Sunday, July 12, 2009

Session 9 or GET OUT OF MY HEAD, MOVIE!!!

Some movies scare me. Some movies make me think. And some movies get into my head and fuck around in there until I want to tear at my skull with an ice pick because it won't go away.

Session 9 is the third type of movie. I cannot stop thinking about it. Since last night after I turned it off to when I was in the shower this morning to right now as I type this review. Questions, visuals, and sounds keep swimming in my thoughts which not only make me discover more about the movie but also makes the movie more frightening with every thought I have.

Out of my head, movie!

Of course it didn't help that I was watching this alone, in the dark, at my computer, while Stac was on YIM telling me how many nightmares this movie gave her. AH the power of suggestion! Remind me to never watch something recommended by Stac in the dark again...EVER.

If you find me curled up in a fetal position in my closet, rocking back and forth as I drool on my own shoulder you'll KNOW who's fault it is.

The movie is a simple film if you try to write a synopsis. A team of asbestos workers are hired to work on an old broken down mental hospital so it can be used for office space. One of the workers finds audio tapes of therapy sessions with a patient named Mary. Mary suffers from multiple personalities and one in particular, Simon who doesn't show up until Session 9. Meanwhile, shenanigans...horrible horrible shenanigans occur to our team. To say more will be to give the movie away. And part of the fuckery of this movie is the surprises it has.

The film is one of those wonderful less is more type of movies. There is very little gore and absolutely no cat scares at all. But the very few moments of violence are intense and disturbing. You expect some evil thing to pop out of a door and scream in your face but there is never a heart stopping scare. What you do get is this overpowering feeling of dread, horror, and fear that suffocates you until you finally give in. The visuals are simply stunning using stark lighting, creepy rusting old furniture, and dilapidated rooms.

What I loved (and what disturbed me the most) about Session 9 was its use of sound. The use of screams in everyday sounds, the sounds of victims in their death throws, the strange tones of Mary's personalities, and the off putting music created the environment of the movie, making mundane images feel strange and alien.
The long shots that follow our actors from doorways to windows, sweeping across vistas of blackness as they pass a wall or a hallway make the viewer feel like someone was watching the team or workers at all times. In fact someone WAS watching them at all times. But I can't say who or it will give everything away.

The movie is all questions. From the beginning and almost to the very end. While the ending does wrap up the lose ends, it still leaves just enough mystery for the viewer to think "huh...wait..did what I see really happen?".

...crap I'm not sure what else to say about the movie without giving it away...
So before I give away spoilers and you don't want to read further let me say that if you like movies full of total mind fuckery this is a movie to check out. Don't let the slow pace and the beginning fool you. Its really freaky.

If you've seen the movie or if you like spoilers, continue on down.

Do not read further if you hate spoilers!

To tied you over, here's a picture of a kitten.

And a watermelon.

And a kitten with a watermelon.

Okay...Back to my thoughts.

So I went to do some research on IMDB...if you can call it research. What you usually find on IMDB are screeching Internet harpies claiming "OMG! This Movy is SOO nut SCARRY!!1!" on every message board. But if you wade through the crap, you can sometimes find a decent interesting post.

While reading through the forums I found that numerous people assumed that Simon was a demon. That Simon possessed Mary as a child during a moment of trauma and convinced her to kill her family. When our team of workers came in to tear the hospital apart, it awoke Simon and he took over Gordon and the cycle continued. I think that's a reasonable conclusion since the film is so ambiguous in its ending. But it really isn't the conclusion I came to.

I never really saw Session 9 as a supernatural horror film. Its creepy, strange and horribly unnerving but I really didn't see any supernatural elements in it. For me Simon isn't a demon but that deep, dark, nasty side that lurks in all of us. That dark side that threatens to come out whenever we're subject to trauma or pain or an overabundance of stress. Simon said "I live in the weak and the wounded". Both Mary and Gordon were weak and wounded. And when their time came, Simon took over and convinced them to kill. For me, knowing that Simon is an entity that lurks in all of us is far scarier than a demon someone happened to stumble upon.

I also found that the use of the camera movements were very symbolic of what was happening to Gordon. Throughout the movie he was losing his mind. He was always lurking about the building, watching his fellow team mates even though the audience never knew so. The camera would take on a voyeur style of filming with the other characters. But whenever Gordon was in the shot or the primary focus it went back to standard movie shots. VERY subtle and VERY clever.

I really don't know why this movie got me in the gut as hard as it did. But it REALLY did. Possibly because I don't like discussing my dark side. Oh I KNOW its there but I rather not have it come out. Session 9 gives us the idea that anyone at any time can turn into a monster. You can give to charity, have a loving family,or be a product of total normalcy but it still cannot stop that horrible monster from coming out of you and killing everyone. Everyone at some point feels weak and wounded and everyone at some point will fight the urge to let Simon take over.
Personally I don't want to deal with my inner Simon.

