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Scary Movie Reviews
Release Date: November 10th, 2006 (wide)
Length: 1 Hr. 25 Min.
Rated: PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images
Distributor: Rogue Pictures
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kate Beahan, Peter O'Brien, Adam Scott, Sam Shepard
Directed by: Asif Kapadia
Produced by: Marc Evans (IV), Trevor Macy (II), Aaron Ryde
Written by: Adam Sussman
The name of the movie itself tells you what it could possibly be about. Well, maybe you won’t get it bang on, but then you will eventually stumble across the fact that it is a revisiting of sorts.
The Return is the story of a young girl, Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who has come up the hard way in life. She has long ago lost touch with her father (Sam Shepard) and wants nothing more to do with her past. She is very successful with her position as top saleswoman for a trucking company. As is the nature of her job, she travels all over with the exception of the lone star state. That state is off limits as that’s where she grew up.
But then she comes across a wonderful opportunity in the form of a rich Texan who could do wonders for her sales figures. So, she breaks her golden rule and revisits her past. But the minute she returns, strange things start happening to her. First, she just has terrifying nightmares, but then she starts hallucinating and seeing things and people that do not exist. The breaking point is when she sees the murder of a young woman and she knows she has to do something about it. As she pursues the case, she realizes that this is the work of a serial killer and she is constantly guided by her powers. But soon she knows who is going to be his next victim - she herself.
Talking about the shortcomings of the film - there are a few. Firstly, the screenplay and storyline are pretty flimsy and are barely able to keep the film in one piece. The characters and their personalities are not explained too well. Makes you wonder if they were ever created with that intention. This leaves them hanging mid air. The only saving grace is Gellar who manages to hold her own. Also, the relationship between Joanna and her father is not adequately explained, nor is the reason for her animosity to the state of Texas. The whole point is that the film would have been much better as a short film or an episode. In fact, it could fit in very well with a bunch of other such bizarre short films. But it actually falls short somewhat as a standalone.
Now the positive points. While the script is bad, the direction is innovative and good. As if Kapadia has managed to communicate what the characters couldn’t in his shots and locations. The way the scenes are picturized signifies the confusion in Joanna’s life and her despondence shines through. The sets are of arid and dry land-barren. This creates a certain mood which works well for the film.
In my opinion, definately worth a watch, if you are into the supernatural. Also, be ready for some sudden thrills and chills. After all, it is a horror flick.