04th Feb2015

‘Grace: The Possession’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Alexia Fast, Lin Shaye, Alan Dale, Joel David Moore, Alexis Knapp, Clarke Peters | Written by Jeff Chan, Chris Pare | Directed by Jeff Chan


Grace (Fast) is a beautiful, naive, virginal college freshman trying to deal with campus culture and her outgoing new roommate. But when a terror takes over her body and unleashes chaos, Grace returns to the cold clutches of her severe grandmother (Shaye). Haunted by the horrific death of her mother and her deeply ingrained destructive urges, Grace must stop the demon inside before it’s too late.

Wow. Could that synopsis be any more generic? In fact everything about the marketing of Grace: The Possession is so generic you’d be forgiven for thinking this is yet another Exorcist knock-off. Or, as the copy on the front of the DVD would have you believe, the latest in the long line of spooky horrors churned out by Blumhouse Productions, the folks behind Insidious, Sinister, Oculus et al. (although it does share the odd producer). Grace is instead something wholly different…

Yes, taking found footage to the next level and presenting a film almost entirely from the point of view of the victim, Grace is a surprising success – especially considering what, you would, think are the limitations of filing in such a format. But the restrictions aren’t there; between the clever use of angles, some CGI enhancement and removal, Grace: The Possession is a refreshing take on a now well-worn genre. For instead of telling the same old possession tale from the perspective of the priest (or the rest of the family involved), this film actually tells its tale of possession from the perspective of the possessee!

As such Grace: The Possession rests solely on the shoulders of both director Jeff Chan and his star Alexia Fast – for one, in this case, is essentially an extension of the other here.

That’s not to say there arent’ others involved in Grace’s story – both Lin Shaye and Joel David Moore give outstanding performances, as Grace’s grandma and the new Priest in town respectively. But it Alexia Fast who steals the show. She manages to run the gamut of emotion: from innocence to confusion, from terror and tormentor. It’s a bold role, especially when Grace falls victim to the demonic possession completely, yet Fast gives her performance an emotional, understated, underpinning that the character really needs for the audience to root for her even in her darkest hour.

An unoriginal story given an fantastic original twist, Grace: The Possession is out now on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


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