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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 29, 2019

The Possession Of Hannah Grace Movie Review: Tedious To Watch & Has No Really Good Scares

HORROR MOVIES these days are seldom really scary and a perfect example is “The Posession of Hannah Grace”, which starts with an exorcism that goes terribly wrong. The title character (Kirby Johnson) is seen tied to a bed with two priests praying and sprinkling holy water on her while her dad (Louis Herthum) is also standing by the bed. But the devil that has possessed her seems so powerful that it manages to kill one of the priests by lifting it up in the air then impaling it on some sharp object on the wall.

The other one is also in danger of suffering the same fate so to prevent this. the dad gets a pillow and smothers the girl’s face till she’s dead. This is a pretty compelling opening sequence that is never again duplicated in the rest of the movie. Three months later, we see a new character, Megan, played by Shay Mitchell, who just came to Manila to promote her Netflix show, “You”.

Shay is half Filipino and her mom is originally from Pampanga with Garcia as family name. Her dad is Canadian. She was first noticed in the series, “Pretty Little Liars”, and she certainly looks more Asian than Caucasian. Megan used to be cop who had a bout with substance abuse after she froze during a critical moment that resulted into the death of another cop. She’s now recovering, turning over a new leaf and gets to work as a new assistant assigned in the graveyard shift of the mortuary at the Boston Hospital where the body of Hannah Grace is taken.

It’s Megan’s responsibility to take photographs and fingerprints of the dead bodies that come in and she notices on the record that Hannah Grace’s eyes are supposed to be brown, but they’re actually blue. Soon, the dead body is sneaking out of her freezer drawer to wreak havoc on the people in the morgue, with the red haired security guard, Dave (Max MacNamara), who sneaks up on Megan, as the first victim.

This pivotal premise is probably promising on paper but the way it’s executed on screen by Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen is just so tedious. The first unexplained thing is why the devil waits for so long before confronting Megan, who’s been told by the dead girl’s father that the best way to get rid of his daughter is by toasting her in the morgue’s incinerator.

It’s only towards the end that they have a
showdown and it’s easy to guess who finally gets fried and barbecued. Well, come to think of it, if the devil made Megan the first victim, then we would have no movie at all. The entire movie is set inside the hospital, with most of the action happening inside the morgue. They really scrimped on the budget when it comes to location.

The movie is derivative of many genre tropes and is actually reminiscent of similar horror flicks with confined sets, like “The Autopsy of Jane Doe”, “Devil” and “Killing Room”. But this one is just too cumbersome to watch and doesn’t offer any real good scares. You just do a lot of waiting for something to happen and when something finally does, it’s a helpless burst of considerable preposterousness.
#ThePossessionOfHannahGrace #ShayMitchell