Saturday, January 06, 2007

Better Than a Poke in the Eye

I have come to the conclusion that Blogger hates me, has somehow achieved sentience, and is trying to make me insane. I have been trying since last night to post about this movie, Session 9, and it wouldn't let me. I either couldn't sign in, which has happened quite a bit lately since they-AHEM-worked out the bugs with Beta, OR I'd manage to sign in, and I'd get a blank page which, though very pristine looking, doesn't really help me any. I finally managed to sign in and access the posting doohickey (yes, that's the technical term), so maybe I can finish this before Blogger goes back into Hal 9000 mode and tries to fling an evacutaion pod at me or something.

Back to the reason I'm here, Session 9. Here's the plot synopsis from the almighty IMDB, since I'm too frustrated and wracked with paranoia to compose one myself:

An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward, if rather rushed, job, is complicated by the personal histories of the crew. In particular, Hank is dating Phil's old girlfriend, and Gordon's new baby seems to be unnerving him more than should be expected. Things get more complicated as would-be lawyer Mike plays the tapes from a former patient with multiple personalities, including the mysterious Simon who does not appear until Session 9, and Hank disappears after finding some old coins.

Alrighty then. I'm going to keep this on the short side, because I'm a bit haggard and borderline bonkers from my rumble with Blogzilla, and also since the movie is so hard to pin down, if I try and say everything I want to say about it, I risk making the longest post in the history of the internet.

First of all, this is NOT a by-the-numbers horror movie, and unless you have some idea of that before getting into it, you probably won't like it. It relies more on atmosphere, and the viewer's impression of the characters and events that take place to give it a palpable sense of uneasiness, and it WORKS-you don't know if there's someone besides the workers in the hospital; you don't know if one of the workers might be crazy; if you DO know one of them is crazy, you don't know exactly WHY, and it performs quite the little mindfuck on the viewer. Plus, a good portion of the film's eeriness is centered on the story that unfolds on the taped sessions with the former patient, and you start to get antsy wondering just what in the hell happened to this woman-with this movie, it's more the behavior of the characters and the build-up to the end that gives you the creeps, not constant, wall-to-wall death and mayhem.

On top of that, aside from a couple of very brief appearances by minor players (and the voices on the tapes, of course), the movie is populated by only 5 guys, and that brings a very claustrophobic feel (think "The Shining") to the proceedings. Most of the guys surely go home to their wives, girlfriends, kids, pets, what have you, but you don't see any of that-you just see them at work, and their interactions with each other. That actually works for and against the movie, since on the positive side, it adds to the overall feeling of dread and seclusion of the film once the trust between the men starts to erode. On the NEGATIVE side, you end up not finding out much about them, other than the dynamic they have with each other, and you just don't have enough information to actually CARE about any of them (I liked Mike for some reason, but not enough that I really gave a damn what happened to him.)

I posted way more than I intended here, so let me just wrap up by saying that despite the lack of character development, Session 9 is an eerie little prince of a movie, and if you want something in a horror movie besides some dude stalkin' and a'slashin' a bunch of teenagers, then I highly recommend it...Not that there's anything WRONG with carving up teenagers, of course...I meant ON FILM, that is. What did you think, I was condoning the murder of teens? I would never say that killing teens was wrong and mean it...Mean it some OTHER WAY, is what I was trying to say: I did mean to say that there was nothing wrong with slicing up teens, just not--I better stop now...Stop the POST now, not stop killing teenagers...Wait, no-well, that tears it: Blogger has finally turned me into an official, full-on nutjob. I better sign off before I say something else that might get me into trouble, like how in the past 24 hours, I've been hearing a voice coming from my shampoo bottle, telling me to...

Err, nevermind.