A low-budget horror effort is ambiguous in its moniker, generating a certain claustrophobic eeriness when not wandering out of its preferred tense comfort zone.
The Possession of Hannah Grace stars Shay Mitchell and Stana Katic and shies away from the usual (say, gotcha) genre tropes while using a gloomy aura and trappings to its advantage.
A mercy offing of a titular daughter (Kirby Johnson) by father Grainger (Louis Herthum) amidst a brutal exorcism segues to a Boston hospital morgue three years hence.
There, Mitchell’s recovering alcoholic (in the AA program) Megan has to deal with the mutilated and relatively incinerated corpse of Hannah in the overnight shift where she tries to prove her mettle. This cadaver isn’t of the ordinary variety when it comes to photography and starts an odd palliative process.
In the coroner’s milieu with equipment and tools unnerving situations appear in places like shadowy hallways as Johnson’s physically pronounced implementation includes freakish contortions.
A new beginning after difficult times puts Megan in the throes of a devil inside waiting to be unleashed and Mitchell displays ability from the character’s subtext to make perception perhaps waver from reality. Kanic’s Lisa is her nurse friend and sponsor hoping she can get back on the right course.
Dutch-born helmsman Diederik Van Rooijen has an overall effective handle on the proceedings and has quality technical contributions, notably in the area of sound design. Even before the frightening fare opens up injudiciously. This Possession doesn’t offer much that is new and really isn’t that deplorable when it comes to satanic mischief brewing in the dead room and the personalities of the stewards themselves. Just post-Thanksgiving above direct-to-video studio fare maybe less generic than can be retained from corpse terror.