Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Anderson, his superb ensemble cast and inspired cinematographer Uta Briesewitz, appeal at once to the intellect and the emotions as they build suspense and tension mercilessly.
  2. Pulls you in with smooth assurance, then holds you hostage to extremely creepy developments in the most awesome haunted house since "The Shining."
  3. Horror fans and those who just plain enjoy a well-told story should thank the cinematic gods. Session 9 is not only the scariest movie of the year, but also perhaps the most easy to believe since the first "Blair Witch."
  4. 80
    May not quite be more than the sum of its creepy parts, but as a reality-is-fear launch into workaday darkness, it clearly points toward the horror genre's best destiny.
  5. 80
    A spine-tingler directed with fierce finesse.
  6. A natural successor to "The Blair Witch Project" in terms of its small suggestions of horror past and future.
  7. 70
    A deft exercise in atmospheric horror and insanity. Which is why it's unfortunate that, ultimately, Anderson steps back from the brink.
  8. A marvel of vérité nightmare atmosphere.
  9. 50
    The film isn't remotely scary. That's a shame, because it has top-notch performances by Peter Mullan and David Caruso.
  10. The story doesn't quite pay off, characters are underwritten and the surprise ending is contrived and unconvincing.
  11. 50
    The climactic revelation is a real disappointment, humdrum rather than chilling.
  12. 50
    The film, too artfully conceived to deliver many overt shocks, often feels long and aimless.
  13. 40
    The script for Session 9 is so underwritten that even such lively character actors as David Caruso, Peter Mullan, and Brendan Sexton III are left stranded.
  14. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    You couldn't ask for a better setting for a horror movie. What you could ask for is a better script.
  15. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The final illuminations (people have demons, a mind is a terrible thing to lose) are a poor return on nearly two hours of ear-buckling, eye-stabbing incoherence.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Little more than an overworked exercise in jostling red herrings, and not particularly fresh herrings at that.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 41
  3. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Sep 10, 2014
    This film is absolutely abysmal. There are no redeeming qualities to it whatsoever. I do not understand how this captivates the minds of people who enjoy psychological thrillers. It is poorly written and leaves everything unanswered, and has plot holes the size of Alaska. Seriously, this film makes no attempt at explaining itself or providing the viewer with enough information to draw their own conclusion. Watch this just to see how right I am. Go ahead. Full Review »
  2. Dec 8, 2012
    Nice to see a horror flick with set pieces you don't see coming from miles away... This movie does have its cons, such as the plodding plot development and overly modest soundtrack, but once the credits are rolling, you'll know you just finished watching a scary movie. The ending does a nice job tying together the plot points that the rest of the movie deliberately underexposes. Great effort, must-see for jaded horror fans. Not too long on replay value though, what with the slow pace and the reliance on the surprise ending. Full Review »
  3. May 14, 2012
    A very average horror film. Some genuinely unsettling and creepy sequences, but for the most part a dry and uninteresting flick. The setting and atmosphere is very spooky and well done, but this is wasted with a bad script and plot-line, and wooden acting. Full Review »