A heavily pregnant young woman, Ellie (Emma Draper), returns to the family home after the death of her grandparents. Hoping to get stuck into some work on her new book (relating to all things black magic and the occult) she is sorely mistaken as she deals with her mother’s madness, Ivy (Julia Armond), the mass and din of the home being packed up and prepared for sale and her own pregnancy.
To add to the fun, Ellie is being haunted by the events that happened to her in the house as a child. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t go into too much detail on what happens next but if you like a slow-burning mystery, this one’s for you (Scary House, Scary Mother, Scary Storyline!).
On paper, Reunion has the makings of a great horror film and although it didn’t make the cut to my “great” list, it still has many moments which were still good. What I loved was the apparent homage to the Director’s Cut of Donnie Darko (if you know, you know). Perfectly timed cutaways to stunning imagery that moves the story forward and adds multiple layers of creep-factor.
The acting was also a stand-out. Julia Ormond is perfectly overbearing and passive-aggressive, making us want to take her daughter in and give her a big ‘ol hug. Actress Emma Draper plays an equally fantastic role, capturing the essence of a daughter who made her escape and had no desire of coming back. The pacing and “telling” of the story were not as strong. I found myself getting frustrated at times and waiting for the filmmaking to get to the point. That said, I am an impatient soul.
Overall, with the biggest stand-out coming from actress Julia Ormond, Reunion is a film that has clearly been shot on a low budget and the filmmakers had the foresight to bump up the production value with some lo-fi footage and those Donnie-Darko-Esque cutaways that we’re able to set this film apart. All in all, this is a good but sadly, not great – horror outing, with enough to keep movie lovers guessing and wanting for more.