Brad Anderson’s probably most famous for directing the 2004 Christian Bale movie, The Machinist, which would be filed somewhere between Fight Club and Mulholland Drive, but nowhere near as good as either. Session 9 was the movie that showcased Anderson’s talents well enough to get The Machinist green-lit. So, presumably, it’s rather good, right? Well, you know, it ain’t so bad, it ain’t so bad….
Firstly, and this is what almost makes the movie work, it’s set in a abandoned mental hospital- a real-life abandoned mental hospital -which, so the director claimed, didn’t even need to be dressed for shooting! Making the movie a whole lot more affecting and creepy. It’s hard to convey the story precisely as to do so would give away too much, but it’s basically about five people renovating a mental hospital and, well, some weird stuff starts to go down. Paranoia takes over the men and we’re left with a modern day retelling of The Shining. There’s also something of a mystery being revealed as the movie goes along and the viewer is invited to draw their own conclusions on whether this mystery relates directly to the actions of the men or is more of a cautionary tale.
Overall Session 9 doesn’t really do anything that stands out or sticks in your mind especially, each function of the film process is capably handled without being amazing or fantastic. The acting is fairly good, despite the use of a Glaswegian actor who seems to be quite out of place with the other four characters, making for an unnecessary distraction. The cast also has some guy from CSI: Miami in it I’m reliably informed by the good people of IMDB, but, naturally, I only use my television for watching movies, sports and the occasional cooking show, so I have no idea who he is. The movie is a solid, if not spectacular, mystery/thriller/horror – although it never really exceeds enough in any of those areas to even make for a good genre movie.
Marks out of ten – Six