Rebound

Released: 2014

Written and Directed by Megan Freels

Claire is distraught after walking in on her boyfriend and another woman. She quickly decides to move back home to Chicago. On the way, she encounters a good bit of bad luck.

Rebound is visceral and feels real, for the most part (more on this later). It goes a long way in capturing the gritty low-budget aesthetic that has long been dominated by found footage.

This film consists of three movements, each varying in pacing and tone. The first establishes Claire's emotional trauma and persistent instability. The stage is set by the opening credits where the cheating scene is played over and over in Claire's mind. That there are opening credits at all says a lot toward the low-budget aesthetic.

In the second, the tone changes from emotional to sinister. The audience feels that there's trouble afoot, but we're not sure where from. We are treated to an audio accompaniment in the style of John Carpenter, which both functionally and by allusion builds the tension (as explained by Kool Keith here).

The third movement is where Rebound is most modern. The mystery is over; the audience no longer feels around in the dark. While the final movement is less satisfying than the previous two, perhaps because the mystery is gone, it is still an enjoyable conclusion.

All this said, the problematic aspects of the film are its transitions between movements. These abruptly shift pacing, tone, and plot but are not well motivated by the story. It's beyond believable to chalk everything up to bad luck. Don't get me wrong; the kids in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre surely had awful luck. The difference is that their unfortunate events were more connected and felt less like cosmic injustice.

Rebound is more style than substance and accomplishes what it set out to do.

Rating: 5/10

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