Stephen Gevedon: The ‘Session 9’ Retrospective Interview

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Stephen Gevedon – Courtesy of USA Films

Stephen Gevedon is the actor/writer of the indie horror cult classic, Session 9 starring David Caruso. At 1428 Elm, we had the chance to sit down and chat with this multi-talented artist. Get ready for our session!

“Suddenly it’s going to dawn on you.”

A Psychological Haunting

Session 9 is a 2001 indie horror film starring David Caruso that became a cult favorite. Written by director Brad Anderson and actor Stephen Gevedon, who was also one of the principle actors, it is a modern psychological thriller that recalls the best of Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock.

Not a jump scare slasher flick, this movie makes you think. Hell, it also causes you to question your sanity. When an asbestos removal team takes on a job at a dilapidated insane asylum, they get more than they bargained for when the residue from the building’s horrific past bleeds into the present. What you don’t see, can hurt you.

Now, let’s enter that world as we begin our discussion on this terrifying little gem of a film.

The Interview


1428 Elm: What inspired you to write Session 9? 

Stephen Gevedon – Session 9 – Courtesy of USA Films

Stephen Gevedon:  The idea for the picture came from Brad. He had known about Danvers and wanted to shoot something there. We were hanging out at his birthday party in December of 1999 and he asked me if I wanted write a horror movie.

He was in between projects and so was I. I said sure and in less than a year we had “the picture in the can”, as they say. It all went remarkably fast.

As for the elements: How many characters and why they were in the asylum that came about through story meetings and going up to the location itself. We had originally thought about a bigger cast of characters, around 9-10 but felt that was just too many balls in the air for what we intended as a small psychological horror picture.

I recall that during the first meeting we had I stressed that I wanted to make a movie where after they saw it, people would ask: “Why would they do that to me?” And that they should feel like they needed to take a shower after watching the picture.

I thought the movie should be unrelenting in its oppressive nature. And once we went up to the location that was underscored even more for me. As I was also starring in the picture and through Brad’s and USA Films’ open collaborative nature I was able to contribute throughout the process. Almost as a defacto producer.

People You Know

1428 Elm: In doing research on you, I noticed that you were in Happy Accidents, another film that Brad Anderson directed. Larry Fessenden was in it as well. Is this how Brad and Larry became involved in Session 9? 

SG: No actually. Larry is one of those guys that people know. He was a bit of a fixture in the city back then and I’m not sure how Brad knew him. I knew him from just knocking around. He’s a great guy and a gamer.

We thought it would be fun to have him be the only guy that gets killed on camera with the only big time CGI shot. And he was up for it.

I was in Happy Accidents partly because I was available and knocking around and it was a funny little part. Anyone doing a crap French accent is always a laugh, in my opinion. I was meant to be in Next Stop Wonderland as well, but that didn’t happen, alas.