Session 9 makes you ask a lot of questions, not just about the film but about yourself as well.

Definitely worth the watch. And to sweeten the deal you can watch the entire movie on for I did.

Trust me...its worth it.

Just don't watch it the dark....while Stacy is poking you on YIM about how this movie will drive you insane.

Okay we weren't just talking about that. We were also talking about our creepy Japanese Dolls but STILL!

The next damn film I'm going to watch is going to MUCH more light hearted.
...I have the sudden urge to pop in Nightmare on Elm Street to cleanse my pallet.


Soap Magic said...

Session 9 freaked me out too! "Do it, Gordon!" is one of the scariest quotes now in my opinion.

Kayla said...

I'm watching it right now! My friend, Alex, and I were trying to find movies for our Horror Fest night once I get back in town, so I'm going to screen this one. I am by myself, but I have the light on. And it's daylight outside. ^^ I'm in the first scene now, and all I can say is "OMFG HORATIO!"

Kayla said...

I'm watching it now, but no worries! I have the light on and it's daytime. I'm currently in the first scene and all I can say is this: OMFG Horatio!

By the way, I'm currently stuck with family in Arkansas, but when I get home(to Tennessee) my girlfriends and I are planning on having a horror fest. We're going to watch scary movies 'till our eyes bleed! I was thinking about starting off with something mild but still entertaining like "Stay Alive" and then moving to gobs of kickass Zombie mahem. Any suggestions of films to scare the bajeezus outta four sixteen-year-olds?

Cins said...

Kayla>> *L* Awesome! Session 9 is pretty fantastic if you like a slower pace creepyfest
I'm not a huge fan of Stay Alive actually but I totally would recomend Silent Hill (one of my faves) The Final Destination Series because its flippin Hilariously gorey and Dance of the Dead to start with if you want something fun and light.
If you want to go classic you can't beat Hellraiser and Nightmare on Elm Street.

Soap Magic>> Ugh! That voice! Totally freaked me out!!!

Kayla said...

I totally didn't mean to post two of those. **Fail**

But, yeah. I've already watched "Silent Hill" and the Final Destination movies with everyone who's gonna be there, so yea. =P But classics might not be a bad idea. As long as we don't watch Jeepers Creepers, right? (We might actually be tempted. We all love Justin Long... <3)

Btw: I'm Bavarian Circus

Stac said...

Kayla, glad to have you back! For underated classics you can't go wrong with The Changeling, the version with George C. Scott, not Angelina Jolie.

An American Werewolf is a great, weird blend of horror and hilarity,

Poltergeist is one of my favorites and still legitimately scary, in my book.

The original Black Christmas is REALLY good, I just watched that last night. DON'T watch it with ear phones in; I almost had a heart attack.

Enjoy if you've never seen, and let us know what you think!

Cins: See, I had the other opinion about Simon, but my idea is that it's more of a mesh of the two popular theories. What I found terrifying was how coldly amused Simon sounds, and "I live in the weak and wounded" is one of the most haunting lines I've ever heard. I also think "Hello, Gordon. " was the scariest line in the movie! I LOVE this movie, and MAN does it get into your head; I did the same thing you did when I first watched it. I kept deconstructing it at Bevin and driving her nuts because she hasn't seen it. I should make her; I think she'd get a lot out of this.

That kitten with a watermelon is epic, and that cat will NOT tolerate your shenanigans, I guarantee it.

Cins said...

Kayla>>Cool! Glad to know you're stickin with us! *LOL* Don't let me stop you from watching Jeepers Creepers. Some people really love that movie...I obviously didn't;) Though I did find the sequel kind of entertaining.
If you do watch it, let me know what you thought!

Stac>>*L* Well Like I said I think both theories are valid. But I don't know, the idea of a demon while a reasonable theory feels a bit cheep to me. But I am curious about how to combine the to...DO tell me more. OH And Thank you Johnny from Freddy in Space, he just sent me something we're going to have to watch when you're in town next week!

hannahrae said...!! I saw this movie quite a few years ago and it has been one of my favorites ever since! It truly is one of the creepiest movies I have ever seen. And I'm glad to see that someone other than me and my friends have seen and appreciated this movie.

Johnny said...

Session 9 has been on my 'to rewatch' list for quite some time now. When I watched it years ago, it really did nothing for me. But raves like this one always make me think I should give it another view, which I think i'll have to do soon.

Johnny said...

You're very welcome, Cindy! Was actually just gonna make another comment asking if you got the package!

Cins said...

