Cast: Shay Mitchell, Stana Katic, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson
Director: Baloon Jerry
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is working the graveyard shift in the morgue when she takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver. Locked alone inside the basement corridors, Megan begins to experience horrifying visions and starts to suspect that the body may be possessed by a ruthless demonic force.
Guys, we are so close to the end 2018. This is supposed to be the time of year when the best of the best movies showcase why they should be included on everyone’s best of the year list. Can we save dumpy films like this for early January where nobody cares if you mess up? I have no idea why you would release a generic, PG-13 rated horror movie at the end of November, but here I am watching it so clearly there is an audience for this type of thing. The Possession of Hannah Grace is about as non-threatening and boring a horror movie that you can make and just drills home all of the points I have been making about modern horror movies.
The film follows Megan Reed (Mitchell), a former cop who takes a night shift working at a morgue after an incident at her last job left her with PTSD and an addiction to drugs and alcohol. When she receives the body of Hannah Grace (Johnson), a girl who has been possessed by a demon, her night at work suddenly becomes much more lively than what she is used to. The main issue with this movie is that it refuses to do anything other than cater to every cliché in a bad horror movie. Scares that are deployed exclusively through loud noises? Check. Characters and subplots that nobody cares about or has any sort of emotional investment into? Check. A predictable plot doubled with terrible lighting? Of course. Honestly if this movie changed just one of these horrible elements then we would have had something at least borderline entertaining. The acting was wooden, the comic relief was either unnecessary or unfunny, and the possession is something we have seen done much better in other movies. I very much dislike when I can look at a scene or character and know everything that is about to happen. Looking at a character and instantly knowing not to get too emotionally attached because they will die by the end of the film takes any sort of thrill out of this movie and just ends up making it boring. The strange thing is that even with an 86 minute runtime, this movie feels much longer than it actually is. Maybe instead of focusing on the relationship between Megan and her ex-boyfriend (Damon), we can learn something more about the actual possession. If your film feels like it is dragging at 86 minutes, then it probably means that your movie is boring. A good horror movie will either make us care about the people involved in this movie or keeps us terrified the entire time and this movie does neither. My expectations were not exactly through the roof when I saw the promotional material for this movie, but I needed a little something more than what we got here. Honestly, based on who was involved in this movie, this really should have been an On-Demand release, but other than being a horror movie, this film has very little to draw people towards it. While the movie made back its budget and then some, that is no indication of the quality of movie that was shown.
Overall, The Possession of Hannah Grace is one of the most confusing releases of 2018. A low-budget horror movie with D-level talent at the end of November is definitely not something I expected to see this year, but once again I ended up watching it so I am sure people got tricked into thinking this would be a good movie. While it is nice to break up the constant slog of Oscar-bait coming out right now, this is not the break that I or probably most of the viewing audience had in mind.
Overall Score: 2/10