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The Returned

Where to Watch The Returned


The Returned from 2013, directed by Manuel Carballo, is an engrossing and poignant thriller that seamlessly fuses elements of horror, science fiction, and drama into a single narrative. Starring Emily Hampshire, Kris Holden-Ried, and Shawn Doyle, this film takes a unique approach to the concept of a zombie film and raises substantial questions about humanity, morality, and love in the face of fear and adversity.

The movie is set in a dystopian world that has managed to narrowly survive a massive outbreak of a zombie virus. Instead of focusing on the chaotic outbreak, however, the story picks up after the world has seemingly awoken from its nightmare. A medical miracle has been found to suppress the insatiable hunger for human flesh that the infected have, which leads to these individuals being called "the returned."

In this society, the infected are not mindless corpses. They are "the returned" because they can function completely normally until they run out of their supply of the protein-based treatment. Only after that do they become a true threat. The film lays a perfect foundation of higher stakes through the national shortage of this "cure," potentially putting every person who is a "returned" in the horrifying situation of transforming back into a zombie.

The movie's protagonists are Kate (Emily Hampshire), a physician dedicated to finding a permanent cure for the returned, and Alex (Kris Holden-Ried), her partner and a returned. The couple's world revolves around their love for each other and their collective attempt to keep Alex's returned status a secret as they fear public backlash and ostracization.

The supporting character, Jacob (Shawn Doyle), quietly adds complexity and depth to the narrative. From the beginning of the film, the terror is not presented as the monsters themselves, but the socio-political climate surrounding them; the infiltrating fear that somebody among us could "turn," which is personified by Jacob's role.

Director Manuel Carballo interestingly shifts the paradigm of traditional zombie horror, asking viewers to consider the survivors and their coping mechanisms instead. The atmosphere presented is not one of constant fear and danger, but an uneasy calm before a storm.

The Returned also delves into the societal prejudices and hatred faced by those infected. It focuses less on the fight against the mindless zombies, and more on the prejudicial views of society against 'the Returned,' while the tension between the uninfected population and 'the Returned' serves as a symbolic commentary on the fear of the other that many societies endure.

Despite being enveloped in a horror backdrop, the movie is also a love story. The chemistry between the leads – Kate and Alex – is beautifully portrayed. Their relationship seems ordinary and sincere, and yet extraordinary for the tenacity with which they fight for normalcy and each other. The lengths that Kate goes to protect Alex from rebecoming a flesh-eater lend emotional weight to the taut and suspenseful narrative, keeping viewers thoroughly invested.

Furthermore, the narrative expertly explores the theme of morality. It asks us complex questions. What does it mean to be human? Are we defined by our worst mistakes or how we choose to repair them? At the same time, it opens up the discourse on how societies discriminate against those perceived as different.

The central performances of the film deserve much praise. Emily Hampshire as Kate is remarkable, bringing emotional depth and a powerful conviction to her role. Kris Holden-Ried’s portrayal of Alex is finely nuanced, and his efforts to retain his humanity in the face of growing dread make his performance truly memorable. Shawn Doyle as Jacob masterfully adds a layer of tension, aiding to the central conflict.

The Returned succeeds as a unique blend of horror, drama, and romance, underscored by science fiction. Rather than leaning into gore and horror, it presents a thought-provoking narrative filled with emotional intensity and psychological suspense. It's a riveting human drama about resilience and reformation that, despite its zombie outbreak premise, heartbreakingly reminds us that often the real monsters are the prejudices we harbor and the fears we allow to divide us. It's a must-watch for viewers seeking substance alongside suspense in the horror genre.

The Returned is a Horror, Thriller, Drama movie released in 2014. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 47.

How to Watch The Returned

Where can I stream The Returned movie online? The Returned is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Vudu Free, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Returned for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Manuel Carballo
Kris Holden-Ried, Emily Hampshire, Shawn Doyle
Also directed by Manuel Carballo
Also starring Emily Hampshire
Also starring Kris Holden-Ried
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