THE RETURNED DVD (2013)
SYNOPSIS: Kate and Alex make an enviable couple: They are young, successful and very much in love. Kate works at the hospital in the Return Unit, helping those who have been infected by the virus. Kate’s dedication to her work is absolute, but few people realize that for her it is also a personal matter; Kate’s own husband, Alex, has been returned. After various brutal and prolific attacks at the hands of Anti-Return groups and rumors that the “Protein” stock is running dangerously low, Kate fears for Alex’s safety. Suspicious of the government’s order that all the returned should report to a secure medical facility ‘for their own safety’, the couple decides to flee, taking with them all the doses of “Return Protein” they have. Kate has a contact on the inside and is sure she can get hold of more doses until the situation calms down, but now they are in a race against the clock. What if Alex runs out of time? And what will happen if Alex, now a fugitive, is discovered? At no point does the couple imagine that the real threat is a lot closer than they think...
The 94 minute movie is set in a world where a deadly zombie virus has infected mankind, and a single cure has been found. The cure is a treatment called the "Return Protein" which stays the effects of the virus in its host. With injections every 36 hours, the "Returned" are able to live as though they were never bit, despite the virus still coursing through their veins. When it is discovered that the protein stock is running low, chaos hits the streets. Right in the middle of the action are Alex and Kate. Kate a leading doctor in the field of zombie virus' and Alex a musician with a dark secret - he is a Returned. As death and fear run rampant, Alex's secret becomes known and his dosage runs low, he and Kate must fight for a chance to live before he becomes a zombie.
How’s that for being original? The concept is similar to 2009’s Daybreakers starring Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe. Difference is, throughout this independent production, there is only one brief scene that looks like it belongs in a George Romero movie. Mostly the drama revolves around the efforts of Alex and Kate to live normal lives as an increasingly monstrous society bears down on them. There is contrast drawn between the monster and the normal is meant to serve as social commentary on capitalist society and effectively so. While this is a low budget affair and suffers from a somewhat duh ending, it is a well acted, if not thoughtful piece of work.
Emily Hampshire (Cosmopolis) and Kris Holden Ried (Underworld: The Awakening) play the protagonists of the film, and they take on their roles with conviction. Theirs is a story of love and survival, and both aspects are played out evenly. Humans become monsters, and monsters just want to be humans. While this is a often explored territory in today’s blockbusters with bigger names attached to higher budgeted projects, this is still a worthwhile B movie that you could watch to pass time on weekends.
The disc’s audio and visual transfer is decent, despite the many dark scenes in the movie.
DVD RATING :
Review by John Li