The Possession of Hannah Grace – USA, 2018

‘Death is only the beginning.’

The Possession of Hannah Grace is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Diederik Van Rooijen (Daylight) from a screenplay by Brian Sieve (The Exorcism at Lincoln HighScream: The TV SeriesBoogeyman 2 and 3). The Broken Road Productions movie stars Shay Mitchell, Stana Katic, and Grey Damon.

Plot:

A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, having been in rehab, Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is working the graveyard shift in the morgue when she takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver.

Locked alone inside the basement corridors, Megan begins to experience horrifying visions and starts to suspect that the body may be possessed by a ruthless demonic force…

Reviews:

” …the film is screaming to be a rip-roaring cheese-fest of gothic horror silliness! But instead, Van Rooijen and Sieve decide to play it straight – ironically resulting in laughs from the audience. Someone like Sam Raimi would have embraced the inherent silliness of this walking, possessing, spewing corpse flick with the guts, gore, and gallows humor it requires.” Mike Sprague, Arrow in the Head

” …most of the movie’s creepy overtures are bluntly obvious—menacing thumps, rather than barely perceptible twitches. They’re poorly designed for a story that’s supposed to nag at Megan with doubt over what she sees in front of her, seeded by a vaguely poor-taste backstory in which she’s haunted by an inability to fire on a suspect in the field during her cop days. Most of the supporting characters thump too…” Jesse Hassenger, AV Club

“While the story presents a new take on old concepts, too much information is shared in the opening sequence, which makes the film void of any actual mystery or suspense. This film was dead on arrival. If anything, The Possession of Hannah Grace does one thing right – it doesn’t end with a f*cking wink at a sequel.” Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting

“Director Diederik Van Rooijen keeps the feature stylish and adds a few compelling stalking sequences, but there’s a reliance on jump scares to lubricate the fear factor of the movie, and that gets old quickly. Scares are limited, but suspense is there at times, working to get something going in an unusually spare picture, which doesn’t utilize much scoring to set the mood, and most of the action takes place in the morgue…” Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“Mitchell delivers a strong turn as the spunky heroine, effectively conveying both her character’s physical strength and emotional vulnerability. And comedian Nick Thune has some good moments as a friendly ambulance driver who can relate to Megan’s addiction issues. But their efforts are not enough to make this hopelessly derivative horror film anything other than forgettable.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“Kudos to Van Rooijen and writer Brian Sieve for setting you up for one of two clichéd endings, and then sidestepping both. Too bad they sidestep clichéd endings in favor of nothing at all. That’s about what you can expect from Hannah: 85 minutes of not too much—not much point, very little action, not a lot of scares and even fewer answers.” Hope Madden, MaddWolf

“It is more eerie to watch Megan peer over Hannah’s gaping wounds with a technician’s composure than it is to witness Hannah’s jaw unhinge in a scream. Jump scares might generate a momentary response, but the only fear that lingers from The Possession of Hannah Grace is the suggestion that the devil inspires less terror than the doctor.” Teo Bugbee, The New York Times

“The film is at its best when it’s just Megan, nicely played by Mitchell, dealing with her isolated situation and Hannah’s errant cadaver, amidst concrete-brutalist morgue settings by production designer Paula Loos that look unpleasant to hang out in even without the dead bodies—and one reanimated one—around. Dancer/contortionist Johnson brings a sense of uncanny, painful movement to Hannah…” Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue

” at a quick 85 minutes, it still manages to feel tedious at times. The dour environment doesn’t help, the humor doesn’t pop and, disappointingly, the scares just don’t land. There are a few jumps and bumps, but there’s no real sense of dread or unease or questioning. We simply watch the events unfold with a full understanding of what’s going on.” Katie Walsh, The Seattle Times

“Unfortunately, director Diederik Van Rooijen wastes the concepts at play here, dumbing them down into a derivative, uninspired mish-mash. There’s something particularly frustrating about a disappointing movie with good ideas. A bad movie that’s bad through and through is easier to shrug off – you watch it, you think, “Hm, that stunk!”, and you move on. A film like Hannah Grace, however, eats away at you. Because you can see the potential, and you can see that potential being squandered.” Chris Evangelista, Slash Film

” …may have taken a touch of inspiration from the Linda Blair spider-walk scene that was cut from The Exorcist […] Hannah, too, ambles around with bent limbs and a certain grotesque energy. But once you get the hang of The Possession of Hannah Grace, you realize that there’s very little there. The idea, of course, is that even killing Hannah couldn’t drive the devil out. She’s possessed, although she’s lifeless. Sort of like the movie.” Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The Possession of Hannah Grace takes that novel premise from the infinitely scarier The Autopsy of Jane Doe and strips away everything but the corpse and the locale. It lacks character, it lacks morbidity, it lacks subtext, it lacks suspense. It just kinda lays there like Hannah, but without any of her sinister magic.” William Bibbiani, The Wrap

Main cast:

  • Shay Mitchell … Megan Reed
  • Stana Katic … Lisa Roberts – Absentia TV series; The Librarian III: The Curse of the Judas Chalice
  • Grey Damon … Andrew – American Horror Story; The Devil Within
  • Jacob Ming-Trent
  • Louis Herthum – Be Afraid; The Night Stalker; Sleepy Hollow TV series; The Last Exorcism and sequel; The Mist
  • Kirby Johnson – 5150
  • Mickey Gilmore – The New MutantsThe Purge: Election Year

Filming locations:

Principal photography on the film began on November 8, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts and at New England Studios in Devens, Massachusetts.

Running time:

85 minutes

Release:

Cadaver was originally slated for an August 25, 2017, release date by Screen Gems but was shifted back to February 2, 2018 and then again to August 24, 2018. Re-titled The Possession of Hannah Grace, it was released on November 30, 2018.

Shooting title:

Cadaver

Related:

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Last Shift (2014)

Quick links to HORRORPEDIA contents:

A | B | C | D | E  | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.