The Possession of Hannah Grace Movie Review - Spook-less revisit of a genre fixation

Dec 07, 2018, 18:03 IST | Johnson Thomas

Intended to be a dark and scary modern looking exorcist tale, this disappointing horror flick has very little to recommend it. It's about an exorcism that goes horribly wrong, resulting in further mayhem at a morgue three months later

The Possession of Hannah Grace Movie Review - Spook-less revisit of a genre fixation
Still from the trailer

The Possession of Hannah Grace

U/A: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Diederik Van Rooijen
Cast: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum
Rating: Ratings

Intended to be a dark and scary modern looking exorcist tale, this disappointing horror flick has very little to recommend it. It's about an exorcism that goes horribly wrong, resulting in further mayhem at a morgue three months later. The film, in fact, opens with an ongoing exorcism where a Priest and his understudy are trying to drive out the demonic possession out of a young woman(Kirby Johnson) whose father(Louis Herthum) is standing anxiously by her bedside. The Priests get killed but the father doesn't and eventually, it's he that snuffs out her life giving breath.

The narrative has neither atmosphere nor logic going for it. Just when you wonder why the father was left unscathed you have to deal with the fact that he is the one who goes after Hannah Rose's decapitated body while hurting and injuring several others in the process. The only interesting thing here is the setting. A sensor controlled morgue with darkened corners and only one secure exit point - is the only frame-of-reference that could inspire chills here. The genre tricks employed here are too obvious to be effective and the tempo is so unyielding that you never feel persuaded by what's happening on screen.

Check out the trailer here:

Megan (Shay Mitchell), an ex-cop with trauma-related issues recovering from substance addiction is the point-of-view bait for the weird panoply. Unfortunately, her current specific career choice of working the solo graveyard shift at a Boston hospital morgue doesn't seem entirely believable even though she constantly asserts her disbelief in ghosts and paranormal activity.

Additional characters like her ex-boyfriend cop Andrew (Grey Damon), her sponsor Lisa (Stana Katic, Castle), a nurse working at the hospital, the hospital's security guards (Max McNamara, Jacob-Ming-Trent) and comedian Nick Thune as a friendly ambulance driver fail to legitimize the disparate effort. Brian Sieve's screenplay picks out some successful moments from Exorcism related films but there's neither mood nor momentum going, for effect here. The setting certainly had possibilities that a better director would have explored with more effect. Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen just trundles along without much imagination or heft. And the audience is left totally unaffected!

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