The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018)

Director: Diederik Van Rooijen

Writer: Brian Sieve (Screenplay)

Starring: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum, Stana Katic

Plot: 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.


Tagline – The most frightening thing about an exorcism is what happens next.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lost Horror

Story: The Possession of Hannah Grace starts when an exorcism on Hannah Grace (Johnson) goes horribly wrong forcing the death of Hannah, meanwhile newly hired former cop Megan Reed (Mitchell) takes a job in the graveyard shift of the city hospital after spending her time in rehab. The job seems easy enough for her, just processing the dead bodies in the morgue away from the distracts of life.

Megan starts having a strange set of experiences and when the body of Hannah arrives, the processing equipment doesn’t manage to work in the proper functional method.

Thoughts on The Possession of Hannah Grace

Characters – Megan Reed is a former cop that has been through rehab after struggling after her own experience in the field, cleaned up, she looks to get back into work on a graveyard shift at the morgue. Megan does start to have strange visits while on duty and becomes convinced strange things are going on, she is left to wonder whether she is having a bad experience from her drugs or is something supernatural going on. Andrew is the ex-boyfriend and fellow cop of Megan, he was left no choice, but to leave her, but will support her through her struggles. Hannah Grace is the young woman that went through the exorcism, she hasn’t remained dead though, searching for more victims in her afterlife. Randy is the friendly paramedic that offers support for Megan because of his own past.

PerformancesShay Mitchell does everything she can with her leading role without being terrible, just not getting much to do from it. Grey Damon doesn’t have much to do, neither does Nick Thune, though he does make the most of his limited time. Kirby Johnson does get extra praise for her ability to try and make her character creepy throughout.

StoryThe story here follows a cop fresh out of rehab that takes a graveyard shift in a morgue only to find her night become a nightmare when a corpse comes back to life to haunt them. The story is a true disappointment because we have one side of Megan’s story being that she might be falling off the wagon again, which would make everything going on great, only we get plenty of disposable characters that offer the corpse a chance to kill instead of building the tension of Megan losing her mind. This story does feel like a complete rip off The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from how the haunting figure is searching for the latest victim, only it never reaches the true level it could do. The mystery is meant to be around why the corpse isn’t remaining dead, only for it to end up feeling like it is the back burner.

SettingsThe film is set inside the city morgue, we do have the lights that only come on when you are in their sensors go off, though it does feel too large to get the most out of the environment.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag because the physical movement is great, but the CGI covers up too much in this film and it is weak.


Scene of the Movie – The first discovery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We just doesn’t seem to get the smart enough decisions in writing here.

Final Thoughts This is a poor horror that just copies The Autopsy of Jane Doe, only to lose all the atmosphere in the film.

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

Rating

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Q – Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Director: Roy Ward Baker

Writer: Nigel Kneale (Screenplay)

Starring: James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover, Duncan Lamont, Bryan Marshall

 

Plot: A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.


Tagline – Force more powerful than 1,000 H-Bombs unleashed to devastate Earth! World in panic! Cities in flames!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Filled Sci-Fi Horror

 

Story: Quatermass and the Pit starts when a construction team in London discovery dead bodies, which leads to Dr Roney (Donald), Professor Quatermass (Keir) and Colonel Breen (Glover) all being bought in to investigate the mysterious discovery, each with their own field of expertise for the unknown object.

Once inside there are only more questions to be asked and the strange effects happening to the people investigating adds to the mystery.

 

Thoughts on Quatermass and the Pit

 

Characters – Dr Mathew Roney is one of the team that is set to investigate the discovery, he takes and scientific approach to everything working with the historian to put the pieces together. Professor Bernard Quatermass brings the historical point of view to the table, wanting to study the discovery and using previous historical discoveries to help figure out the truth. Colonel Breen brings the military point of view often looking to use the quick answer over the smart answer. Barbara Judd is a reporter that is trying to put together a story for the public who believe this is an unexploded bomb.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast is great throughout, we believe the scientific figures, the military ones and the reporter looking for a story. the four main stars of the film know how to make the most of their scenes where their character needs to be the larger focus.

StoryThe story follows an object being discovered in London while digger to make the underground larger, we follow how the investigation to learn what this could be from different perspectives which shows how this would be handled in real life. We do have twists which comes from the discoveries going on, but for the most part this keeps things simple, with an air of mystery about what could be happening around the object.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror surrounding this movie comes from what could come from the object, it could bring horrific consequences, this plays into the mystery as we are left with the mystery behind what could be behind it. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the explanation to what could be behind the object and the potential of space being involved.

