A stillborn baby girl is abducted by a morgue attendant and brought back to life by electrokinetic power. On her 16th birthday, she escapes captivity and sets out to find her birth mother, leaving a trail of destruction behind her.
Starring horror heavyweight Barbara Crampton as well as the talents of Kayleigh Gilbert, Chaz Bono, Rae Dawn Chong, Monte Markham, Peter Bogdanovich, and Michael Pare, Reborn is the story of Tess, a troubled teen with electrokinesis on a search for family and truth. Directed by Julian Richards and written by Michael Mahin, Reborn tries to emulate classics in a similar vein such as Carrie (1976), Firestarter (1984), and Scanners (1981).
Having only a handful of films under her belt, Kayleigh Gilbert still manages to pull off a decent performance as the lead role, Tess. Her over-teased hair and emo girl demeanour help sell the whole “brought back via electricity” thing, though there is definitely still room for improvement. There was very little character development when it came to our protagonist, her persona pretty much just meandering through the film and murdering anything that dares look at her funny, which was honestly rather disappointing. I do blame the writing here over the acting though as Tess could and should have been a bit more than Ms Self-Destruct.
Crampton returns to our screens playing Tess’ mother, Lena O’Neill; an ageing actress that gives classes to up and coming Hollywood wannabees while still searching for her chef-d’œuvre. Sharing comparable time with our leading lady, Reborn definitely tries to milk Crampton’s presence for all it is worth—with the mother-daughter relationship the cornerstone of the plot…that and the killing and electricity and stuff.
The production value is a cut above B-grade, but not much more than a good indie film. The special effects were surprisingly good and the film checks all the boxes when it comes to standard (decent) editing and score, etc. There is no real punch though; no mind-blowing action scene or kill shot that is going to make those jaws drop. There are no clever twists or turns that will bring you to the edge of your seat. That said, you could be doing a lot worse than a beer, a bong, a bowl of popcorn, and a night with Reborn—especially during this bloody lockdown.
Overall, Reborn is a fun flick and I found myself enjoying most of the 75-minute runtime. It definitely took me back to those classic films of the 80s. It is exactly how a lot of films used to be: a little cheese; a little humour; plenty of inventive kills; some dark, tongue-in-cheek comedy; an attractive lead and a plot your annoying cousin Pete could follow without asking too many stupid questions. I had an awesome time with the film and if that sounds like a good night to you, you will too.
Reborn definitely does not fire on all cylinders, but it delivers where it matters. If Carrie is a fine wine and Firestarter a single malt, Reborn is a vodka lime. You will have plenty of folks that will turn their noses up but at the end of the day, films in this genre all satisfy the same itch. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and poster below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.