Friday, July 26, 2019

Reborn is a Live Wire: A Film Review

*full disclosure: an online screener of this film was provided by Jinga Films.

Tagline: "Carrie for the Z Generation."

Director: Julian Richards.

Writer: Michael Mahin.

Cast: Barbara Crampton, Michael Paré, Kayleigh Gilbert, Rae Dawn Chong and Chaz Bono.

Reborn is a horror thriller from director Julian Richards (Darklands) and writer Michael Mahin. Just coming off a film festival run, Reborn is slated for an upcoming U.S. release, this September. Influenced by films of the past, like Carrie (1976) and Firestarter (1984), Reborn gives one traumatized, young woman electrokinetic powers. Determined to reunite with her mother, Tess (Kayleigh Gilbert) will not let anyone stand in between her and her goal. Reborn is an entertaining thriller, which moves along at a quick clip. And, this is one indie, horror film that should be seen by audiences.

Right from the film's poster, Reborn admits its influences. The graphic references Carrie in the tagline: "Carrie for the Z Generation." The film even lifts a scene from Brian De Palma's 1976 film, involving a buried corpse. There are also elements of Stephen King's Firestarter here. Instead of fire, Tess uses electricity to murder her victims. Though, Tess is much more of a villain than little Charlie McGee. There is even a possible reference to Psycho. One degenerate character houses his dead mother, in an upstairs bedroom. Other viewers may see other horror film influences, in Julian Richard's latest title.

As the story goes, Reborn is constantly trying to reunite a lost daughter with her mother. Actress Barbara Crampton (You're Next) plays the mother, Lena. Lena heads to the hospital where her baby was supposedly stillborn. However, a lightning storm and power surge changed this tragic death into a rebirth. At sixteen, Tess learns the truth that her caregivers are not related to her. After dispatching one deceiver, Tess heads out into the world to find her mother. As paths finally cross, Tess begins to try and protect her mother, when the relationship should have been the other way around.

Reborn is consistently an entertaining watch. The film is never boring, nor sluggish. There are interesting deaths as Tess utilizes her unique powers to: run cars over victims, bring occupied elevators to heights and then to explosive lows and even to bring a power pole down on someone. One jump scare, involving the car accident, even managed to startle this long time horror fan. Meanwhile, the characters are consistently being developed through their interactions. Each character is believable, with one detective determined to stop this murder spree. Moving along at a quick clip, Reborn is over before you know it, enticing you to watch it again.

Reborn has won a few awards, both domestically and abroad. A "Best Horror Feature" at a few film festivals, Reborn is set to show in North America, through a wide release, this September 17th; Vertical Entertainment will handle this release. About a traumatized young woman and her desire to reunite with her lost mother, Reborn develops itself on an interesting premise. All of the other, minor characters have a short shelf life, once they are introduced to Tess. Full of interesting scenes and outlandish deaths, Reborn is a horror thriller for those seeking out something a bit refreshing, despite the film's obvious influences.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

The film's official homepage: The Reborn Homepage

Reborn at Jinga Films: Reborn Story Details at Jinga Films

The film from which something is borrowed in Reborn (Carrie, 1976):

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