Director: Diederik van Rooijen;
Cast: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum, Stana Katic, Max McNamara, Jacob Ming-Trent, James A. Watson;
“The Possession of Hannah Grace” starts off on a promising note, keeps you hooked, but then fails to leave an impact.
The narrative follows Megan Reed, a debarred police officer who on the advice of her friend Lisa, takes up the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue to keep herself off trouble as she has broken off with her boyfriend Andrew and is battling an addiction issue.
Working alone in the basement of the hospital, she checks in newly deceased bodies, one of which is of a young girl who has been grossly mutilated. While recording the vital information of the corpse, she learns that the body belongs to Hannah Grace, a victim of exorcism who was killed by her father three months earlier. How she gets rid of Hannah and saves herself, forms the crux of the tale.
Despite being packed with all the tropes of the horror genre, which include panicking at shadows as strangeness escalates or witnessing horrific attacks, the narrative lacks heft.
The problem of the film is not with the concept but with its execution. Rarely have we seen any attempt at telling the story after the exorcism; it could be have been cool. But alas! The film seems to be perfunctorily mounted with no much thought into the plot, except for the jump-scares, which too feel limited by numbers. Also predictability of the scenes is another factor for its undoing.
As for the execution, the opening scene which deals with the exorcism of Hannah Grace, appears to be amateurishly and clumsily mounted. And what follows are totally unimpressive sequence of events in a hopeful premise.
The only bright aspect of the film is the cast, who make its own significant contribution to the utterly lack lustre dynamics of the film. Kirby Johnson as Hannah Grace the girl possessed and resurrected by demons, Louis Herthum as her father Grainger, Shay Mitchell as Megan, Stana Katic as her friend Lisa Roberts, Grey Damon as Andrew Kurtz, Nick Tune as Randy an ambulance driver who delivers dead bodies in the morgue, Max McNamara and Jacob Ming as Dave and Ernie Gainor a security guards at the hospital, all have their moments of onscreen glory.
Technically the film does not break any barriers. And overall, in the end, you gape at the dark screen hoping for more as the feeling of inadequacy hits you big time.