The Possession of Hannah Grace Parent Guide
This film contains gruesome, violent, and disturbing imagery - of the kind you would expect from a horror movie dealing with demonic possession and taking place in a morgue.
Parent Movie Review
Traumatized by the murder of her partner, former police officer Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is a recovering alcoholic who needs a job. With some help from her friend Lisa Roberts (Stana Katic), a nurse at the local hospital, she gets hired as the night-shift intake assistant in the morgue. Aside from the usual creepiness associated with being alone in a dimly lit basement full of corpses, things seem to be going well until she admits the remains of Hannah Grace, a badly mangled blonde woman who was reported dead three months ago, after a failed exorcism…
Given this introduction to The Possession of Hannah Grace, its Restricted rating does not come as a surprise. The real surprise is its comparatively low levels of obscene language or sexual content. Horror movies seem to accept the inevitable “R” rating from the MPAA for violence and frightening imagery and figure they may as well pepper in some profanity. Aside from frequent terms of deity – which are not surprising in a possession film – there are about a dozen other curse words. Of course, the film makes up for these relatively minor content concerns with some gruesome, violent, and disturbing imagery- more or less of the kind you would expect from a horror movie dealing with demonic possession and taking place in a morgue.
For many parents, demonic possession is an obvious deal breaker in any decision about movie watching. This film is obviously unsuited for family entertainment or most older teens and adults who aren’t fans of the genre. Hardcore horror fans, however, will probably find this fairly tame. Most of the scares come from some long, quiet, and intensely ominous shots that draw in some good atmosphere and keep the audience waiting for their “real” scares. Slasher fans will be generally disappointed in the lack of…well, slashing. Those interested in exorcism movies will be irritated by how little of the movie focuses on the exorcism. But those with an interest in watching frightened people meander around dim corridors while ominous music plays will probably have a lovely time. This movie only managed to get me good and scared two or three times in its 85 minutes. (It’s worth pointing out that the primary advantage of this brief runtime is that the pacing is consistent, and the film doesn’t get a chance to drag on too much.)
Overall, The Possession of Hannah Grace comes in middling-to-low in the hierarchy of scary movies. It’s not a bad diversion, but you’re not going to lose any sleep over it. Probably. Unless you work in a morgue. Or somewhere with a lot of motion-detector activated lights. I left the theatre wishing the movie had possessed a stronger story, and fewer shots of empty hallways.Directed by Diederik Van Rooijen. Starring Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, and Kirby Johnson. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release November 30, 2018. Updated November 30, 2018
The Possession of Hannah Grace
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Possession of Hannah Grace rated R? The Possession of Hannah Grace is rated R by the MPAA for gruesome images and terror throughout
Violence: A woman is shown in intense pain when she is sprayed with holy water. A man is lifted into the air and impaled on a spike on the wall. A man is lifted into the air and choked. A woman is smothered by a pillow. Corpses are shown frequently throughout, with varying levels of injury- sometimes shown graphically. Corpses commit violent acts, A swarm of flies emerges from a dead body. A man’s arm is badly cut. A man is lifted in to the air and has bones broken while being choked. The same happens to a woman. Flashbacks show a man shooting at a police officer. A man is pinned between two cars and is killed. A man is pushed into an incinerator. A man’s throat is cut. Another person is pushed into the incinerator. An unconscious woman awakens inside a corpse drawer in the morgue and beats her way out. Many of the violent scenes are accompanied by frightening and disturbing vocalizations, screams, clicking and breaking sounds, gagging noises, etc.
Sexual Content: A woman is seen from the shoulders up taking a shower through a translucent curtain. Several partially covered naked dead bodies are shown. There is a brief side view of a woman’s breast as she showers.
Profanity: Two dozen uses of profanity in this film, almost half of which are terms of deity. The others include scatological terms and anatomical phrases and other mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: No alcohol is shown, although the protagonist is a recovering alcoholic. She is tempted to use Xanax that is not prescribed to her but does not.
Page last updated November 30, 2018
The Possession of Hannah Grace Parents' GuideMegan Reed is badly traumatized by her partner's death and her friend helps her find a job. Do you know anyone who has suffered through painful losses or other experiences? What can you do to support people who are struggling with trauma?
Read books about The Possession of Hannah Grace
Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co series follows a plucky crew of teenage ghost hunters as they rid greater London of spirits. These are very creepy and are only suitable for teens who want to be scared.
Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories will also provide a disquieting read for adolescents.
Related home video titles:
Looking for scary movies that aren’t as dark as The Possession of Hannah Grace?
The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a gothic horror story aimed at older children and teens. Lots of creepy images and end-of-the-world peril, but little blood or gore.
Daniel Radcliffe stars in The Woman in Black, which is more of a psychological thriller than a slasher horror film. It is not suitable for children but teens might enjoy the jump scares and creepy ambience of this movie.
A Monster Calls isn’t a horror film, but it features a yew tree with a rather scary face which comes to an anxious child and helps him through his difficult and lonely road.