Emma Draper

Nightstream Capsule Review: Reunion

Writer and director Jake Mahaffy (Free in Deed, Wellness) brings his latest film, Reunion, to Nightstream audiences. Pregnant Ellie returns to her family home as her mother is getting it ready to sell. From the moment Ellie arrives, old memories haunt her and unravel her relationship with her family.

While the general concept for the plot is an interesting one, it lacks a bit of finesse in the execution. From beginning to end, Reunion maintains the same level of tension, or lack thereof. There is a lot of information provided right away, but there is a general lack of context for that information. Ellie immediately sees the ghosts of her past, yet at no point does this help to build suspense or fear for the audience. Even as the audience begins to put the pieces together and the big “revelations” are made in the climax, it doesn’t really feel that climactic. The filmmakers make an attempt to play with the idea of time, reality, and even magic, but it only further confuses the story.

Despite the film’s flaws, there are positives as well. The performances by both Emma Draper (This Town, Daffodils) and Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) are quite good, given the somewhat monotone plot they were given. Between the setting of the old house and some of the practical effects, the visuals of the film are also enjoyable. The house itself is a fantastic set piece because, while it is quite large, the clutter from preparing to move makes it feels incredibly claustrophobic and increases the feeling of insanity. Reunion takes a stab at a complex idea, but it unfortunately ends up falling flat.

OVERALL RATING: 5/10