Session 9 (2001)

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WRITING (Brad Anderson/Stephen Gevedon): This film has a great start, giving us a perspective not often told. Seeing a cleanup crew as victim to a paranormal event is interesting, and nice to see. The scares are then well-done and suspenseful. They aren’t cheap and come off effectively. However, the script falls off a bit at the end. When it’s revealed that Gordon kills everyone, the film lasts a bit too long just to explain everything in obvious ways. I could have ended much earlier and had the same effect. Everything is also thrown away very quickly in the last 5-10 minutes. Everyone dies and it is revealed that Gordon is just insane. So much buildup and character development with no payoff. 4/10

PERFORMANCES (Brad Anderson): Everyone does a really great job during this. Peter Mullan is the highlight as Gordon and then the rest of the cast is an excellent pedestal, heightening him to success. 10/10

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Uta Briesewitz): The lighting and camerawork of this film are fantastic. The first person shots were all well-done and convey their intentions well. Everything is very eerie and there are some stunning shots thrown in by Briesewitz. 10/10

EDITING (Brad Anderson): The editing is very well-done and balances all of the different characters well. It all flows smoothly with nothing standing out in a negative way. But it is used creatively through the use of dreams and switching back and forth between characters as a suspense technique. 10/10

VISUAL EFFECTS (Peter Kuran): The VFX done in this film are great, there is a great use of practical effects used to deliver some intense scares. But for the most part, it’s hard to tell what is VFX and what’s not. 10/10

ENJOYMENT: I thought this film had some decent scares, but the disappointment that is the script is annoying, throwing everything away for just some insane guy storyline. Not much detail is put into the paranormal aspect and the last 20 minutes feel like a cop out. 2/10

MUSICAL SCORE (Climax Golden Twins): The eerie piano in the score is a great addition that increases tension and helps set the mood, along with the rest of the score. However, the rest of the score feels unoriginal, and boring. It’s filler with some good tracks that elevate their scenes. 7/10

SOUND (Lisle Engle): The sound is great, the sound effects all sound original and are all mixed well. Nothing really stands out and scares are given with more than just loud sound effects. 10/10

PRODUCTION DESIGN: The design of the asylum is amazing. It looks so real and incredibly full of life. I feel as though there was a lot more attention put into the production design than there was in the script. 10/10

OVERALL: ‘Session 9’ fails in terms of a script, but everything else brings forth this atmosphere and suspense-filled ride that makes the ride worth it.

81/100

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