SettingsThe film is set in London and the underground, this is always a tight compact location which will add to suspense and horror in anything.

Special EffectsThis film was released in the 1960s, the special effects for the time were great, while we might look down on them now, it showed us just what was capable for the time.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act which we are built up to nicely.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact they just look like grasshoppers and no one says this.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best hammer horror mystery sci-fi horror films out there, it keeps you guessing before letting everything out in the final act instead of giving away too much too early.

 

Overall: Must watch Hammer Horror

Rating

 

 

The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Movie Review

Director: Michael Chaves

Writer: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis (Screenplay)

Starring: Linda Cardellini, Roman Christou, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Raymond Cruz, Marisol Ramirez, Patricia Velasquez, Sean Patrick Thomas

Plot: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.


Tagline – She Wants Your Children

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Jump Scare 101

Story: The Curse of La Llorona starts when widowed mother and social worker Anna (Cardellini) looks into one of her cases which has taken a sudden turn for the worst, taking the children away from the mother, the children end up getting killed, with the mother claiming it was La Llorona (Ramirez).

When Anna’s children Chris (Christou) and Samantha (Kinchen) get touched by La Llorona, they have been cursed, with Anna needing to investigate the myth of La Llorona, where she learns that the grieving widow will come for children to replace her own.

Thoughts on The Curse of La Llorona

Characters – Anna is the widowed social worker and mother who while doing her job, checking up on children that might be suffering abuse, trying to keep them with their parents, get involved in a curse, which puts her own children in danger. Baring in mind, she is a social work and was married to a cop, she doesn’t make the best decisions, we see how she struggles to communicate with her children, often leaves them alone and when they get injuries, she doesn’t demand answers, which remaining unanswered would mean she could be considered abusive. Chris and Samantha are the children, they are both dealing with the loss of their father, which would be difficult for any child, they become cursed by La Llorona who wants to take them, meaning they must first learn to communicate with their own mother, when the events start to happen. Rafael Olvera is one man that turned his back on the church in order to fight the evil in the world, he is the last resort for Anna, where he knows how to stop La Llorona from causing more pain in the lives of family.

PerformancesLinda Cardellini in the leading role does well through the film without doing anything you wouldn’t expect for a horror film. The child actors both do a solid job through the film too.

StoryThe story here follows a widowed mother that ends up getting a cursed by an evil spirit that wants to take her children and she must figure out how to stop her before it is too late. This is a horror story that does do everything it needs to, to put a character in a position where everything they do know, can be turned on its head, when it comes to child protection. The story does however fall into the position of the start of the La Llorona appearance seeming quite random to the first victim, with not enough investigation into that side of the story, while the battle to protect is pretty much every sort of possession based film we have seen before.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film does work if you want jump scares, it does build some up very well, with an umbrella sequences which is the standout for me. The mystery behind the film comes from just why La Llorona has appeared in the first place, which never seems to get answered, only how to beat her.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the scares in and around the family home, it does make a point that it is the family that is haunted not the house, which is key to how the ghostly figure appears. Being haunted in your own home is always going to be a scary idea.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to make the figure of La Llorona look frightening, it will give the scary figure a look which would get a scream too.


Scene of the Movie – Umbrella.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is pretty routine for a horror film.

Final Thoughts This is a routine horror that does have a couple of good scares without hitting the heights of the rest of the universe it has come from.

Overall: Easy to watch horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – I – The Invitation (2015)

Director: Karyn Kusama

Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi (Screenplay)

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Aiden Lovekamp, Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle, Jordi Vilasuso, Jay Larson, Tammy Blanchard

 

Plot: While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Build, Nail Biting Conclusion

 

Story: The Invitation starts as Will (Marshall-Green) and his new girlfriend Kira (Corinealdi) get invited to Will’s ex-wife Eden’s (Blanchard) house for a mysterious gathering where Eden introduces her new partner David (Huisman), which soon turns into an invitation to join a cult for the guests.

As the night continues on Will becomes paranoid that there is an alternate meaning for the invitation but every time he believes he is about to prove the paranoia of the night, it all gets shut down and Will must start to face that he is grieving the loss of his son, or is he?

