This Film is NOT a Future Release.
The Following Preview has been Archived.
September 15th, 2006:
Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar
) is a resourceful, young Midwesterner, living a secluded life as a sales representative for a trucking company. She’s been quite successful professionally, but her personal life has suffered as a result of her frequent travels and motel stays. Estranged from her father (Sam Shepard
) and stalked by an ex-boyfriend (Adam Scott
), the lonely Joanna is starting to feel her sanity slowly slipping away. Haunted by increasingly terrifying visions of an unknown young woman’s brutal murder, she is guided to the victim’s hometown, determined to end the hallucinations once and for all. As she stumbles onto and begins to understand unimaginable secrets, she realizes that the vicious killer in her nightmares may be real and may want to make her his next victim.What to Expect:
Director Asif Kapadia
’s only other feature was the critically acclaimed film “The Warrior.” The epic tale of one man’s quest for a new life and a new purpose in feudal India was actually Britain’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2003 Oscars. Despite the UK production and the fact that Kapadia is a British-born director, the Academy rejected the selection based on the feature’s Hindi language, which they claimed prevented it from being treated as a British film. “The Warrior” did eventually go on to win for Best British Film at the 2003 British Academy Awards. Clearly, it also got him noticed in the States and has led to this far more lucrative, albeit far more generic Hollywood production. Article continues below
For The Return, Kapadia is working from a screenplay by Adam Sussman, who makes his screenwriting debut after contributing to the poorly received and short-lived television program “Night Stalker,” which is still hanging on for dear life on the Sci-Fi Channel. Given his previous effort, one would hope for a more promising follow-up from Kapadia, but I sense that this is the “get on studio’s good graces” type of project for him as well as Sussman. Perhaps it will lead to better things in the future.
For Sarah Michelle Gellar, on the other hand, The Return appears to be nothing out of the ordinary. Ever since her role in I Know What You Did Last Summer, she has been treated as one of the royal scream queens. A huge $39 million opening weekend and eventual $110 million box-office run from her horror flick The Grudge a couple of years ago has totally resurrected her career in the genre. The Return sounds almost like a Grudge spin-off. Meanwhile, the actress is still expected to make a cameo in the actual sequel, which hits theaters this October. She may not get an Academy Award for her efforts, but audiences, especially teenagers, always seem to respond well to her thrillers. Whether they will react enthusiastically to her new brunette hairdo is an entirely different story. Clearly, producers seem to believe in Gellar wholeheartedly because she will essentially have to carry this picture all on her own. Aside from the class that Sam Shepard (Days of Heaven, Black Hawk Down, The Notebook) should bring to the movie as her estranged, but caring father, there will not be any input from any other significant Hollywood players.
Reportedly, the title refers to the idea of reincarnation.
Indeed, Joanna is likely to be the reincarnation of the murdered woman she has been having visions about. I suppose the story could be viewed as a spirit’s return for vengeance.
***END OF SPOILER***
Regardless, the film will feature all the horror staples of recent years, including a creepy kid, a creepy secluded town, and a creepy stalker mechanic. With a PG-13 rating it is bound to offer a few jolts, but no real horrific terror. In reality, I’m starting to get tired of repeating myself whenever discussing these horror flicks targeted at the same teenage demographic. The Return was originally scheduled for a September 1st release, but it has been bouncing around all over the calendar since then. Currently it is scheduled for release shortly after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
, The Grudge 2
, and Saw III
hit theaters and by that time, the public’s yearly Halloween craving for horror may be completely satiated. The relatively unspectacular trailer where nothing remarkable seems to happen may not help things either.In Conclusion:
I believe all the upcoming horror sequels have a better shot at box-office success than The Return. There really are beginning to be far too many entries in this genre and when pressed to choose, viewers are probably going to go with the more familiar sequels. Even Gellar’s star power may not be enough to propel The Return, which has failed to distinguish itself in any way. I can’t imagine that it will bomb completely, but the studios should not expect Grudge-like numbers.Similar Titles: The Grudge
, The Ring 2
, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer