THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE is one of the worst mainstream horror movies ever released to human beings. The worst I’ve seen since Rob Zombie’s Halloween II. And I’d probably have to watch both again to determine the real winner of the worst horror film I’ve ever seen, but I’m not going to subject myself to that torture. This movie is fucking terrible. But the only reason I went is because I have a horror movie friend named Kim that I see these kinds of films with (because none of our close friends really like horror films that much or find them interesting) and sometimes I’m seeking out bad films to just completely rip apart in a review like this. Kim and I usually point out the really dumb shit during horror films, but usually they are A. Really short comments like “really?” B. Those comments are few and far between as we don’t really find that much horrendous shit to talk about that often (these are mainstream horror films professionally made, not those horror films you’ve never heard of whose only copies really exist on digital or a few rare copies still left on VHS where you could just point out one bad thing after the other) and C. We don’t want to disturb those around us actually really wanting to see the movie. We usually only talk a lot if there if there is no one in the theater. With Hannah Grace, there was hardly anyone in the theater, where we were seated we were completely secluded from those who were, and there was enough shit minute by minute to completely pick apart and laugh over. We had a hell of a time hating this movie. And before you ask, no, it’s not a so bad its good movie. It’s a really really really really fucking terrible film that is fun to watch just once to completely shit all over it. But that’s it. Only once. You’d have to kill me before I would ever watch this film again.
The film has an interesting concept and premise: basically the story of what could happen AFTER an exorcism that you’ve seen in a thousand other movies. What if the exorcism didn’t work? What happens to those involved in the exorcism? What happens to the body? Haven’t seen anything tackle those questions before this movie. However, Hannah Grace takes all those interesting questions and concepts and completely fucks everything up. It executes everything wrong on every cinematic narrative, acting, and technical level countless times. I have a feeling that the script, originally titled ‘Cadaver’, was a lot better, and this end result that was rushed into theaters was complete studio interference and fuckery, the likes of which I have never ever seen before. The whole movie could’ve been one cool little mystery, with the whole exorcism plot reveal kept away until the very end as a giant “OH SHIT” twist. Instead, the very first, completely, dumb, stupid, unoriginal scene in the movie, reveals the entire exorcism. It is one of the slowest and stupidest exorcism scenes I’ve seen in any exorcism film that I’ve had to tolerate on my 32 year here on Earth. I have a feeling that the exorcism scene was actually shot for, and took place as a flashback near the very end of the film. But being the little bitch that studios can be exclaimed, “No, fuck you, we need to market it as an exorcism film. People don’t like or go to films anymore where they have to piece together shit before the big reveal, they only go to films where they know what is going on at each and every frame of the movie. Put the exorcism scene at the very beginning to force feed theatergoers and change the title to the worst possible generic piece of shit title available that will explain the whole premise of the movie on the poster.” At one point in the movie a homeless guy tries to get into the morgue, and if it were the original film that was released, audiences would’ve asked, “is Shay Mitchell going crazy and this is all in her head, or is it just some crazy weirdo that likes to fuck dead bodies, or is there really something sinister afoot” But no, right when he shows up, you know it’s the possessed dead girls father, because of the first piece of shit unnecessary scene, and when he reveals himself, it is shot in the way for audiences to suddenly gasp and scream out, “Oh My God!” but when that shot finally does come, it just feels like over dramatic trash.
