy. As Gordon initially tours the hospital, he comes across a dark hallway with a wheelchair in the middle. He hears a ghostly voice say, "Hello... Gordon."
Gordon's team is small, but eclectic. Mike (played by Stephen Gevedon, who was also the film's
screenwriter) is an angry, acerbic law schooldrop-out. Phil ( David Caruso), Gordon's second in command, is filled with bitterness after losing his long-time girlfriend to Hank ( Josh Lucas), another team member. Hank dreams of hitting the big time, and wants to leave his job to run a casino. Jeff, Gordon's nephew ( Brendan Sexton III), is the youngest member of the crew, and suffers from severe nyctophobia. The job effects each of the men in different ways. While checking on an electrical problem, Mike discovers a box marked "evidence." Inside, he finds a collection of taped interviews with a former patient, Mary, labeled as Session 1 through 9. In between working, he listens and becomes increasingly engrossed in the interviews, which detail the patient's multiple personality disorder. Most of the subject's personalities are harmless and child-like, but they all refer to another personality named Simon, someone they don't want to talk about. Throughout the sessions, it is revealed that something terrible happened involving a knife and a China doll one Christmasin Lowell, Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Hank finds a stash of coins and personal items that have been hidden away since the asylum closed. Unaware that the items came from the furnace in the
morgue, Hank returns late one night to steal the artifacts, but is attacked by an unseen assailant and then disappears.
When Hank disappears, Gordon begins to suspect that Phil may have
murdered him for stealing his girlfriend. Hank, however, is soon found, wounded and only able to mutter, "What are you doing here?" He then vanishes again, and his co-workers split up in order to find him. One by one, the team members are ambushed by an unseen attacker.
Alone, Gordon finds a room in the asylum with pictures of his wife and child affixed to the wall with the red substance used earlier in the film to mark asbestos, some possibly covered with blood. A short
flashbacksequence reveals that, after his initial inspection of the hospital, Gordon went home and murdered his wife and daughter after being accidentally splashed with boiling water. He then proceeded to murder all of his colleagues in succession (committing the murders in a dissociativestate and later becoming convinced that Phil was responsible). As the film ends, the recording of Session 9 is heard. Simon, the evil personality, finally speaks. He reveals that Mary murdered her brother after he scared her, then proceeded to kill the rest of her family. The doctor asks: "And where do you live, Simon?" In the same voice that Gordon heard in the hospital at the beginning of the film, we hear Simon say, "I live in the weak and the wounded, Doc."
In reviewing the film for the 2003 edition of "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror",
Ellen Datlowtakes the view that Simon is not necessarily an alternate personality of the former patient Mary, but a malignant genius loci [Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling - The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection Page lxxxviii Macmillan, 2003 ISBN 0312314256 Accessed via Google Books August 27, 2008] . Her review also points out that the deleted scenes included on the DVD help bring out an added understanding of the narrative.
*imdb title|id=0261983|title=Session 9
* [http://www.danversstateinsaneasylum.com/ Danvers State Hospital website]
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