Blu-ray Review: Session 9

When people discuss their favourite or the ‘best’ horror films it’s normally the same usual suspects that come to the fore. However, as those who delve a little deeper will know, there are so many great movies which have flown under the radar over the years. For obvious reasons, they tend to emanate from outside of mainstream cinema. Or sometimes, they just get overlooked for various reasons. While it did better internationally, Session 9 underperformed at the US box office. Thankfully, it received a new lease of life upon home release.

Gordon (Peter Mullan) runs an asbestos removal company. Desperate for cash, when a job comes up at an abandoned psychiatric hospital, he overpromises with the prospect of a $10,000 bonus for early completion. Phil (David Caruso) is in charge of managing the site but still hasn’t got over losing his girlfriend to wise-cracking Hank (Josh Lucas). Mike (Stephen Gevedon) and Gordon’s nephew Jeff (Brendan Sexton III) complete the team. As they get to work, tensions quickly become frayed and something isn’t quite right.

Session 9 is a cleverly made psychological horror which takes a real story as its base and works out from there. Its great strength is in the imaginative use of sound and setting, creating monsters in dark corners when evil can lurk in plain sight. Brad Anderson’s film is scrappy at times, but this lack of polish adds to the seed of realism which flows through the narrative. Session 9 will chill you to the bone.


  • Audio commentary by Director and Writer Brad Anderson and Writer Stephen Gevedon
  • New audio commentary by Mike White and Jed Ayres
  • The Darkside: a new interview with Brad Anderson
  • Mike’s Session: a new interview with Stephen Gevedon
  • Back to the Bat: a new interview with Producer David Collins and Director of Photography Uta Briesewitz
  • Invisible Design: a new interview with Production Designer Sophie Carlhian
  • The Sound of Dread: a new interview with Composers Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor
  • A Twisted Collage: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on Session 9
  • Return to Danvers documentary
  • The Haunted Palace
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Session 9
  • Story to Screen with optional Director commentary
  • Deleted scenes and alternate ending with optional Director commentary

Limited edition contents:

  • Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Christopher Shy
  • Soft cover book with new essays by Charles Bramesco, Simon Fitzjohn and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas plus behind-the-scenes and location images

Session 9 is released on Blu-ray by Second Sight on 27 December.

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