The Possession of Hannah Grace

2019-02-01 11:14
 
Shay Mitchell in a scene from The Possession of Ha

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

The Possession of Hannah Grace is the kind of horror that you will put on when you’ve got a date over and want to be scared enough that you might hold hands, but not enough that you’ll freak out your date with some real messed up terror. It’s not particularly awful but not exactly memorable, and I will probably forget about it as soon as I finish writing this review.

It has the traditional horror scares, a plot twist that isn’t really shocking and a demon that just won’t die. Our protagonist is a broken soul trying to piece her life together again, as is the norm in horrors, and a lot of people die gruesome deaths. If you’re looking for a chilled evening of horror that won’t make you think or damn the Oscars for not acknowledging an underrated genre, then this one is adequate enough to spend your money on.

A former police officer (Shay Mitchell) starts her new job working the night shift at a morgue taking in late night bodies and processing them. As she struggles with her demons, a body out of some nightmarish hell rocks up, and the things that go bump in the night in the morgue gets a little bit louder.

Firstly, ignore the trailer. Not sure why, but the story they tell there is quite different from the film, with a few scenes not in the final cut. Secondly, it’s a predictable enough story, although it might feel like a copy of the Autopsy of Jane Doe – similar concept with a haunted body in a morgue - but that one is a lot more nuanced with a more unique story and less cheap scares. What I did like about Hannah Grace though is the setting. It’s the most modern morgue I’ve ever seen on the big screen and the idea of lights that only go on with movement created a plethora of scare opportunities that made it a little more exciting. I have the nerves of a granny so I was suitably scared in all the right places, but it’s not exactly enticing for those made from stronger stuff.

It took me a while though to figure out where I saw our heroine from before. Mitchell comes from Pretty Little Liars fame and recently did a great performance in the Netflix show You as the psycho-obsessed friend Peach. Here, she plays a more tortured character but without much depth. This was clearly just a pay-check for her, which is fair, as the whole movie does reek of a quick-win low budget movie made according to studio specs (in this case it’s Sony). As for our villainess, she would have been scarier if she just moved less - the cliché spiderwalks on the walls and ceiling drains the terror and instead becomes a clown version of The Grudge ghost.

Not every horror has to A Quiet Place or The Conjuring, and you’re still going to get these kind of horror fillers that’s just padding the cinema circuit when Hollywood is in downtime. If you’re looking for a paint-by-numbers horror just to get some adrenaline pumping, you won’t go wrong with Possession of Hannah Grace.

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