Saturday, March 05, 2005

Session 9

(BTW, I figured I'd toss in a DVD review from time to time...man does not live by sequential art alone)

OK, so a couple weeks ago, my girlfriend and I go to the video store (TLA in Philadelphia...one of the COOLEST video stores around. They group movies in interesting ways and have lots of weird stuff).
She asks the manager: "What's a good horror movie? We loved The Ring."
He says: "Session 9"
I say: "Session 9 is supposed to suck."
Too little. Too late.
We get session 9. We don't watch it.
We go back yesterday and rent it again.
I continue to plead my case: "Session 9 is supposed to suck."
Her: "Your brother is not an accurate barometer of horror movies."
Untrue.
Yesterday, I could have spent 95 minutes agonizing over my taxes.
Yesterday, I could have spent 95 minutes chewing gum.
Yesterday, I could have spent 95 minutes eating lead paint.
Yesterday, I spent 95 minutes watching Session 9.

I can't actually tell you anything about this movie.
Why?
Nothing happened.
I mean...when you talk about a movie its always "Hey, remember when X happened and then..."
There's nothing in this movie that fits into that framework.
Its just a few very pissy guys not working very hard but talking about how hard they have to work and being nasty to each other.
Oh, OK, it was CREEPY in an atmospheric sort of way.
However, I think that's not due to the writing or directing but rather to the fact that ABANDONED INSANE ASYLUMS ARE CREEPY!!

At the core, though, the problem was a complete lack of understanding of what makes a horror movie work. One of two things has to happen (preferably both, IMHO):

1) The characters have to be terrified. That's the best way to get your mind into the situation and environment and that's how YOU end up scared. Lets face it, the Blair Witch Project wasn't all that frightening, EXCEPT the characters were out-of-their-minds with fear!

2) The characters have to go insane. And you have to feel it. Short-tempered is not enough (and that's all these guys were).
17 scenes of:
Character 1: You piss me off!
Character 2: No, you piss ME off!
Character 1: Piss me off again and I'll be pissed!
Character 3: You both piss me off!

AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.



Whats sad is that this thing should have written itself. Once you have this bizarro place, all you have to do is put minimal effort into the characters and WHAMO you have a horror movie.
Don't ask me how they screwed it up.
Not unless you want a full-on rant.

3 comments:

NeverMoon said...

Your brother hated the ring! How can he be an accurate barometer of horror movies?

moleboy said...

I do not believe you can hold a single movie up as a significant test of his accuracy.
Was he or was he not correct about Session 9?

NeverMoon said...

he may have been correct about Session 9. But he also hated the matrix!