‘The Return’


The Return gets this year’s award for most misleading poster, with its empty-eyed, gray-skinned zombie/ghost that appears nowhere in the movie. You might, however, feel a little empty-eyed and zombie-like yourself after emerging from this languid story. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who wouldn’t know a good movie script if it stabbed her in the heart, plays an agriculture saleswoman who occasionally hallucinates about a mysterious, ponytailed man in blue jeans. As she travels to a small Texas town to figure it all out, she sometimes hears noises, sees her eyes change color in the mirror, and runs into deserted barns. Also, an angry co-worker surfaces occasionally to try to rape her. A halfway decent editor could easily chop this down to 30 minutes without losing any plot points, but it would still be a tedious slog. Sam Shepard makes an appearance as Gellar’s dad, and single-handedly shows up everyone else onscreen by actually displaying human characteristics. In fairness, the final plot revelation is so ludicrous you’ll probably never guess it.