Reborn (2018) – Film Review
Director: Julian Richards
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Kayleigh Gilbert, Michael Paré
by Roger Crow / @RogerCrow
Fashion seems to go in 30-year cycles, which may be one of the reasons Reborn (shot two years ago) feels like a horror film from 1988.
Barbara Crampton is a treat as Lena O’Neill, the B-movie actress whose daughter was apparently stillborn 16 years earlier. However, we all know that’s not the case as in the first few minutes, during a grisly autopsy, the fate of our young antagonist is revealed.
Remarkably actress/acting coach Lena hadn’t delved into her daughter’s demise, leaving plenty of time for detective work as her path crosses with Tess Stern, a mysterious young woman who helps her seek closure of her lost child.
Michael Paré (a favourite in Streets of Fire) does a good job as the crime buster drawn into the mystery and there are a few good jump scares. However, it’s the bitchy undertone which is perhaps most rewarding. From the snarky acting agent (Rae Dawn Chong) to the miffed wannabe starlet, characters make snide comments and then you wonder whether they’ll make it to the closing credits as the teen with special powers unleashes her rage.
Yes, Reborn owes a homage to Carrie and Firestarter. That closing scene is remarkably similar to one Stephen King-inspired classic. But there’s no pretence here. It’s a solid nuts and bolts thriller which adheres to the usual horror rules, and makes the most of its modest budget.
“Enjoyable enough diversion”
Genre fans will enjoy spotting a nod to Ms Crampton’s previous horror classic From Beyond, and director Julian Richards does a good job with the screenplay.
Kayleigh Gilbert also deserves a mention as Tess, the obligatory tormented anti-heroine who helps sell the premise.
Though the editing could have been tighter and one seasoned actor should have been replaced, this is an enjoyable enough diversion to take your mind off the real world horrors unfolding daily.