Psychic visions have been a staple of many horror movies, and they're at the center of The Return. Sadly, there's nothing in this movie that stands out.

When Joanna was 11, she got separated from her father at a Texas festival and imagined a man talking to and walking towards her. This doesn't seem unusual as childhood experiences go, but it so affected Joanna that she left Texas and stayed away.

Now in her mid-twenties, Joanna (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has to head back to Texas on business. She's barely back before the radio keeps playing the same song over and over (even when turned off -- spooooooky!) and having visions of a murder and different places in Texas. There's also Terry Stahl (Peter O'Brien), the helpful, handsome loner with a bad reputation in town. And the more Joanna investigates, the more she finds that her visions are -- brace yourself -- from a crime in the past!

The Return is a dreary movie. The characters are flat, and all the actors seem to be drifting through the movie. There's nothing original done with the visions or possibilities, and everything is shot in muted, drab lighting. There aren't any scares per se, and the "action" consists of Gellar running away or sudden surprises mixed with loud bursts of music. (The dvd extras are a "making of," deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.) While not terrible, The Return is extremely unimpressive.

Overall grade: D
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: