The Return (2006) starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Peter O'Brien, Adam Scott, Kate Beahan, Sam Shepard, J.C. MacKenzie, Erinn Allison, Darrian McClanahan directed by Asif Kapadia Movie Review

The Return (2006)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Sarah Michelle Gellar in The Return (2006)

Return & Refund

Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar - Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed) makes a long over due trip home to see her father and friends when her job as a travelling rep takes her that way. But the journey home brings with it strange visions and nightmares leading Joanna to the town of LaSalle where she has never been but appears in her dreams where she meets Terry Stahl (Peter O'Brien) who somehow seems to be connected.

"The Return" starts with a scene of a young Joanna and her father going to a fun fair, young Joanna not only has a huge bump on her head from a car accident but she also gets freaked out when she spots a man. Why? well we don't find out why as we jump to grown up Joanna who has a run in with an angry colleague before it jumps to the next scene and we have freaky goings on during Joanna's road trip back home from her radio playing the saying song to visions of a car crash. Now in creating suspense a bit of mystery is a necessity and director Asif Kapadia attempts to do this by giving us these scenes which set up an issue but doesn't resolve them and in doing so it means "The Return" jumps from scene to scene with very little flow. For some that may work, they may like the jarring paranormal mystery which is being set up but it didn't work for me and made "The Return" a collection of scenes which whilst eventually narratively linked fail to come together to create a coherently interesting and entertaining movie.

Peter O'Brien in The Return (2006)

That unfinished attempt to create suspense is just the first of my issues with "The Return" a movie which frankly failed to grab me during the opening scenes and had lost me before it came close to resolving anything. There are further issues such as the totally uninteresting characters with no one not even Joanna being really interesting which is down to the jarring style making it hard for these characters to actually work. The upshot of this is that the likes of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Peter O'Brien struggle to bring their characters to life because that jarring style never allows them to deliver a real character just act moody or scared.

In the end there is really only one thing about "The Return" which worked and that is the look, not of the DVD artwork which suggests it is a horror movie when suspense is more appropriate but the grey styling which Kapadia employs. It isn't anything new but the various locations combined with that semi washed out look make each shot full of detail even if what is going on in that shot is not very interesting.

What this all boils down to is that "The Return" was not for me as whilst I enjoy suspense movies the jarring way this one is delivered made it extremely hard work and turned probably what was an interesting paranormal story into an ordinary one.