Simple Review: D.O.A
Among the memorable moments of the year of our Lord 1973, two events stand out in the film world: The Exorcist was released and a certain brilliant movie blogger was born. Due to the success of the former, we have seen a wide array of movies involving supernatural possessions and exorcisms, while the latter has brought joy to tens of people in this world. The Exorcist set the bar so incredibly high in this type of horror genre that very few have even come close to scaring the hell out of us like that flick! This week The Possession of Hannah Grace tries to release its inner demon on us, the unsuspecting audience, in hopes of scaring the split-pea soup out of us. Is the movie a holy terror, or will it make your head spin? The only way to find out is to grab your crucifix and exercise the demons of this review.
In my never-ending quest to be honest with you, my reliable reader, I must share the two reasons I went to see The Possession of Hannah Grace, as I had no real interest in this movie. The first reason was I received a free popcorn and 1000 extra credits on my movie theater reward card, yes I am that easily bought. The second reason was that I have been going too easy on the films I have seen lately and needed to sharpen my edge on a bad movie. Does this make me a bad person? No! Telling random little kids at the mall that Santa isn’t real makes me a bad person. Getting back to the review, The Possession of Hannah Grace tells the tale of a young ex-police officer, played by Shay Mitchell, that takes a job working third shift in the morgue at the local hospital. On her first night, a body is delivered that died due to a failed exorcism and horror mayhem ensues. Yes, this was a bad horror movie and before we have fun pointing out the nonsense I have to try to find something positive to start with. Wish me luck!
The best thing The Possession of Hannah Grace has going for it is the setting. I liked the isolation of the morgue at night as it is creepy enough without adding spider walking corpses. Director Diederick Van Rooijen uses the eerie environment of the morgue for a few moments of suspense, especially when he uses the motion activated lights and a motion activated hand dryer in the bathroom to alert our hero that something scary is about to go down. Welp, that is about all I could come up with concerning anything positive from this movie. I often wonder at what point in the filmmaking process does ANYONE involved in the film realize their movie is god awful. Do they watch the dailies and think, ” will my career survive this?” I understand that this is a low-budget film but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least try to make a good movie instead of just collecting a check. Apparently, it isn’t as difficult to get a movie made than I have been lead to believe!!
If the devil has a lawyer, and I am sure Hell is full of them, he should think about suing the makers of this movie for defamation of character. This is perhaps the worst “possession” I have ever seen in a horror movie which is a bold statement. Hannah Grace is apparently possessed by a zombie spider monkey for all we know. The movie never, ever explains her possession or the demon’s plans after possessing her. She is simply possessed and kills people and that is it, nothing more put into her character or even the demon character. How pointless for a movie titled The Possession of Hannah Grace. The extent of her character is she screeches a lot, crawls around the floor, teleports all over the hospital and kills some people. We never find out anything about her before the possession, nor do we have any reason to care that she is possessed. The demon inside of her never explains anything it wants or why it possessed this particular person so you never feel any fear from it and you never feel any empathy for Hannah having to survive this tormented demon. How does someone “write” a movie script, call it The Possession of Hannah Grace and put zero effort into the actual character of Hannah Grace? Sadly, someone got paid a good amount of money for such brilliance. I am in the wrong line of work!
If this movie doesn’t develop Hannah Grace’s character, what does it focus on, you may ask. The movie follows the lead character Megan, played by Shay Mitchell, an ex-cop that was involved in a traumatic on the job experience that forced her to quit the force and get a job at the morgue. The movie tries to show you that Megan is an addict and that she is trying to get her life back together, but it does this so poorly. She never seems that messed up and we are told the things she has damaged in her life due to her addictions instead of, you know, showing this on screen. I could have forgiven the makers of this movie for their development of Hannah Grace if they would have taken the time to make Megan an interesting character for us to root for. They could have done a slow burn type movie using the first half of the film showing us the mental state Megan is in and why people she knows do not trust her. Then as the events unfold in the morgue the filmmakers could have built suspense through Megan not being sure what was real and what wasn’t. They tried this a little but gave up on it quickly and it never felt earned as the movie just wants to jump scare us as quickly as possible.
Yes, this movie falls into a ton of dumb horror movie moments. For a hospital in a major U.S. city, this place is extremely empty at night. No chance of anyone walking in on a possessed girl crawling on the floor if the place is empty, that is lazy filmmaking. The side characters are laughably awful in this one. A character is in one scene for no other reason than to be hiding behind the open door to jump scare us when it closes. How this character got in the room unnoticed is incredible as there is only one way into that room, perhaps ninja training was involved. Another character is chased in a stairway that apparently has only one door that leads to the roof of the hospital. Not a very good architectural design and a contractor should be called immediately to add some doors to that stairway as this is a fire hazard! Another thing that I find funny in a horror movie is how no one is aware of horror movies in these films. Like no one in the movie ever watched a horror movie and would know to run the opposite direction of the creepy noise they heard instead of walking right toward it. That isn’t on the filmmakers much, but it would make the movie more fun if the characters reacted like people who knew what a horror movie was. ( I know Scream did it but that doesn’t mean the idea it all used up, geez!)
We have reached the end of this rambling review and as you can tell I do not recommend watching this movie. It doesn’t even fall into the “it’s so bad its fun” category! I do not understand why it is so difficult to make a good horror movie even on a low budget. I mean, The Evil Dead 2 cost like $5 to make and it is a classic so we know it can be done. Try harder, Hollywood!!! Now that we have reached the end, to save you from the terror I will allow the demon that is The Possession on Hannah Grace to take control of me as I throw myself out the window and down a flight of stairs. Now go! Run from this evil spirit of bad horror movies, but before you go like this blog, follow if you dare and share with the world so we can fight these terrible movies together!!
As always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho