Session 9 is a great example of filmmakers trying too hard and spoiling a great premise. Insane asylums are a horror staple, right up there with haunted houses and butcher knives. However, setting a horror movie in an insane asylum provides many opportunities for confusion. Is the main character going crazy? Was he already crazy? Are there ghosts? Are they just seeing things? These are questions that inevitably come up, and if they aren't answered, the film ends up being a mess. In Session 9's case, we ended up with more questions than answers, which is never a good sign.
An asbestos cleaning crew led by Phil (Caruso) and Gordon (Mullan) are hired to clean out the abandoned Danvers State Hospital, a real insane aslyum in Massachusetts. So, already we're off to a great start. As the team works, creepy shit starts to happen, but it's never clear if it's really ghosts or just Gordon losing his mind from stress. In the end, we still don't really know, but we've got a hell of a body count. There aren't really any memorable moments from this one, just a decent atmosphere but a weak, confusing script. It's a shame because the characters are interesting and well-written.
Overall, Session 9 is a miss. It tries too hard to be cerebral, when horror is at its best when things are simple. Not every movie needs a twist, and most of the time, it doesn't work anyway. I wish this film had focused more on the creepy atmosphere and the disturbing, real-life history of Danvers State Hospital. There are thousands of potential horror stories in that asylum, and any one of them would be better than this confusing mess.