Complete A-Z list

Return, The


Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Peter O'Brien, Adam Scott, Sam Shepard

Director: Asif Kapadia

Pretty uninteresting for a horror/scare story, this is very slow for an 85-minute film, dull photographically and dreary in content. Joanna (Gellar) shouldn't have gone back to Texas, but she does - and disturbing childhood memories soon begin to resurface. Not much of what follows, though, makes any sense.

The memories cause Joanna to want to harm herself, and seem to be related to her experiences as an 11-year-old, although the connection remains tenuous and unexplained - any more than why the mysterious figure who stalks the film should be interested in her in the first place.

Nor is Joanna a stable central presence. This is a girl who empties files all over the floor when it would be easier to thumb through them, and fails to call for help when her car breaks down. She seems to be identifying with someone in the past who has been raped and/or killed, although why this should be is yet another of the film's mysteries.

An intriuder gets to her room before her, in spite of her running home and leaving him behind in a bar. She's rescued by the enigmatic Terry (O'Brien), the town outcast, who's told by another shady character: 'You gotta lotta nerve coming back here. They should have locked you away a long time ago'. Well, he's in the clear then. More than you will be here, even if you're still awake for the ending.

There's even a guy (Scott) who, beaten by Joanna at her ad agency for an assignment, follows her to Texas and attacks her. Go figure.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
85 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 13 Jan 2007