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Happy Birthday Hannah

Acres Films, USA, 2018
Director: Matthew I. Schmidt
Writer: Matthew I. Schmidt
Cast: Brandon Burkley, Patrick Finegan, Laura Goellner, Natalie Klein, Maria Kravets, Hailey Kate Schmidt, Hannah Collett Schmidt

Another Paranormal Activity but on a shoestring budget and without a script. I’m not really a fan of “found footage”, “POV” and “security camera” films. It can work sometimes, but it doesn’t this time. Half of Happy Birthday Hannah we see through cameras mounted in and outside the house and the rest we see through Rachels smartphone.

Rachel and Brody is getting ready to go see their friends at the pub. But first Brody has to change a broken lightbulb. The only lightbulb he can find is red. Is this important? I don’t know. Does it have some sort of significance for the rest of the story? I don’t know. Does it have a deep symbolic meaning? I don’t know. Why does Rach and Brody even have a red lightbulb? I don’t know. If anyone DO know the answer to any of these questions, please please explain in a comment.

Rachel is extremely annoying, filming herself and everything and everyone all the time with her smartphone. During their evening she has a breakdown which she also films. The reason for her breakdown is tomorrow is her sister Hannah’s birthday. Hannah drowned when she was a child and Rachel saw it happen but froze and couldn’t do anything to save her. She has lived with the guilt ever since.

Next day, on Hannah’s birthday Rachel goes down to the lake where Hannah drowned, tells her how sorry she is, how much she misses her and leaves her favourite toy, a stuffed purple bunny. Later that evening things start to happen in their house. Chairs starts to move by themself, thumps and noises wake Rachel up at night. It sounds like someone is running up and down the stairs and there is a child giggeling. Brody doesn’t believe her at first, but Rachel is getting more and more convinced Hannah has returned to torment her for letting her die.

When they wake up in the middle of the night and find the wet footprints of a child on the floor and Hannahs stuffed bunny soaked in water sitting on the couch, even Brody sees something is happening. Things start to become tense between Rachel and Brody, and he suggest they ask a priest to come bless the house.

My verdict: 1 out of 10.