Wrapping up the month of November, comes a movie one might not expect with the holiday season. Despite the season of giving, joy and family, Hollywood is ready to scare the pants off you with another shot at the horror ladder. Under the guise of not a typical exorcist movie, tonight’s review is hoping that the unique twist will live up to the hype of the advertisements. Robbie K back with another film review as I take on:
Film: The Possession Of Hannah Grace (2018)
Time Length: A movie that can get the job done in fewer than 90-minutes gets my vote for bonus points. Hanna grace’s story is done within 80 minutes, at a pace that does little to divert from the scares.
The Acting: For a film limited to practically one cast member, Hannah Grace’s film isn’t half bad. Mtichell dives full force into the character, managing to portray the multi-tiered roll quite well, in a balanced manner that was engaging to watch. Her other cast members gets points for their respective roles, though there is little to springboard off of given the limited development. Nevertheless, the acting works.
Special Effects/Make-up: To get the scares you’ve got to sometimes have a look to base your central character around. In this film, the effects departments gets high fives for their work. Grace’s body is crushing to the soul, an amalgam of twisted limbs, horrifying scars , and look that penetrates through the layers of your being, unwilling to give you any relief as her eyes follow you across the screen. As more twists and turns occur appear, Grace’s movements become bone crunching bashes of disturbing symphonies that make one squirm in their seats. It’s creepy, it’s uncomforting… and it works well as the central scare tactic of the movie.
The Variety of Scares: Hannah Grace has decided to deploy all the scare types into the mix, managing to bring together jump scares, creepiness, and deadly all wrapped into one. Utilization of these three leave one ready to be moved in so many ways, that one can’t help but get immersed into if you are a horror fan.
The Setting: By far the most blood curdling components is the setting of this film. A morgue is no place to play, and the worst part about this is… it’s real. Unlike the films that have characters stupidly trekking into lands they should never find, Hannah Grace is about working in a morgue where the dead go to meet their end. Very similar to the great horror films, they use this setting well, keeping things in the shadows and a sense of only revealing so much to allow your imagination to fill in the gap. The setting of this film is certainly the biggest element that gave me the willies and proof that simplicity can go a long way in invoking nightmares.
The Predictability: While there are plenty of scare tactics utilize in this film, the problem with this film is how predictable they become. Perhaps this is just me and my desensitization, but the film gave way too much to keep the scare factor going. The stale presentation got a little old and by the midway mark I was searching for different means to get Hannah’s wrath out. If you are one that jumps at everything, this won’t be the case for you, but otherwise, get set for some lackluster tactics.
The Characters: Outside of Megan (Shay Mitchell), the rest of the crew were there, characters that started introducing themselves, only to later not have much gusto behind them. Possession of Hannah Grace had the opportunity to flesh out more of their characters to help extend out the players in this deadly game of whatever it is. It’s not the worst case I’ve seen, but there was room for improvement to give the movie a little more dimension.
The Story: I get it, most people aren’t about a tale when it comes to a scary film, instead craving the scare you until you wet your pants moment. Still, the best horror movies utilize a story well to draw the suspense out, give purpose to the scares, and give you the investment into the film. Hannah Grace’s tale had all the scraps of a story there, enough to culminate into a plot, but there is so much more needed to help improve upon the dislikes mentioned above. Without the strong story, the movie soon becomes a desperate struggle to stay afloat as it crams as much of the scariness into the film to try to distract from the shallow film. Many subplots are dropped or reduced to hasty tie ups, others are simplistic dialogue that adds little to the film other than time. This brings me to the biggest dislike
The Ending: Perhaps the studio ran out of money, perhaps it was always the plan, but the momentum Hannah Grace had at the beginning was lost for me. The opening did the role it sought out, which was to creep you out, get you on edge and show what the antagonist was capable of. Then somewhere around the fifty-minute mark… the feel suddenly changed. No longer the creepy, suspense building trek through the dark, the latter half soon became a very mashed together display of power, with stale scare tactics, grandiose roaring, and hasty wrapped up plots. The big finale felt a little forced and the rushed plots did little to add much other than an over the top roar fest. Outside of the cheese factor, it was fine and held some moral filled monologues to boot, but compared to the theme of the opening acts… it just doesn’t quite settle with me.
The Possession of Hannah Grace held potential and it delivered on some of it with that opening act. It’s creepy, it’s disturbing and it works on levels to give you the fear factor you want at the end. Yet, the movie has a long way to go to get to the great level others have achieved, utilizing that incredible make up and special effects to great heights and having a story to support it. That ending was rushed and perhaps better planning and coordination may craft a film that we have been waiting some time for. Still, not the worst movie and certainly worth checking out on streaming in the future.
My Scores Are:
Movie Overall; 5.5