Tag Archives: Kirby Johnson

Dead on Arrival

The Possession of Hannah Grace

by Hope Madden

Do you ever watch a movie and wonder how it got that elusive green light? I just did.

The Possession of Hannah Grace is not a terrible movie. It’s not a provocative movie, not a scary movie, not a gory movie, not an interesting movie. It’s just not a movie you’ll be able to keep straight a few weeks after you see it. You’ll be combining what few moments you recall with other movies.

You’ll be wondering, was that Hannah Grace, or was it The Last Exorcism? Did that happen in Hannah Grace or in The Corpse of Anna Fritz? Or maybe in The Autopsy of Jane Doe? And then you’ll just forget this movie entirely. It’s been 20 minutes for me and I’m already struggling to recall the bland details.

In a nutshell, Dutch filmmaker Diederik Van Rooijen’s first English language film follows troubled ex-cop Megan (Shay Mitchell) on her first days in her new routine: nighttime morgue attendant followed by an early morning AA meeting with sponsor, Lisa (Stana Katic).

But on Night #2, things go funny as the corpse of a mutilated, burned and inexplicably naked young woman is brought in. Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson) is not your garden variety naked, contorted, burned corpse, though.

How do you cast this, exactly? “Hey, how would you like to play the title role in my new movie? You will be nude for 90 minutes and you have exactly no lines. You in?”

The jump scare morgue marathon amounts to a long and very tortured metaphor about addiction. 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. But it is indeed a horror film that could be completed with three total locations and a cast of about 10, so, you know, why not go ahead and make it?