On this day in horror history, director Brad Anderson’s psychological horror film Session 9 with David Caruso was released in 2001.
The film was shot Danvers State Mental Hospital in Massachusetts but only a small section could be used as the rest was “unsafe.” That said, the sets didn’t need to be dressed as all the props were already there.
Caruso said: “It was a place you never got comfortable in. It wasn’t like day three and we were throwing water balloons because it was so much fun to be there. It was always scary. You can really feel the pain of the people that went through Danvers. It’s a rough environment. It’s not fun. It’s in the film. They didn’t have to dress any sets or anything. All of that stuff was sitting there. The federal government walked away from it about thirty years ago. It was a terrifying location.”
The building was partially demolished five years after the film was made.
Session 9 premiered in July 2001 at Fantasia before hitting 30 screens on August 10. It was not a financial success grossing a tad over $378K in the U.S. and $1.2M internationally for a total of $1.6M at the box office
It’s now considered one of the scariest films of the 2000s.
The film tells a tale of terror that begins when a group of asbestos removal workers starts work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex of buildings looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing … abandoned, deteriorating. The residents of Danvers, Massachusetts steer well clear of the place. But Danvers State Mental Hospital closed down for 15 years, is about to receive five new visitors…
Written by Anderson and Stephen Gevedon, John Sloss produced with Dorothy Aufiero, David Collins, and Michael Williams. It stars David Caruso, Peter Mullan, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, and Brendan Sexton III. Climax Golden Twins provided the score and Uta Briesewitz handled Cinematography while Anderson edited it all together.
Rated R for language and brief strong violence, the film sports a 64% rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Relying more on atmosphere than gore, Session 9 is effectively creepy.