As someone who has watched all the films with “The Possession of” in their titles, I have witnessed the increasing number of girls being possessed by demons. Regardless of their age, young or old, someone is always being possessed, and we watch films with their names. Hannah Grace is just one of those women who have fallen victim to this trend. If you’re constantly exploring the same story, you must execute it differently. And in doing so, you must know the boundaries and avoid nonsense. Unfortunately, despite its potential to be a unique film, The Possession of Hannah Grace has become a victim of mediocrity. Therefore, it will occupy a lower position on my “The Possession of” film rankings.
Let’s briefly touch upon the plot… Megan starts working at the morgue for a fresh start. The calm atmosphere of the night shift changes when a new body arrives. Megan begins to suspect the body and realizes that inexplicable events are unfolding around her. Over time, Megan notices that the body she left is not the same and even undergoes changes, but she can’t seem to explain this to those around her.
Directed by Diederik Van Rooijen, the film has some interesting technical details. Initially completed in 2016, the film waited for a proper producer and was released three years later, in 2019. The director, known for his low-budget films, applies the same logic in this film as well. He uses Sony’s own camera, the Sony A7SII, which is a digital camera that you might see people carrying on the street. The footage, shot with a total camera rental cost of $2,000, is awe-inspiring. When the Sony A7SII was first released, it garnered attention for its successful low-light shooting capabilities and became a favorite of many short film filmmakers. Hannah Grace is one of the feature-length examples shot with this camera.
The film stars Shay Mitchell, who has 23 million followers on Instagram, where she sells makeup products. Naturally, one approaches the film with some prejudice, but she has previously acted in Pretty Little Liars, so there is no poor acting on her part as the lead in the movie. We can discuss the rest. Essentially, technically speaking, the film is successful. However, the issue lies in the screenplay.
Of all “The Possession of” films, my favorite so far has been The Taking of Deborah Logan. It delivers moments filled with horror, particularly with its ending. Hannah Grace shares similarities with The Autopsy of Jane Doe, released in 2016. While Jane Doe takes place in a single room, Hannah Grace unfolds in a large morgue. Jane Doe effectively incorporates the supernatural element, whereas Hannah Grace, unfortunately, falters in both its scare factor and the paranormal aspect. Considering that the film’s entire premise is based on the “fantastical” element, it is impossible to deem it successful when evaluating the film as a whole.
In essence, The Possession of Hannah Grace will be one of the lower-ranked films among possession-themed movies. Although it excels in technical aspects and acting, its failure to establish a solid content framework prevents it from being a memorable production. In a horror film, fear must be appropriately present, and Hannah Grace fails to achieve this satisfactorily. You can try it when seeking foreign horror films in the cinema, but I advise against having high expectations.
Cast & Crew
director: Diederik Van Rooijen
writers: Brian Sieve
starring: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson
USA | 2018 | 86 MINUTES |