Director: BJ Verot
Writer: Ken Janssens, BJ Verot (Screenplay)
Starring: Richard Harmon, Echo Andersson, Sara Thompson, Marina Stephenson Kerr, Erik Athavale, Gwendolyn Collins
Plot: After the death of his father, a brilliant college student returns to his family home where he learns that the horrors from his childhood aren’t as dead and gone as he once thought.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Return starts when Rodger Emmerlich (Harmon) returns to his family home after the death of his father with his girlfriend Beth (Thompson) and childhood friend Jordan (Andersson) to look through the information about his past.
As the friends start exploring the endless amounts files, they start getting visits from a ghostly figure, which will have more answers in Rodger’s past, but what is the secret.
Thoughts on The Return
Characters & Performances – Rodger is a genius student whose parents were leading figures in science and physics, he has returned home after his father’s death, which will see him starting to get haunted by events from the past, before learning more about the mystery about his younger sister’s death in his childhood. He must dive into his once locked memories if he is going to learn the truth. Jordan is the best friend that has been with Rodger through the events of his life, always there to support him in his time of need, she will bring a laugh to break the tension, while being smart enough to know what to do in a horror environment. Beth is the girlfriend of Rodger’s she wants to be there for him in his time of need, but has never gotten a chance to learn about his past before, often feeling out of place. The performances from Richard Harmon and Echo Andersson are great, with the brooding Harmon dealing with the serious side of the story, while Andersson gets the laughs along the way.
Story – The story here follows three friends that go to one of the groups family home after their father’s death to learn more about the past, only to find themselves getting haunted by a ghostly figure which will have a connection to the past. This story is one of the cleverest spins on the haunted house story I have seen in a long time, because it starts out like it is going to be a run of the mill style one, which will entertain, but never likely to hit the heights of the best. Instead, this story goes in a direction that will focus on a different part of the film being more important, one that will surprise and offer up a bigger question. This gave the story a refreshing feel to everything, one we could easily have gotten more from too.
Themes – The Return is a horror film with a twist, with this twist the horror side does suffer more, because we generally get the same ghost moments every single time, which feels like it takes away the scares, even if this does make sense with the final reveal in the story. The film is set with all the horror moments within the one family home, which is filled with memories for Rodger.
Final Thoughts – The Return is a smart twist on the haunted house film, giving us plenty to think about by the end.