REVIEW: Supernatural Horror The Possession of Hannah Grace

Hannah Grace is already possessed when The Possession of Hannah Grace begins, and she dies during a botched exorcism before the opening credits roll. The movie isn’t about her anyway: It’s about Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell), a young ex-cop haunted by a mistake she made that got her partner killed, who takes a new job working the graveyard shift in a hospital morgue, where everybody’s already safely dead.

OR ARE THEY?? The heavily mutilated body of Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson) is delivered one night — but wouldn’t you know it, even though she’s dead, she’s still possessed. Exceptionally generic supernatural spookiness ensues. There’s the standard flickering lights (some of them are on motion sensors for added creepiness), the red herrings in the form of hospital security guards and ambulance drivers, the twisted corpse crab-walking around corners then disappearing. Naturally, Megan is a recovering alcoholic and pill addict, so she doesn’t know whether the things she’s seeing are really happening or she’s just losing her mind.

It’s all directed with perfunctory competence by Diederik Van Rooijen (a Dutch filmmaker making his English-language debut) from a witless screenplay by Brien Sieve (Scream: The TV Series). To its credit, it goes easy on the jump-scares and occasionally makes good use of silence. But the “rules” that govern the possessed corpse of Hannah Grace are arbitrarily enforced — she’s bound by physical laws sometimes, at other times apparently capable of teleporting or moving through walls — and while the concept of a demon-filled cadaver skittering around a dark hospital basement is interesting, the film doesn’t do anything with it that you haven’t seen before … or that you won’t see again in a few weeks, when the next movie exactly like this one comes out.

Grade: C

1 hr., 25 min.; rated R for gruesome images and terror throughout

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Eric D. Snider has been a film critic since 1999, first for newspapers (when those were a thing) and then for the internet. He was born and raised in Southern California, lived in Utah in his 20s, then Portland, now Utah again. He is glad to meet you, probably.

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