Reborn, which releases today on DVD.
Creepy morgue attendant Ken Stern discovered Tess was still living, even though O’Neill’s callous doctor had cast her aside like rubbish. He brought her home for his mother to raise—and for him to abuse. Somehow, he figured out her uncanny abilities and fashioned her with an inhibitor, but when she slips out, all heck breaks loose. It is a bit problematic screenwriter Michael Mahin makes such a scummy character hearing-impaired, but it provides a handy method for Tess to dispense payback.
Nearly twenty years later, O’Neill is still grieving the daughter she never properly mourned. Prompted by her shrink, she sets out to find her body for closure, only to discover the hospital cannot properly account for it. Meanwhile, Stern starts looking for her too. As their paths start to cross, Stern meets several people who have done wrong towards her mother, but she is much less forgiving. However, the method of their deaths rather baffles Det. Marc Fox, who is also a bit of a casual O’Neill fan.
The basic premise of Reborn is pretty standard stuff, but it is elevated by some nifty performances from genre veterans. Barbara Crampton is absolutely terrific as O’Neill, especially in scenes where we see her channeling her emotions into her craft. She also has some subtly turned chemistry with Michael Paré, who makes Fox a surprisingly thoughtful and mature figure, in what could be his best screen performance in years. As a cool bonus, Monte Markham brings commanding genre authority as O’Neill’s analyst, Dr. Hetch.
Reborn is an uneven film, but Crampton and Paré’s side of the narrative works really well—as do they. Recommended for fans of the distinctive, veteran cast, Reborn releases today (7/14) on DVD.