Hear the Kerrang Radio review
What could be more thrilling than your dead ex turning up on your doorstep after 10 years? Nothing is the correct answer of course but in Channel 4’s French import The Returned Adèle takes decade-croaked Simon (Pierre Perrier) pummelling on her door as a cue to scream like a loon as if something really awful had happened. She’s not alone. Others have Returned. Take Camille (Yara Pilartz). Four years previously she was on a school bus idly winding its way up an Alpine mountain path no doubt to some hateful chalet, base camp or rock formation when it hurtled over the edge having swerved to avoid a creepy looking infant boy stood, Don Logan style “like a cunt”, in the middle of the road. Now she rolls up home with no memory of the past 4 years all “what’s for dinner mom?” as if nothing has happened. Weird, non?
“Camille was on a school bus idly winding its way up an Alpine mountain path no doubt to some hateful chalet, base camp or rock formation when it hurtled over the edge having swerved to avoid a creepy looking infant boy stood, Don Logan style ‘like a cunt’, in the middle of the road.”
Her shocked mother tries not to alarm the revenant perhaps anxious not to frighten her or break the spell. Twin sister Lena (Jenna Thiam) is now 18 and can only scream at the sight of the phantom limb ripped from her 4 years previously.
And Simon still can’t work out why Adèle isn’t answering him. Ancient Mister Costa greets the 30 years dead Mrs Costa by binding, gagging her and torching their home. It looks like nobody wants to revisit their past but it’s not going away any time soon.
It’s a gently bleak and thoughtful story that unwinds in its own time in a matter-of-fact manner without ever trying to sell you on the unbelievable spectacle of the risen dead, quite happy to merely state it as a bald fact. It’s been marketed as a zombie drama but at its heart it’s a supernatural chiller with a central mystery it is quite happy to unravel calmly and slowly. No one is calling it a laugh a minute but you’ll wind up wanting to watch the second one.
The verdict on The Returned : Ghouls out for summer.
Marks out of 10: 7.5
Imagined: Tuesday, June 11, 2013