Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Movie Review: The Return

Last week ( I think, I'm getting old you know) I went to see Sarah Michelle Gellar's latest movie, The Return. Having a soft spot for 'Buffy' and her projects (Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, etc.), as well as being in the mood for a creepy movie, I thought surely I couldn't miss. Boy, I couldn't have been wrongerer (<-----made up word).

For those who may not know the premise of the film, here is a brief synopsis AND the original movie trailer: Joanna Mills (Gellar), a traveling business woman, begins having nightmares of a murder that occurred 15 years ago. Soon she is drawn to an old farmhouse, where the murder took place.


Looks/sounds promising, right? Wrong. Wow, this movie stunk. It should have been rated 'P-U.' I should have been suspicious when I realized that I was the only soul in the entire theater. Forty-five minutes into the movie I found myself pumping my legs up and down, wishing it would hurry up and GO SOMEWHERE. I can honestly say this is the first and only movie I have ever seen at the theater where I actually didn't give a second thought to getting up and going to the bathroom. I never feared for a moment that I would miss anything. And I didn't. I came back to another go-nowhere scene. I should have gone to see Borat. I wound up wanting a Return of my money.

Here are the pros and cons in a nutshell:

First the Pros, since there are so few of them:
• The movie had a great, dark, foreboding look to it that would have been a perfect compliment to the atmosphere, if there was any.

Now for the Cons:
• The movie relied on loud sounds/sudden 'startles' for its' "scares." This happened A LOT. You tend to get numb to the schtick after the 3rd time around.
• What was with the continuous close-ups of Gellar's nose and the vehicle she was driving? Yeah, we get it. It's Texas. Everyone in rural Texas drives an all terrain vehicle and resides in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style home. Also, meat hooks and meat are around every corner. Cliche.
• The delivery of the material was as convoluted as the plot. Sure, I appreciate that not every movie has to spell out every little detail, that sometimes piecing together the puzzle on your own is half the fun. However, in this case, the puzzle pieces were all the same color and several pieces were missing.
• What was with the guy (Peter O'Brien) cast opposite of Gellar? Is he really the best they could come up with? Forget the 17 year age difference, and the fact that they're somewhat love interests, he brought absolutely nothing to the role but questions of "Who is this guy and why is he playing opposite Gellar?" And while we're on the topic of appearances, Gellar's hair looked painted on. No ones' hair is that devoid of highlights and/or color nuances, however subtle. BAD. Plus, her teeth were distractingly white.
• How come key scenes that were in the trailer to sell the "scare" factor, weren't in the movie? What's that about?
• The shaky zoom-in editing style was distracting and without merit. Don't use a camera gimmick unless the scene calls for it. Too many of today's horror/thriller directors try to get too "creative" with the angles and end up coming off looking generic and forced.
• The movie's plot is so convoluted that it doesn't give the viewer enough to work with and leaves you wondering "What the hell is going on? What is the significance of this scene? Where-the-fuck is this moving going?" Sure, the movie ends up answering these questions in the last 15-20 minutes, but by that time the viewer has lost complete and utter interest in the characters and the subsequent situations they continue to find themselves in. BAD SCRIPT. I'm still baffled as to why Gellar took this project. One can only hope it was a contractual obligation and not by choice. Painfully plodding, jumbled mess of a 'thriller.' A thriller completely devoid of thrills.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ark said...

I only had a little interest in this in the first place but now eh I will wait for video and then I may not even bother to rent it hehe.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Ark-
Well, everyone has different opinions as to what is good and what isn't (I think we've touched on this topic before ;), but this one was a real snoozer. Rent it if you can't sleep. It's a celluloid sleeping pill.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Friday, December 08, 2006 5:16:00 AM  

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