Reborn (15) | Home Ents Review

Dir. Julian Richards, US, 2018, 77 mins

Cast: Barbara Crampton, Michael Pare, Kayleigh Gilbert

Review by Michelle Moore

Today, if a mother was to lose a child, there are systems in place to help with the grief, a service may be held and the family are given professional help to deal with their loss.

However, this was not the case many years ago and Reborn certainly has an 80s feel to it. It opens in a dark and gloomy basement morgue of a hospital where a morgue assistant is taking nude photographs of a female cadaver. As a storm rumble in the background, a lightning strike hits the building and a stillborn child is bought back to life. However, rather than reporting this, the twisted assistant takes the child home and raises her as his sibling, although it appears to be under violent and cruel circumstances.

Sixteen years later, Tess (Gilbert) questions her capturer about her birth mother, a secret he promised to revel on her 16th birthday. After some vile threats of what would need to be done in order to revel such information, Tess gets angry, violent and her emotions cause some type of electro kinesis, allowing her to escape his clutches.
Discovering what a sadistic man he is, reveals when threatened her true nature. She sets out on a quest to find her birth mother, leaving a trail of blood behind her. It is slightly odd that when Tess first uses her power of electro kinesis she appears unfazed, in fact she cuts off the metal bracelet that she has been wearing against her will and instantly has a handle on her powers.

As Tess heads out to find her birth mother, she is met by a struggling film actress, Lena O’Neill (Crampton), who has punished herself everyday with the vain decision she made 16 years ago of choosing not to bear the scar of a caesarean birth – one she believed caused her child’s death. She is at first delighted when she meets Tess, a young individual who she bonds with over reading lines, however this quickly turns sour when Tess becomes possessive and Lena’s close friends/colleagues are killed in strange situations.

Gilbert plays the bad girl well, putting across to the audience her struggles within captivity, her ambition to escape and her willingness to do whatever it takes to meet the mother she has dreamt of for sixteen years and no one will be getting in her path; she plays a lost, lonely and abused child on the brink of adulthood.

There is an odd feel to Reborn, something that has you sitting uneasy the whole way through. This child is bought back to life with a lightning strike, like a monster from a professor’s lab like Frankenstein. Her powers, not unlike Carrie (Stephen King) revolve around emotions, and in this instance, they allow her the power of electro kinesis. She is almost made out to be a monster rather than a child taken at birth and bought up in horrendous conditions.
At less than 90 minutes long the movie is fairly short therefore things happen quickly and there is little time for waiting around and the narrative to drag on. Reborn is classed as a horror film with a supernatural premise, though it’s not so much scary as unnerving.

Reborn will be available on Digital Download from 4th May and on DVD from 11th May