02nd Jan2019

‘The Possession of Hannah Grace’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum, Stana Katic, Maximillian McNamara, Jacob Ming-Trent, James A. Watson Jr., Marianne Bayard, Adrian M. Mompoint, Matt Mings, Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Guy Clemens | Written by Brian Sieve | Directed by Diederik Van Rooijen

hannah-grace-poster

At the fingertips of Diederik Van Rooijen’s horror, The Possession of Hannah Grace, is an engaging, ghoulish and terrifying prospect of intense atmospheric horror with a terrific setting to inject some superb frights. That said, it becomes quite painful to report that within the first ten minutes of the films short eighty-six-minute running time it fails to convince the audience what you’re watching is actually nightmarish, nor express the quality of horror it has at hand. Ultimately, Rooijen’s film with every opportunity takes the easiest and most simplistic conventional avenue possible with so little inventive cinematic narratives or attributes examined, leading to a deeply unimaginative picture.

The biggest issue at hand is the incredibly weak and bland screenplay from writer Brian Sieve. Notable for his cinematic writing credits on Boogeyman 2 and Boogeyman 3, released in 2007 and 2007, as well as his forte in the world of television with Teen Wolf and Scream: The TV Show, respectively. A repertoire that doesn’t exactly fill anyone with a glimmer of anticipation or hope from muddled genre B-movie exploits and forty-five-minute simplistic episodes to a straight-laced feature-length horror, of which is never the easiest of jumps.

The end result is an astonishingly shallow and quite frankly bland design with zero originality nor innovation upon a genre that is saturated to death. The set pieces are as predictable as days in the week and the execution ever so poor and dull with some of the most conventional and traditional threads imaginable just thrown in for good measure. Neither horrifying or even remotely entertaining or specifically inventive in terms of design or creativity, therefore, lacks any substance and engaging moments of horror for its audience. Such a missing element or lacking attempt fails to justify why The Possession of Hannah Grace even exists by definition if it succumbs to failing at the first hurdle. That being to scare.

Performances are as equally bland and unenthusiastic as the picture itself. Lead actress Shay Mitchell, as Megan Reed, puts forth an incredibly dull and monotonous performance – with a character arc that is filled with layers and weighted depth, yet utilised in such an apathetic and unresponsive manner. The thread itself just doesn’t evolve, we’re given depth to suggest trauma before the events themselves in the film occur, however, they’re not hinged upon with weight. Melded with such lacklustre horror moments to engage with for both the audience and character herself within the plot, the result much like the film itself is bland and sadly void concept that dies on arrival.

The Possession of Hannah Grace is released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital – in the US – on January 23rd 2019.

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