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Genre: Thriller
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Peter O' Brien, Adam Scott, Kate Beahan, Sam Shepard
Director: Asif Kapadia
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2006
Link: www.thereturnmovie.net




- The Making of THE RETURN
- Deleted Scenes

- Alternate Ending




Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 26 mins




Joanna is haunted by increasingly terrifying visions where she can see and feel the brutal murder of a woman she's never met. With her life spiraling out-of-control, she follows the relentless nightmares to an eerie small town in Texas - a place where secrets can't be buried, a spirit seeks vengeance and the horrific murder from Joanna's visions may just be her own.


After watching this movie, the only thing we found creepy was how Sarah Michelle Gellar seems to be starring in a slew of movies associated with the supernatural. She who bears “The Grudge”, she who hunts down monsters as Daphne with “Scooby Doo”, and now, being haunted by “The Return” of the past?

The pretty New Yorker plays a troubled young girl who is haunted by scary images of the past. No, she does not see dead people. Instead, she keeps seeing and feeling a vicious murder of a woman she does not even know. Determined to find out the cause of this disturbing phenomenon, she travels to a small town in Texas, where, well, as the open-ended synopsis will tell you: a terrible truth awaits her.

Think you have seen something like that somewhere before? Well, unless you have never had the guts to sit through a Hollywood horror movie, you would have.

The 86-minute picture moves at a snail’s pace to slowly uncover the so-called mystery’s pieces – but instead of feeling intrigued, we felt bored and irritated. Anyone with a but of common sense could guess the movie’s next revealing piece (come on, would anyone think that everything is simply a coincidence?)

To be fair, this Asif Kapadia-directed movie does look nice visually, thanks to director of photography Roman Osin’s (Pride and Prejudice) fine cinematography. The constant use of gloomy colors and deep depth of fields to convey the movie’s ominous and murky mood is worth commending. Also, composer Dario Marianelli’s (V For Vendetta) dim score is worth listening out for too.

Otherwise, no matter how grave the supporting actors like Peter O’ Brien, Adam Scott and Sam Shepard try to look, or on a more noteworthy mention, how hard Gellar tries to look terrified and disturbed, this PG-rated (you should have seen that coming when the flick isn’t slapped with a NC-16 or M18 rating) horror movie does not offer much in terms of thrills and scares.


This Code 3 DVD contains a fair bit of bonus features, but with a movie this dull, we didn’t feel very compelled to think that the features were going to be any more interesting.

There is a nine-minute “Making-Of” where the cast and crew talks about how the concept of the movie came about. Just by listening to their deeply intellectual talk about how things in life come one full circle, you wouldn’t believe that the actual movie would be such a weary watch.

Then there are five “Deleted Scenes” which, well, would have made the movie ten minutes longer if they were not cut and left on the editing room floor.

The five-minute “Alternate Ending” isn’t particularly exciting either. We just wondered why the filmmakers bothered to waste time and resources shooting both sequences in the first place.


The disc’s visual transfer makes Osin’s depressingly overcast cinematography look good on screen, while the audio track is Dolby Digital 5.1 English.



Review by John Li


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