Rebound (2014)

ReboundStarring Ashley James, Mark Scheibmeir, Liz Bauer

Directed by Megan Freels

To have one’s suspicions confirmed that your loved one is screwing around behind your back is enough to send any sane mind into an absolute tailspin – while some respond with blinding violence, others opt to throw the offending cheater out on their keester, but who would have thought that taking the safest route, in which the person who got their heart broken decides to up and leave the situation entirely, would be the one facing the most danger?

Megan Freels, who has worked in the biz as both a producer and writer (and is the granddaughter of noted author and screenwriter Elmore Leonard), takes her rightful seat in the director’s chair for the first time with her tale of heartbreaking loss, followed by a brief instance of renewed independence, and ultimately showcasing torturous intent.

The film is called Rebound, and it will make you think twice about moving into uncharted territory after suffering a distressing relationship split. It stars Ashley James as Claire, a cute-as-a-button aspiring actress who one day stumbles onto a very painful sight to behold – her boyfriend is caught performing mattress calisthenics with a buxom beauty in the bed they’ve shared together for the past 3 years. Acting upon inconsolable devastation, Claire packs her things and prepares to make the drive cross-country to move back in with her family in Chicago. – fed up with the lack of acting prospects and now being phased out by a deceitful lover, she not necessarily sees this as a solution, rather more an escape – BIG MISTAKE.

She isn’t out on the road for long before the customary horror/thriller movie car trouble/lost cellphone predicament strikes our jilted sweetheart, and help is on the way via ultra-creepy mechanic Eddie (Mark Scheibmeir) – his actions are as placid as his tone; however, something seems off with this grease monkey…aah, maybe I’m just being overly suspicious. Facing a sizable repair bill (that Claire talks down after turning on the redheaded charm), she is forced to wait overnight until the next day when a new part can be ordered – lucky her. A quickie stop at a local watering hole for a bite to eat and a drink showcases more of the oddball locals- from a less than hospitable barkeep to an ornery barfly, it just looks like Claire can’t get anyone to shine on her infelicitous circumstance. After an inexplicably potent cocktail gives Claire a case of the blurry-eyes, the real fun begins (well, not so much for her) – and before I ruin the remainder of the film for a prospective viewer, I’ll clasp my pie-hole shut.

What remains is a two-person act of torturous action and revelation, followed by a rather surprising conclusion, and it is all bestowed to the spectator fairly well. The performances are exactly what they are presented to us as – simple, textbook, and not overly acted out – there isn’t any hamming up here, and the entertainers’ ability to deliver lines without looking like they’re scanning cue-cards is a blessing for a low-budget indie flick. I’ve laid eyes upon some deplorable portrayals before when sitting through a film, and this is far from that, but if I had to latch on to a negative, it would be that at times there didn’t seem to be ENOUGH enthusiasm when displaying certain emotions – nonetheless, it’s a minor blemish on a nicely put-together piece.

Freels lays out a very simple premise and doesn’t confuse the viewer by tossing in a multitude of complex characters and instances – she describes the film as “a slow-burn, film-noir-type piece,” and I’ll be the first to admit, it was enjoyable for a relatively quick (albeit too short) 84-minute jaunt into the downside of traveling into unfamiliar terrain and the price that is paid as a result. Once this Rebound bounces back your way, I’d advise giving it a look.

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Matt Boiselle

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