The Possession of Hannah Grace tells the story of a young girl who is killed during her exorcism but, when her body arrives at the morgue, all hell breaks loose. With a dull story and no real scare elements, it's ultimately a forgettable film. The 1080p HD transfer looks good, the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix is top-notch, and two of the bonus features are informative. Still, unless you already love this movie, I wouldn't buy or rent this one. Skip it.
There are a sea of demonic possession movies out there and it's difficult to find one that has an original bone in its contorted body. Even the titles of these films are similar and all of this could be said for the rote and uninteresting horror film The Possession of Hannah Grace. This blatantly forgettable movie doesn't bring anything new to the table with zero interesting characters or story arcs. Its paint-by-the-numbers storyline and dull setpieces do nothing but make you hope the movie ends sooner than it does.
The opening scene of the movie starts with the exorcism of Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson), where a team of priests and her father (Louis Herthum in another possession movie) trying to drive out the demon. The usual body contortions, bed shaking, and demonic growls fill the screen as everyone else is chanting prayers. One appealing aspect to this demon is that it can use the force (Star Wars style), and make others levitate and break their bones inside their bodies telepathically. I even saw a force choke in this movie, which caused me to laugh out loud.
As this exorcism is spiraling out of control, Hannah's father takes matters into his own hands and kills his daughter. From here, Hannah's dead and mutilated body arrives at a morgue where Megan (Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars) works on bodies and tries to figure out the cause of death. Soon hallucinations and demonic sounds are afoot and people start turning up dead. It's a less-than-thrilling version of the far better Autopsy of Jane Doe. A side story of the internal struggles of Megan's ex-boyfriend and substance abuse is present but goes nowhere.
There are a couple of aspects that are worth noting though. Actress Kirby Johnson is spectacular as this Cirque du Soleil corpse that is able to bend and stretch her body in uncanny positions that are truly creepy. It was a joy to watch her conjure up the only scares in the movie. The other good thing in the film is the practical makeup effects that look grotesque and realistic in close-ups. Those are really the only things The Possession of Hannah Grace has going for it, unfortunately. This demonic possession tale is best left unknown.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
The Possession of Hannah Grace comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc and a Digital Copy of the film from Sony. The disc is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with an insert for the download code. There is a cardboard sleeve with the film's artwork as well. Many trailers for Sony horror movies play before the menu pops up.
The Possession of Hannah Grace features a 1080p HD transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Given the film's dark morgue interiors, the image looks quite good. The practical effects of makeup, deep skin burns and major cuts on Hannah's body look ultra realistic and detailed where you'll be able to see veins, arteries, and more. Other facial features, such as individual hairs, wrinkles, and facial pores show up nicely, even in the lower lit scenario.
There is no real film grain or filmic image here, but rather a glossy look that can make the image a little flat at times. Colors aren't exactly bright either, but rather a mixture of blues and metal grays with some pops of red blood and yellow stripes on paramedic jackets when they come to the morgue with new bodies. Black levels are mostly deep and full without any crush and skin tones are natural in their lighting conditions. There was some minor banding, but other than that this video presentation looks just fine.
The Possession of Hannah Grace comes with an excellent lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, which in my opinion is the highlight of the film and this release. Being a horror film, specifically a supernatural demonic possession movie, you expect the usual creepy sound effects throughout and I'm happy to say they are consistently used at full force, which is quite exciting. The robust noises of bones crunching and necks breaking are top notch as are the creepy sounds Hannah actually makes throughout the movie.
The strange and eerie ambient morgue sounds (doors opening and closing, etc.) add to the horror element as well. All of the creepy noises you would come to expect from these types of movies are here and presented very well on all speakers at full volume. The musical cues add to the haunting atmosphere and keep things creepy. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow, and free of any audio issues. The bass kicks into high gear in the more intense scenes too, providing a nice rumble. This is an excellent use of audio in the horror genre.
There are four bonus features here, two of which are short, but great looks inside the making of the film with an emphasis on makeup and stunt-work. The other two are useless extras. There are also quite a few trailers for other Sony horror films.
The Possession of Hannah Grace is just another forgettable demonic possession movie in an ocean of forgettable demonic possession movies. The film doesn't add anything original or honest to the genre with the exception of a talented possessed character and her body work along with some very good practical makeup effects. Other than that, the film just doesn't stack up to anything you haven't seen before. The video presentation is quite good given the low lit situations, but the audio mix is stellar and haunting. There are a few bonus features, two of which have some great behind the scenes info on the makeup and stunt-work. Even if you're a fan of the genre... Skip It.