Johnny>> I did INDEED get it! Just the other day. And i think I busted a gut laughing at the note you included. *L* Thanks so much! We're really going to love watching it next week!
And give it another chance! I thought i was going to be bored through it but it turned out to be quite a surprise.:)

Hannahae>>Its a TOTAL creepfest. I love movies like this so I was not disappointed!

The Bear Family said...

I watched this last night thanks to your glowing recommendation. I didn't find it particularly scary, until I woke up in the middle of the night and heard, "Do it Gordon!" I almost died of fright! Thanks a lot Stacy!

Stac said...

Glad I could help, Evie! :D I believe in spreading the terror! Now go watch The Changling, from 1979.


Kayla said...

Is it possible that Session 9 has no effect on teens? O_o I watched it with my 14-year-old sister and I was having a really hard time staying interested. Any hope of keeping the sib' on task was lost at the point about 40 min. in when she looked at me with folded/stapled Kleenex over her right eye and said "*snort* I made an eyepatch!"
I also had a friend of mine, a seventeen-year-old girl, watch it with us as well and she said that she was really disappointed.

I'm thinking that maybe teens are immune to the creeptastic power of Session 9, but because I've come to trust your opinion, I'll watch it in four years just to make sure. ^^

Stac~~ An American Werewolf is fantastic! One of my all-time faves. Since I was about 10, my favorite time of the year when it comes to TV has been the Monster Movie Marathon on AMC(I think that's the channel.. The one that plays the old stuff =P). And I always made sure to catch that one. And, of course, Dr. Giggles, who still creeps me out to this day, though I did overcome much of that fear one Halloween a few years back thanks to aforementioned seventeen-year-old friend.(Ask me about it. It's a funny story!)

I have a question for you guys. Ever seen "High Tension"?

P.S. I rented "Let The Right One In." Words cannot begin to express how much I adore this film! I actually have a friend who lives in Sweden, Davy, who refuses to watch it 'cause he's scared easily. But I have every intention of flying over there one day to meet him--and he is going to watch that movie! My favorite scene is when Eli crawls into bed with Oskar and he mentions that she's naked. Her reply, "Is it yucky?" =) I like that throughout it, even though you're dealing with heavy issues(Vampirism, duh) you never forget that these are kids.

Cins said...

Kayla>>*L* I just lost it when you said 'Look I made an eye patch!".
I'm not sure if Session 9 is a film for everyone. But it also might be one of those movies you like better when you revisit again. When I was a teen, believe it or not I did not like Creep Show. But when I watched it again as an Adult I LOVED it. So who knows? But hey, everyone has different tastes.:)

I have not seen High Tension. I do know it's loosely based off the Dean Koontz novel Intensity...well the first half is, the second half is its own creature. I heard good things about it gore wise. I've been tempted to check it out since its the same director who did The Hills Have Eyes remake which wasn't too bad and had some great art direction.:)

BTW, Let the Right One In = WIN AND AWESOME. That movie is probably my favorite vampire movie tying with Near Dark. Its a masterful film. I'm glad you saw it!

Kayla said...

Finding it was pure luck! And it took some major sneaking. I had to walk into the library four days in a row, eyeballing it and wanting it SO badly, but knowing I had to bide my time. See, I'm currently staying with family in Arkansas. And these family members are all super churchy. Don't get me wrong--I go to church. And I love my church! But this is fire and brimstone Pentecostals here. And my granny always asks "Is it clean!?" with a threatening note of near-hysteria when she sees my sister and I watching a movie. So, though she was kind enough to let us borrow her library card, waiting for a chance to sneak it out when she wasn't paying attention was torture. But I did it! Actually, it was a pretty successful week. I managed to watch Let The Right One In, RENT, and Across The Universe all without getting busted. Hu-freaking-zzah!

High Tension is a great movie. You need to see it--Like, now. The second half of it is a bit of a "Oh my GOD, are you serious!?" trip. I'm not going to give anything away. I have a friend who cries if spoilers are unleashed anywhere in her near vicinity, so I've learned to keep these things under wraps. But I will say this: Pay close attention to the gas station security tapes. Bwhahahahaha! And, yes. The gore is good. Beheadings and spurtings and puddles and puddles of blood. =D Great movie.

I actually found out about it through one of my best friends, Moose. He lives in Texas and I live in Tennessee(Oh, the horror of such barriers!) but we text and chat and call, so the friendship thrives. And it's HIS fault that I like Horror films half as much. His dad is a scary movie critic! Like, professionally! Amazing, right!? So he has, like, rows and rows of scary stuff on his shelves. Unfortunately, Moose's mama is paranoid. So he can't send me any. But, we'll work something out. I know it! We have to!! He has Dance of the Dead and I need a copy!

Aaaaaaaaaanyway, I talk too much. So, yarg. I'll pop on later.