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The Return

Canada 2020
produced by
BJ Verot, Brad Crawford, Andrew Degryse, Ken Janssens for Strata Studios
directed by BJ Verot
starring Richard Harmon, Echo Andersson, Sara Thompson, Marina Stephenson Kerr, Erik Athavale, Gwendolyn Collins, Zoe Fish, Kristen Sawatzky, Adam Brooks, Maclean Fish, Keaton Fish, Callie Lane, Jaydee-Lynn McDougall, Jan Skene
story by Ken Janssens, screenplay by Ken Janssens, BJ Verot, music by Kevon Cronin, creature design and special effects makeup by Emersen Ziffle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

After the death of his father (Erik Athavale), college student Rodger (Richard Harmon), accompanied by his girfriend Beth (Sara Thompson) and is best friend Jordan (Echo Andersson) returns to his hometown for the funeral and to sort out the inheriance. For this, Rodger moves back into his dad's house with Beth and Jordan, also to resolve many childhood issues, like why did his lond-deceased mother (Gwendolyn Collins), a brilliant physician, never let him into her office in the basement. When Rodger, Beth and Jordan go through his dad's things though, they come up with many unexpected things though, like Rodger was in psychotherapy as a child, something he cannot remember anymore. He tracks down his therapist (Marina Stephenson Kerr), but she remains evasive about his past, tells him he just had an imaginary friend who he was scared shitless of though. Rodger actually has to break into the good doctor's office though and later blackmail her to find out the "imaginary" friend was actually the friend of his deceased sister (Zoe Fish) and might not have been as imaginary as first thought. Which kind of falls in line with the fact that apparently there's another entity (Kristen Sawatzky) in the house with them, an entity that might be ghost or demon or something even worse. And whatever-it-is has apparently scared Rodger's dad to death, and later also kills Beth - and now Rodger, who only slowly begins remembering things from his past through hypnotism, tries to destroy whatever's haunting the house, and he's sure an equation he has found on his mother's whiteboard, is at the center of things ...


Now I won't lie, this movie is incredibly convoluted and far-fetched - but it's held together by strong storytelling and well fleshed out characters that this hardly matters, and the movie really manages to draw you in without ever suspending disbelief beyond breaking point. And a very solid directorial effort that relies much more on atmosphere than sensationalism, and some very grounded performances to balance the occasional outrageousness of the plot see to it that this has turned out to be a pretty tense genre piece.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD