A police officer named Megan Reed (Mitchell) has just gotten out of rehab and takes up a night shift at a morgue in the city. On her first day there, she learns of an exorcism gone wrong on a young woman named Hannah Grace (Johnson) who was possessed by a spirit and passed away while it happened. During her work hours, Megan begins to witness unusual events as another evil entity begins to manifest itself in Hannah’s body.
For the most part, this has been a brilliant year for horror cinema, with films such as Hereditary, Suspiria, and A Quiet Place all showcasing their unique creative flair and style. Unfortunately, none of those elements are present in The Possession of Hannah Grace as it’s riddled with clichés and dreadfully uneventful. Many scenes could have worked relatively well, but director Diederik Van Rooijen opts for the traditional route every time instead of crafting something that feels original, all too often relying on tied jump scares.
It’s also a painfully forgettable experience, which could be due to the film’s incredibly short running time, not even surpassing the hour and thirty-minute mark. Just when you may think the narrative will begin to pick up, it ends abruptly. Mitchell does do a fairly decent job here as Megan, drawing sympathy from the audience, and the makeup team also do an impressive job at creating the look of the evil Hannah Grace. Ultimately, though, The Possession of Hannah Grace leans on too many familiar horror elements to be unsettling.
Overall Grade: D
MPAA Rating: Rated R for gruesome images and terror throughout
Cast: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Stana Katic
Directed by: Diederik van Rooijen
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Running Time: 86 minutes