08th Apr2021

‘Reunion’ VOD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Julia Ormond, Emma Draper, John Bach, Nancy Brunning, Cohen Holloway, Ava Keane, Gina Laverty | Written and Directed by Jake Mahaffy

Family reunions always seem to reveal skeletons in the closet, and Reunion is no different. What we get with this new horror though is a mystery and a ghost story that feels original and is well worth checking out.

When a pregnant women returns to her recently-deceased grandparents’ home to clear it out she finds her estranged mother is there waiting for her. With the house full of tension, it is not long before old ghosts from the past appear to push for the answer to a mystery from the past.

A haunted house movie that holds a mystery from the past is nothing new, but what is interesting is the mystery itself. The main character Ellie (Emma Draper) is a writer looking into witchcraft and its connection to modern science, and while on the surface this does not seem to influence the ghost story, we see it’s connection more in this story.

What we see with Reunion is a mystery that is built up as the story progresses and one that is not as predictable as most. We are shown why there is tension between the mother and daughter, and we are shown the unhealthy relationship resurface as the haunting becomes worse. The fact that Ellie has a history of mental illness also is brought into question with the audience teased with the fact at what is happening could be more down to that and her pregnancy or the actual supernatural.

Over the years New Zealand horror has presented itself to be something different and refreshing, and Reunion is yet another example of this. With such a small cast, it is fair to say that both Emma Draper and Julie Ormond stand out, but the cast are well picked and play their parts well.

The slow pace of Reunion may not be for everybody, this is not one that relies on constant shock scares to get the audience’s attention, this is a film that is driven by it is narrative and slowly builds up a story until things explode in the end when the truth is finally revealed. It is nice at a time when more intellectual horror is becoming popular among fans, that we have another to add to the list of more cerebral options.

While Reunion is not perfect, it is a good change from the action style horror that Hollywood likes to push out. There are many questions raised in the movie, with surprising answers that are revealed. While it probably will not stay in the viewers minds for too long, Reunion is a movie that offers something a little different and delivers, which is something I will always enjoy from the horror genre.

**** 4/5

Reunion is available digitally now.

Review originally posted on PissedoffGeek

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