Let me back up a second. The films premise is that it’s about a girl that used to be a cop, that now works in a hospital morgue overnight because some traumatic thing happened to her while she was still a cop (duh!). She gets a burned, mutilated cadaver on one of her watches. Once the body is delivered to her overnight, she starts to see and experience strange shit, like a bunch of flies coming off the body, and her examination equipment keeps faulting when she tries to take photos and identify the subject. Also what appears to be a homeless guy is obsessively trying to get into the morgue. Then employees of the morgue/hospital keep getting killed off one by one by what appears to be a mutilated corpse that may or may not be possessed. Is all this stuff really happening on the girl’s (that used to be a cop) watch, or is it all inside her head? Nope, that first scene completely negates that question I’m sure the original version of the script tried to ask. The first seen happens, and the entire film is pretty much ruined. Any tension or mystery the film once had is absolutely butchered, delivering a boring, dull, mess of a story that tries to use cheap jump scares (they don’t work) with terrible, fucking God damn terrible, CGI. Also, either the studio or production ran out of money for the movie, because the finale’s pacing and editing is some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Two characters are talking about how to expose the possessed body into the incinerator (because the movie reveals that’s the only way to dispose of a body after an exorcism, because if you don’t, the body, still with the demon apparently inside, will start killing people until it claims enough lives to resurrect itself, a la 1999’s The Mummy) and then cuts them off talking about it and then they are suddenly there. No tense scenes with them taking the body to the morgue with the demon inside trying to stop them or anything. It just cuts to them with the body at the incinerator and then two seconds later the body kills one of the characters. It is just confusing and stupid all mixed up into one colossal piece of shit climax.
Let’s start nit picking at this film a little bit. Like really nit pick. I’m going to slowly reveal how dumb and stupid this movie is shot by shot, set by set. And while we are on the subject of sets, this “morgue” is the most unbelievable morgue at any hospital in any film ever. It’s completely made of high rise concrete, so sleek looking, it looks as if the entire film takes place in the future. The motion sensor lights go out every minute if you aren’t moving within the facility and when an ambulance drops off a dead body, the sound system blares out annoyingly, enough to try and cheap jump scare you every time, that someone is outside waiting to drop off. I guarantee you that no God damn morgue in the entire world works like that. It only works in the context of what the movie is trying to do to you, which is trying to forcefully cheap jump scare you. It doesn’t care about believability, it only cares that you jumped out of your seats a little and put your hand to your heart, trying to catch your breath. Worst unrealistic morgue in any film ever. I already talked about the unnecessary exorcism scene that didn’t need to be in the movie at all or if it did, should’ve been at the end in flashbacks. What else? Oh, let’s get into Shay Mitchell. First off, I haven’t seen any episode of Pretty Little Liars, but she sucks acting wise in this movie. And her former career is the most unbelievable career in the history of cinema, completely stealing the throne from Denise Richards being a chemist/scientist in The World Is Not Enough. There is no way Shay Mitchell would be believable as a former cop. She’s just too good looking/fucking hot and can’t act to save her life. If you are going to hire somebody that good looking for the cop role, at least make sure she can act. When they showed her in her flashbacks as a cop, police hat and all, I started laughing my ass off. That brings me to another thing, the movie tries to add a character arc for her in the film and that arc is fucking stupid. It didn’t need it. Basically the reason Shay Mitchell’s character in the film isn’t a cop anymore is because she was either fired or she quit after an incident where she didn’t shoot a running suspect after a traffic stop. The suspect ended up pulling out a gun and shot and killed her partner. And the reason why the film didn’t end up needing this whole backstory is because the whole mystery that I’m guessing the original script/film was supposed to have is ruined by the first exorcism scene in the film. The notion of whether she is stressed out because of those demons or is really lying and is on drugs, and whether everything could be happening entirely in her head, is fucking negated by the fact that we already know everything is really happening because the movie told us so. If the first scene didn’t exist, the backstory of the character, while still dumb and stupid (she literally goes on morning runs to “run” away from her inner demons from that one fateful night), might’ve worked on a narrative standpoint. But with the first scene, the backstory is laughable and ridiculously unwarranted. And the payoff to her redemption was dumb and hilariously executed as well.
This film is also filled with a bunch of other unnecessary shots and sequences. The film near the beginning sets up that Shay Mitchell’s ex cop character likes to make rubber band balls, all for there to be a scene later where she’s sitting on the fucking toilet and the possessed body of Hannah Grace rolls the ball under the stall, to suddenly grab her wrist, giving the audience a shitty cheap jump scare. Near the beginning of the film, to show that the character has “inner demons she is trying to run from,” it shows her on morning runs, breathing hard. That’s not the unnecessary scene. It’s when they have to have a 7 second obligatory shower shot, with Shay Mitchell showing enough side boob but the shower curtain covering her nipple because she probably has a no nudity contract clause. There was absolutely no reason to see her in the shower. None. I don’t mind (I REALLY don’t mind) seeing girl nudity in a movie every now and then, but usually with me, and now especially in general with the #MeToo nowadays, the nudity has to have a point within the story. This has no point. I guarantee you it wasn’t in the script and either the director or some executive at the studio was a fucking pervert, and wanted to see Shay Mitchell half nude privately, so they added a 7 second shower shot just so he could get his jollies. I can’t believe Ms. Mitchell didn’t object to that scene wholeheartedly.
