‘The Possession of Hannah Grace’ review: A dull kind of dark
Stubbornness is a trait that is shared by all of the miserable characters of Diederik Van Rooijen’s The Possession of Hannah Grace. In fact, the film itself seems smitten with stubbornness, relying on repetitive scares and shock tactics to make its way towards its unsatisfying conclusion.
Stubborn state of disfiguration
Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson) dies in the beginning of the film, smothered by his desperate father (Louis Herthum) after a botched attempt by two Catholic priests to exorcise a nasty demon out of her writhing body.
For the rest of the film, she’s a cadaver in a stubborn state of disfiguration. She’s also stubbornly wanting to be alive, murdering the unfortunate midnight shifters of a city morgue to slowly but surely regain her body back. What is most frustrating about the film’s lone supernatural villain is that her methods for terror aren’t particularly spectacular.
She relies on noises, cracking and creaking sounds that telegraph her evil motives, before engaging in some unintelligible rampage that leads to a minor character’s grisly demise.
It is up to Megan Reed (Shey Mitchell), the ex-cop who lands the unglamorous job of tending to the morgue where Hannah Grace’s creepy corpse ends up, to uncover the mystery and defeat evil with an absurd mixture of stubborn curiosity and stubborn stupidity.
Yes, she is also stubborn.
With her morgue’s high tech gadgets, she takes pictures of the mysterious cadaver and the machine’s robotic voice declares that something’s wrong. She repeats and repeats and never gets the message that something is afoul. She disregards warnings, from the madman who relentlessly pleads that she burn the body to her disappearing buddies. She is a heroine that is too dull and dumb to be engaging. She is just a sorely unappealing center of a film that desperately clings for any kind of attachment.
Depravity and demons
With a title that has a word that teases of depravity and demons, the film should at least evoke a permeating sense of dread throughout. Instead, The Possession of Hannah Grace indulges in the dull kind of dark.
Nothing sticks in the film.
The scares whittle. The characters either perish or are immediately forgotten as soon as the end credits roll. There isn’t anything in the film that makes it stand out. Its plot is derivative, with its heroine suffering from the most cliché of professional struggles.
Simply put, the film is just a torturous slog and it refuses to repay its audience’s patience with its tired gimmickry with any novel pleasures.
Stale and disposable
The Possession of Hannah Grace is both stale and disposable.
Don’t be stubborn since there really isn’t anything much to miss in this unimaginative horror film. Avoid this horror film like one would avoid a rotting corpse. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass.
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.