By RJ Bayley
Writer/director Megan Freel’s Rebound is a strange beast. It feels like an intensely personal movie. The film is an absolutely singular exploration of the mindset of someone who, already failing to meet their own goals in life, finds their boyfriend cheating on them in the most horrific manner imaginable. The exploration of this mindset doesn’t just take place within the mind however. It’s extrapolated externally so the entire world seems to be against her. We see reality very much through protagonist Claire’s (Ashley James) eyes.
As such the plot is possibly the simplest I’ve ever seen in a feature film, so description of any part of it could easily be considered substantial spoiler territory, so here’s fair warning. The story sees Claire moving from L.A. to Chicago. Catching her boyfriend cheating is the final straw in a life of failing to start an acting career. On her journey she’s subject to some very unfortunate luck before breaking down and marooning in a middle of nowhere town. Here she’s abducted by car mechanic Eddie (Mark Schiebmeir) who tries to tries to torture her into no longer seeking the approval of all men in her life. That last sentence is almost the entirety of the climax. Other than that there is no horror other than a poorly handled attempt at building suspense. With so little plot and only 3 and a half characters in the movie, this could easily be hacked down to a short film.
Oddly, however, the feature really works. The execution isn’t great, and James’ acting leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s so determinedly about just this one thing that it’s like no film you’ve ever seen. Rebound is compelling by design. Almost experimental, it’s worth seeking out.
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