Also, the entire movie sets up an ending that didn’t happen and they ask a question which answer doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Several characters in the film ask why doesn’t the possessed body of Hannah Grace just kill her, why is it only attacking these other people and not her when she’s been alone almost the entire movie with plenty of time to do it. The movie should’ve explained it in one of two ways. The first way could’ve been that she was the only one killed that had “inner demons” inside of her. But the movie never confirms this theory. Once character that it kills has a scene right before he is killed, telling Shay Mitchell’s character he used to have a bunch of problems, but then his child was born, so he stopped all that shit (Him getting killed right afterward was a cheap shot by the script, it made me actually feel because I have a young child and it made me wonder what would be going on in his brain if he didn’t get to see me anymore, I fucking hated the movie for that rushed forced crap). Anyway, that showed that I guess he didn’t have any inner demons anymore, but there wasn’t a line of dialogue or anything for the others. I guess that nurse played by Stana Katic gets killed because it shows that she has dealt with her demons by being a mentor to Shay Mitchell’s character. But that doesn’t explain the death of Hannah Grace’s father or the two security guards. Are we just to assume they didn’t have inner demons? Very poor ass script decisions. If you are going to set up rules, you have to go all the way or you don’t go at all.
Anyway, to get to the ending that didn’t happen. It sets up the whole time that if someone is possessed by a demon, they will probably have a bright blue neon type shade as their eye color, and not have their normal eye color. I was guessing that the demon was keeping her alive, so that way when the demon finally stitches up the body after killing so many people to resurrect it’s damaged skin (I know, fucking stupid right?), that it would touch Shay Mitchell and she would end up being possessed at that final stupid obligatory sequel scene right before it cuts to end credits. Nope, it didn’t take that ending either (although ten bucks says it is on the deleted scenes). And what is so frustrating is that everything was set up for that schlock of an ending. So I don’t know whether to actually praise the movie for not doing that, or be mad that it didn’t just go full schlock on itself. The possessed body of Hannah Grace fully takes care of fixing up the body, and grabs on to Shay Mitchell’s head right before she finally gets it into the incinerator, in what looked like a soul swapping little maneuver. So she actually ends up getting the body into the incinerator (without the help of anyone, even her ex boyfriend cop offers to help her but she says no because the script stupidly calls for that solo journey ending bullshit thing) and then we see her some time after, her demons behind her, running just to work out, taking yet ANOTHER FUCKING SHOWER FOR ANOTHER STUPID SHOWER SHOT, and then after the shower she stares in the mirror. Her left eye framed right in the middle of the screen, her wet hair covering the eye. Switch too even a more close up of her face and her eye. Then a god damn fly lands on her bathroom mirror (flies are a recurring theme in this movie, and in more than one case, always scavenging on the open eye of Hannah Grace), and then Shay Mitchell squashes the fly with one finger, end credits. Don’t set up shit unless you are going to follow through. Don’t do schlock unless you are going to go full schlock.
I’m sorry the review is so long. I think I am done. I’m sure I’ll think of other complaints (one of the God damn security guards looks like a grown up version of a Garbage Pail Kid), but I won’t bother editing this thing. I’m done with this movie. I wish I was a billionaire. Because if I was, I would buy the right to this movie before it hit home video. I would then delete/destroy every copy I could find, just to make sure that people like you reading my review are never subjected to this utter and complete piece of shit. I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH THE DEMON, EXORCISM, POSSESSION MOVIES!!! The final nail in the coffin as been hit for me. There is no lower that any film could possibly achieve after this. It’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Definitely bottom ten. Please do yourself a favor and actually listen to me this time. Do not give this film any more money.