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The Return review

She gulps a hell of a lot, her cardigan sleeves are pulled down over her hands and her forehead’s slightly furrowed (not too much, mind, it could make her look old). It can only mean one thing: Sarah Michelle Gellar is acting. Buffy does drama in The Return, another Ring rip-off shot in desolate greys and set in depopulated towns where streets seem to stay empty 24/7.

She plays Joanna, a go-getting sales rep in the Midwest who’s troubled by visions of a murder and stalked by a ghostly redneck. So she runs, she squeals and she tries to look vulnerably brave with all 5’ 3” of her stature. The scares are stunted – a bit like the lead actress, then – as director Asif Kapadia (The Warrior) gives up on the serious (read desperately dull) script and ‘crafts’ shocks using nothing more than his editing scissors and the orchestra’s percussion section.

 

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