If you think that you’ve seen all the good exorcism movies, The Possession of Hannah Grace is here to prove you wrong. This is a nifty little horror set in a morgue which makes it even more disturbing and morbid. However, this is not some fucked up horror like The Corpse of Anna Fritz or Deadgirl. It’s more in line with The Autopsy of Jane Doe in a sense that’s a bit more commercial. And don’t worry, we won’t be following various priests trying to exorcise the shit out of poor Hanna. It’s so funny to think that The Exorcist came out almost fifty years ago and we are still deeply engrained in its lore.
The title of this movie, The Possession of Hannah Grace, is relatively misleading because we will be following Megan Reed at her new job in the morgue. Although it looked really sleek and new, I just loved how they’ve done the morgue. It feels really cold and foreboding, especially when the lights go off. As someone who has worked nightshifts, I can tell you that they are most of the time pretty dull and boring. Most of the time. There are certain nights when there’s something in the air and your irrational fears just get the better of you. I also applaud the filmmaker’s decision not to resort to melodrama and jump-scares.
After she quit the Boston Police Department, Megan Reed is ready for a new challenge. Suffering from depression and trying to kick an addiction to benzodiazepines, Megan is bravely fighting-on. Her friend and sponsor, Lisa, gets her a job in Boston Metro Hospital’s morgue. She’s working nights and her first shift is about to start with a pretty dull routine. However, as the night goes on, she will realize that something really odd is going on.
The cast of The Possession of Hannah Grace has done a terrific job, especially Megan Reed who was really convincing as a troubled ex-cop. And we shouldn’t forget to mention Kirby Johnson as Hannah, who had a really difficult job of either staying still or violently moving. Stana Katic from Castle and Louis Herthum from Westworld were also great. There’s not much dialogue as we’re focusing on the creepy atmosphere and the next scary scene. And there were quite a few of those. Towards the end, there were more and more clichés, but that is to be expected from a movie like this.
If you’re looking for something original and innovative, you won’t find it here. This is a by-the-book horror movie that successfully blended the creepy setting with the whole possession thing. The pacing is also excellent keeping you engaged throughout the relatively short eighty minutes of footage. Speaking of footage, there’s some gore but nothing spectacular. Although I have to admit that Hannah’s body looks pretty gnarly and disturbing with deep cuts and burns. So if you’re looking for an unassuming horror movie that doesn’t try to do too much, look no further and check out The Possession of Hannah Grace. It will not disappoint you.
Director: Diederik Van Rooijen
Writer: Brian Sieve
Cast: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum, Stana Katic, Jacob Ming-Trent, James A. Watson Jr.
Fun Facts: The first Sony Pictures film shot on a full-frame mirrorless camera. Sony said that the film was primarily shot on its own A7S II, a consumer camera that costs a mere $2,000.