 

Thoughts on The Invitation

 

Characters – Will is the grieving former husband of Eden that attends a party hosted by his ex-wife which brings back the memories of his son, but he starts becoming paranoid about the reason for the party, he is the only one that thinks something strange is happening. Kira is Will’s new girlfriend that gets to meet his old friends at this party, she tries to be social even when his paranoia doesn’t help her get the welcome she desires. Eden is the host of the part, the ex-wife of Will’s that seems to have turned over a new leaf by joining the cult that she starts to recruit for with her new partner David.

PerformanceLogan Marshall-Green does a good job here because one moment in the film he is calm, then paranoid, then emotional and back to normal, this performance shows us a full range he must go through. Emayatzy is also good as the unknown element at the party. With Tammy Blanchard being the unhinged but at times calm host of the party.

StoryThe story circles around a party being held for old friends as the host has reinvented herself after the loss of her son, everything seems strange through the night until we learn about the cult she has become part of and wants the friends to become part of it but one man gets paranoid about what is happening during the night. It is easy to follow and you do spend most of the film waiting to see where it all ends up going which is rewarding by the end.

Horror/MysteryThe horror of this film comes from the idea that the characters are being recruited for a cult, while the mystery side of everything leaves us to figure out just what has been happening.

SettingsThe film takes place in one house that shows how a dinner party can turn sour as everything it not quite right.

Scene of the Movie – Not the drinks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a slow build up that does seem to give too many supporting characters screen time they don’t need.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror film, it does take time to build to the final act which is built through the tension that goes through the whole film.

 

Overall: Good horror that you get rewarded with by the end.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

Director: Tom Elkins

Writer: David Coggeshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Spencer, Emily Alyn Lind, Chad Michael Murray, Grant James, Katee Sackoff, Morgana Shaw

 

Plot: A young family moves into a historic home in Georgia, only to learn they are not the house’s only inhabitants. Soon they find themselves in the presence of a secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid, but Flawed Sequel

 

Story: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia starts when the Wyrick family, Lisa (Spencer), Andy (Murray) and daughter Heidi (Lind) move into an historical home, Lisa like her sister Joyce (Sackhoff) has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts and as her daughter starts seeing them too, what is the message being sent?

Heidi befriends one of the spirits, one that previously lived in the home, but it is the history of the events of this house which will be the one that leads up to the true terror in this story.

 

Thoughts on The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia

 

Characters – Lisa is the wife and mother of the family, she does have an ability to see spirits with her mother helping her through these experiences. In her new home she starts to see more spirits that has trying to send her messages and must use her skills to figure out how to save her child. Andy is the husband and father, he is the only one that doesn’t have the ability to see the spirits which shows him taking on the situation as if there would need to be a logical reason behind it all. Heidi is the daughter of the family, that can also see the spirits and it is her visits which guide us to where the story goes this time, she is encouraged by her Auntie and discouraged by her mum. Joyce is the free-spirited Auntie that joins the family, she tries to embrace the idea of the spirits needing help and will guide Heide unlike her sister.

PerformancesThis is a sequel with no returning cast members, no connection to the original, so the cast is brand new. We do have a couple of known actors from television, Abigail Spencer, Chad  Michael Murray and Katee Sackhoff, they do what they can with the material, but the poor decisions they are forced to make doesn’t help. Emily Alyn Lind does well for a child star put in horror situation.

StoryThe story is based on real events or sold on this idea anyway. We have the events of the story taking place over short amount of time, as we see how everything seems to escalate, which is fine for a horror story. the idea the sisters and daughter can see spirits naturally is a good spin on the idea where only one can usually see the ghosts. The problems do some into this too as the one person who can’t see the spirits still sees them and most of the decisions being made are poor throughout. For the mystery behind everything it does keep us interested throughout and does give us shocks along the way.

Horror/Mystery When it comes to the horror in this film we get plenty of the normal jump scares, most of which just play out like you would imagine, the casual fan will jump along the way. The highlight is the mystery behind what is causing the hauntings because history is always filled with surprises.

SettingsThe setting for the film is good because it is an old house that is bound to be filled with history that could be a terrifying as what we learn as the film unfolds.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are mixed because the way the flashbacks are shot does look do and feels different to current events, the negatives come from how the injuries can look while inflicted to the modern characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Cut the cord.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The moments Andy saw a ghost.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel even though it has no connection to the actual first film, it does have smart ideas but terrible character decisions.

 

Overall: Horror fans should enjoy.

Rating