Julian Richards (director)
02 May 2020 (released)
26 April 2020
There’s a lot of very familiar elements that have gone in to Reborn and blended into a story that holds up well for the most part.
Opening with a very effective and creepy scene of morgue attendant Ken Stern (Chaz Bono) taking photos of nude dead females when there’s a power fault followed by a charge of electricity that brings a stillborn babe back to life, which Ken takes home.
Moving forward sixteen years and we see Lena O’Neil (Barbara Crampton) not having much luck in the latter phase of her acting career in conversation with her agent Dory (Rae Dawn Chong) about getting things moving again with an audition for Peter Bogdanovich’s new film.
Parallel to this there’s Ken with Tess (Kayleigh Gilbert) in what is a very strange arrangement living with him and his mother. Having now turned sixteen Tess escapes from Ken with a vivid demonstration of her power.
Tess now starts to look for her birth mother while also having a side-line in violent murder. Lena meanwhile is seeking therapy, in a wonderful couple of scenes with Monte Markham playing Dr Hetch, as they breakdown how to deal with Lena’s guilt about her stillbirth many years ago, and maybe get some closure.
The aforementioned killings have caught the attention of and draw-in Detective Marc Fox (Michael Paré) whose deductions lead him to suspect and initially question Lena about them.
Matters start to develop quickly and pieces start to fit together with one element having just that bit more information than the other which adds a nice nuance. As in the scenes where Lena and Tess meet at former's acting classes (which she runs to supplement her income) where Tess plays a star turn much to the chagrin of up and coming starlet Gia Fontaine (Alexa Maris).
Director Julian Richards and writer Michael Mahin haven’t come up with anything particularly original and Reborn has a very 80’s tone about it. There are a few choice killings with reasonable effects bearing in mind the small budget and very quick production.
And up until the last act the film it’s a sure-footed thriller, it just loses it a trifle towards the end. That said the cast, an ensemble of relative newcomers and more experienced actors, are very good. There’s also plenty here for genre buffs to mull over with nods and winks all over the place to past horror movies. All in all an enjoyable eighty minutes or so.
Reborn will receive a digital release in the UK on May 4th 2020 and a DVD release on May 11th.