Film Review: The Returned
My Rating: 4 ½ craft beers on a 6-pack scale.
Runtime: 98 mins
Directed by: Manuel Carballo
Writers: Hatem Khraiche
Stars: Kris Holden-Reid, Emily Hampshire, Claudia Bassols
Note: English language film, shot in Canada, production company based in Spain. Watched via stream from Netflix.
Want to see a very different take on the zombie apocalypse and the impact it would have on the world? Well, look no further than the excellent indie film The Returned. There are NO spoilers below so don’t be worried.
This is not a movie with buckets of blood (the first 3-minutes of the title segment notwithstanding), deeply flawed and yet lovable survivors, and nor does it feature the lost child looking for someone to protect and adopt them as their own. The Returned is a movie about how the world, which survived an outbreak or two already of the zombie plague, managed to hold society together in the aftermath with fears of a new outbreak looming. Some, but in my opinion, not enough of the flaws of society are exposed here. But there is certainly enough to have a discussion with fellow zombie lovers afterwards over a bottle of wine or some craft beer (I’m on board with the latter).
The IMDB rating for it is surprisingly low. When this was written it had an average 5.9/10 rating by the nearly 4700 raters. The metascore was also lower than I expected. Much, much lower in fact. I wonder if these ratings can be attributed to all The Walking Dead and World War Z lovers out there that felt cheated that it wasn’t 98-minutes of skulls being caved in and intestines pulled out of the guts of unlucky folks like scarves from the shirtsleeve of a magician.
Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t the end-all be-all greatest zombie movie of all time. It is just a different kind of zombie movie. A movie you can watch while your kids are in the other room and if they happen to walk in there’s a 90% chance they won’t be severely traumatized.
In the end I was greatly entertained and left wanting more. Wanting more not because there was a tremendous lacking in this offering but because this imaginative universe can easily support a sequel and/or a prequel as well. A wonderful piece for those that love the zombie genre but need a bit of a break from the gritty, bloodbath, and ultra-depressing dystopian/apocalyptic world displayed on our entertainment screens day-in and day-out.
Prediction: When will we see the first zombie based “reality” TV series? When creative television is truly dead and the ratings will be off-the-hook no doubt. (You heard it here first).
Oh…and what’s the best thing after a movie? How about a good read!