Score Card: Session 9

Autumn has fallen and it’s time once more to celebrate the primal, compulsive instinct of fear. Rainestorm finishes its horror trilogy and goes to the well one last time to highlight 31 days of spooky scares that season the eerie atmosphere of Halloween.

Session 9 is an atmospheric creeper about an asbestos removal crew working at an abandoned mental asylum, and the mounting tensions between them as they begin exhibiting unusual behavior. Director Brad Anderson hired experimental music band Climax Golden Twins to score his subtle psychological horror and what they created is a fascinating aura that defies conventional motion picture composings.

There are no melodies or themes to speak of. It opens with the scratchy sounds of a phonograph preceding simple, individual piano bass tones, followed by discordant violin plucks.

That sudden, violent, yet subdued note that cuts off the track, as if someone simply pulled the plug on the recording, should tell you all you need to know about the score. The band relied heavily on industrial noises, such as squeaky dolly wheels and the ambient sounds of an empty warehouse.

Much of the score seems hardly to exist at all, such as the barely there strain on I Live in the Gut that seems to consist of a single, wavering note that is virtually inaudible. Yet it creeps into your skin without you realizing it. At the other end of the spectrum, the five-note melody first heard on Hobbes Theme is the closest it comes to a traditional theme in a traditional score.

Session 9 is unique in that it is all about mood, ambience, and subtlety. It’s one of the few scores that tries not to draw attention to itself. It becomes almost a part of the sound design, as if the hospital wherein the film unfolds is creating the sounds of the score, as well.

Session 9 by Climax Golden Twins at