Grace: The Possession Movie Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
DVD released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Directed by Jeff Chan
Written by Jeff Chan and Chris Pare
2015, 87 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 19th January 2015
Alexia Fast as Grace / Mary
Brett Dier as Brad
Lin Shaye as Helen
Joel David Moore as Luke
Alan Dale as Priest
Grace: The Possession is the kind of movie where you feel like saying, “Aw man, nice try!” There’s some good ideas, some good techniques, but the end result just doesn’t sit right, and that’s a real shame.
18 years after her mother died during childbirth, Grace heads off to college, fleeing from her religious grandmother and small town life. Her new college friends and lifestyle start to bring out a darker side Grace has struggled with for a long time. Fearing she is losing her mind, she returns to the family home but things spiral drastically out of control for her.
Grace could have been a really boring possession movie, instead of the averagely boring possession movie it actually is. Its saving grace (haha, see what I did there?) is its unusual POV camera shots, we see everything from the main character Grace. That’s a bit of shame then for the lead actress Alexia Fast, as we only see her in passing mirror shots, but there are a number of those and they get progressively creepier as the film goes on. At first the style is jarring, Grace’s voice sounds so strange compared to the rest of the characters but it soon becomes an interesting perspective and also works really well for a couple of scares. It’s a technique that I’m surprised hasn’t been used more since the fantastic Maniac remake, which showed how effective it can be, but it’s a tough one to pull off and if it doesn’t add much to the story, then there’s really not much point of using it. Here it’s giving us the perspective of the demon, but in the body of a naive, virgin teenager. A bit of a mixed bag, but ultimately keeps you guessing and was the only thing holding my attention. It’s certainly a bold move by the director and it’s a good job they did it otherwise this film would have been completely forgettable.
The film surprisingly leaves its college setting about halfway through and this is where it falls in to a rather clichéd trap of a young girl struggling against the church. It’s great to see Lin Shay pop up playing the god fearing grandmother, which reminded me of her role in the classic comedy Detroit Rock City, but her talents seem wasted here. It’s all just a lot of, what could have been.
Possession films have it tough really, you have to pull something pretty damn special out of the bag because this sub-genre is littered with classics, and if you’re not careful you’ll just make a clichéd mess and that’s sadly what we have here.
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