Like Hollywood, I too could not just leave it alone with two installments. Nope – I wanted a trilogy of my own. But, you had to expect it, right? I mean, the first part talked about zombies with The Walking Dead; the second part reveled in the fun of ghosts with Poltergeist; so, on Halloween, let’s celebrate an little-known, less than perfect, but none-the-less creepy and terrifying film about a few killers.
To little fanfare, and even less box-office success, writer/director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Next Stop Wonderland) delivered a suspenseful and atmospheric tome, Session 9. Released in 2001, this film was a breath of fresh air in the horror genre which was beginning to heavily rely on the fatal flaw of “The Big Kill” Syndrome (Jeepers Creepers, Thirteen Ghosts anyone?).
Not Session 9. Set in the very real Danvers Insane Asylum in Danvers, MA, this film sets out from moment one to be creepy. The story revolved around an asbestos abatement crew, tasked with cleaning up the now shut down asylum. One of the workers stumbles upon a series of psychiatric sessions of a patient named Wendy, left behind on cassette tape. After playing back the recording of these sessions, more and more unexplained things start taking place.
By the time the characters – and, thus the audience – reach Session 9, the intensity level is unbelievable. This film also boasts a strong cast, including David Caruso (CSI:Miami), Josh Lucas (Glory Road, Sweet Home Alabama), and Brendan Sexton III (Boys Don’t Cry, Empire Records).
That said, what makes this film perfect in my book, is the use of the asylum as a character as well as the effective device of playing back the cassette tapes of a mental patient’s psychiatric sessions.
So – there you go – my full proof plan to have a harrowing Halloween. Get season 1 of the Walking Dead, and rent Poltergeist, as well as Session 9. Honorable mention goes to out to 30 Days of Night, and Let the Right One In – two fantastic vampire flicks.
So – Happy Halloween! And let me read about your favorite Halloween flicks in the comment section!
[Flickr photo by Sally, used under the Creative Commons license]