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"I live in the weak and the wounded... Doc.—Simon
Creepy, atmospheric chiller from 2001 about a cleaning crew busy taking asbestos off from the Danvers State Asylum (opened in 1855, condemned in 1985) but end up crossing some demons... or bringing their own?
The movie provides examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital: An actual one, a prominent landmark along Route 1. Very few changes were made to the site for the film. It is now an apartment complex.
- Apocalyptic Log: The Sessions, the 9th of which gives the title of the movie and plays at the end.
- And delivers one of the most, if not THE most, bone chilling scene in the movie.
- Chekhov's Gun: In one scene, Hank finds some equipment for lobotomy. Later in the movie Gordon lobotomizes him with them.
- Daylight Horror: The most chilling moments in the film all happen in broad daylight - with the exception of Hank going back to the hospital at night to collect the valuables of deceased patients.
- Downer Ending: Gordon killed his wife, daughter and colleagues (even if the jury's still out on Hank), during a DID-induced psychotic break. Or, alternatively, after being possessed by Simon.
- Eye Scream: See Chekhov's Gun. It's revealed that after Gordon lobotomized Hank, he left the silver 'ice-pick' embedded to the hilt in Hank's eye.
- Genre Blind: A cleaning job in an abandoned psychiatric hospital? What could possibly go wrong?
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Jim Brass commissions the work and Horatio is in the crew. And on a less related note, so is Warren.
- Johnny Swan runs the company.
- Infant Immortality: Subverted.
- Jerkass: Hank. What happened to him was still rather jarring and sad though, mostly due to how drawn out it was. Jerkass or not, he didn't deserve that, but that's rather the point anyway.
- Also Phil. Very much so. Phil is played as the biggest jerk in the movie, even worse than Hank towards the end, constantly giving the others shit and acting like an irrational asshole. This is probably a Red Herring to make Phil seem even more like the killer.
- Actually, an argument could be made that they're all jerkasses aside from Jeff.
- Psychological Horror: There are only one or two "scare moments" throughout the film and instead the film relies on a lingering sense of tension and dread.
- Split Personality: Mary from the tapes.
- The Killer in Me: Gordon.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The only time you see any blood is in the denouement. Also, the scariest parts ( Gordon killing his wife and infant daughter, Mary's story, Gordon killing everyone) happen off screen.
- Actually, there's quite a bit of blood towards the end. It just isn't splattered all over the screen.
- Reality Subtext: In the original cut of the film, there was a homeless woman living in the hospital. The crew never encounter her, just get hints of her presence. In test screenings, the audience confused this woman with another character, so she was cut from the film. However, many of the hints remain (some of them devoid of a good explanation, as the creators point out in the commentary track). These are now hints of something cut from the film, rather than merely unseen by the protagonists.
- Sanity Slippage: Gordon
- Violent Glaswegian: Double subverted. Gordon initially appears charming, friendly and easy-going, before... well, you know.
- What Could Have Been: An original subplot for the film involved a homeless woman living in the place who kills Gordon after witnessing the murders. It was removed after test audiences found it too distracting from the main story, but wide shots that are supposed to be her seeing the murders are still left in the movie.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Was Hank in the room at the end?
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