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Diederik Van Rooijen
Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson
Writing Credits:
Brian Sieve

When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1/16X9
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
French Descriptive Audio
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 2/26/2019

• Deleted Scene
• “An Autopsy of Hannah” Featurette
• “Megan’s Diaries” Featurette
• “Killer Cast” Featurette
• Previews


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The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 20, 2019)

Another in a long line of supernatural horror films, 2018’s The Possession of Hannah Grace introduces us to its title character. Allegedly the host of a demon, Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson) undergoes an exorcism that takes a bad turn and leads to her death.

Maybe. A few months later, morgue worker Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) receives a disfigured corpse. After this happens, Megan encounters terrifying visions that lead her to believe this body acts as a source of evil.

Here’s where I say “no movie in this genre will ever compare with The Exorcist”. This turns me into the proverbial broken record, but just as Jaws casts a heavy shadow over that sort of story, any film that deals with demons and possession will face the specter of Exorcist - and it’ll come up short.

This doesn’t mean these movies can’t succeed in their own right, though. The subject matter boasts plenty of room for other supernatural characters beyond those seen in Exorcist, so there’s no reason something like Hannah can’t terrify, even if it fails to compete with the 1973 classic.

Unfortunately, few of these films muster even minor scares, much less genuine horror. Though it comes with a few positives, I can’t claim Hannah breaks this trend.

Hannah does separate itself from its demonic siblings in a few notable ways. For one, it relies much less on exorcism or the involvement of holy men, as after its opening, it essentially omits that side of the story.

Most films of this sort revolve around basic attempts to use religious means to expel the evil forces. Very little of that pops up here, a shift that gives the movie a definitely twist.

This allows it to break from the Exorcist-clone style. Honestly, Hannah brings more of a connection to Alien than to Exorcist.

Like Alien, Hannah depicts a being intent on killing, and it shows these events in a limited space. Whereas Alien kept its humans on the Nostromo, Hannah puts its prey in a morgue.

Within this style, Hannah does reasonably well for itself. Nothing ever creates great excitement, but it feels nice to have a change from the standard exorcism-related film.

Outside of the twist, though, I can’t find a lot to make Hannah a noteworthy effort. It comes with one-dimensional characters, and we never really invest in any of them.

In addition, Hannah tends to rely on the same jump scares that pervade the horror genre. Some grotesque visuals and the morgue setting add a bit of creepy bite, but there’s just not much on display here that threatens to genuinely scare the viewer.

Because it differs from most of its siblings, I do prefer Hannah to the typical demonic possession tale. Nonetheless, it doesn’t muster enough real terror or cleverness to become better than average.

The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

The Possession of Hannah Grace appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The transfer held up acceptably well for SD-DVD.

Sharpness became one of the iffier elements, though it still seemed mostly satisfactory. The red opening credits looked awfully fuzzy, and wider shots tended toward moderate softness.

Those concerns didn’t become major, though, so most of the movie displayed fairly positive clarity given the limitations of SD-DVD. Lines tended to look ropy, and other instances of jaggies and shimmering appeared. Print flaws remained absent, but some light edge haloes crept into the image.

Other than those red credits, colors worked fine. The movie went with a chilly blue palette most of the time, and the hues seemed acceptable to good.

Blacks were fairly dark, and low-light shots offered reasonable clarity. Nothing here made me forget I was watching a DVD, but the image seemed watchable.

As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Hannah, it was good but not exceptional. Some of that stemmed from the movie’s emphasis on ambience over action theatrics.

Occasionally some involving material emerged and these sequences opened up the room in a satisfying way. They didn’t crop up with great frequency, though, so don’t expect a ton of active material. The track created a reasonable soundscape but nothing scintillating.

The quality of the audio was fine. Music showed nice range and definition, as the movie’s score worked well.

Effects appeared clear and natural, with strong low-end. Speech came across as distinctive and concise. In the end, this turned into a “B” soundtrack.

A few extras round out the package, and we get one deleted scene. “I Lied to You” runs 45 seconds and shows a chat between Megan and her ex-boyfriend. It provides no useful info we don’t get in the final flick.

Three featurettes follow, and The Killer Cast goes for six minutes, 31 seconds. It includes comments from producer Sean Robins, screenwriter Brian Sieve, executive producer Glenn Gainor, and actors Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson and Nick Thune.

As implied by the title, “Killer” discusses the actors and their performances. Despite a few decent notes, not much substance appears here.

With An Autopsy of Hannah, we find a six-minute, 37-second reel with Johnson, Mitchell, and special effects/makeup department head Adrien Morot. “Autopsy” discusses various effects used for Hannah, and it gives us a brief but informative overview.

Megan’s Diaries take up one minute, 31 seconds and show promotional clips that focus on the lead character. They’re a decent way to sell the movie.

The disc opens with ads for Slender Man, Searching, Escape Room, The Intruder, The Girl In the Spider’s Web and Patient Zero. No trailer for Hannah appears here.

Because it brings some twists on the demonic genre, The Possession of Hannah Grace comes with a few surprises. However, it sticks with too many of the same old jump scares to offer anything truly innovative or terrifying. The DVD offers acceptable visuals, good audio and a smattering of minor supplements. Hannah remains watchable but doesn’t become memorable.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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