We’ve all been on the receiving end of a bad break up, it sucks. Most of us would love to skip town and start over but unfortunately for Claire (Ashley James), a cheating boyfriend is actually the best of a bad situation. After Claire finds her boyfriend in their bed with another woman she decides to leave L.A. and head cross-country back home to her parents. Along the way, her mental state begins crumbling and she is overwhelmed with anxiety and to make matters worse she finds herself broken down in a small town of odd locals.
As writer/directorial debuts go, Megan Freels shows strong promise with her ability to create fantastically intense atmosphere. I’ll be the first to admit that Claire is not the easiest girl to like at the beginning of this flick, I mean yes she’s the victim of a bad relationship but her constant helplessness grates on you after awhile. But I’ll be damned if I wasn’t on the edge of my seat with her as she drove along into the night.
Opposite Ashley James is Mark Scheibmeir as Eddie the demented mechanic. Both James and Scheibmeir have starred in various short films but Rebound is their first feature length film and both actors put their best efforts in. I know I said Claire is grating, but that is just the beginning of her arc as a fleshed out character; James makes us feel for Claire and identify with the loss of a significant other. As first time antagonists go, Mark Scheibmeir is as peculiar as they come. From the first second, we lay eyes on Eddie the late night mechanic it’s obvious he’s a nutball. What makes his performance truly freakish is his evolution from quiet creepy guy to an outlandish Joker-esque maniac.
My only complaint, and it’s minor, is even at an 84 minute run time I felt it could have been shaven down to a solid 1 hour and 15 minutes. Though the first half of the movie does a great job setting up intense sequences, hell the final act does too, there were times towards the beginning where I was just waiting for them to get on with what was coming. Aside from that, Rebound is a solid first effort from Freels and for that I am ecstatic! This industry needs more female filmmakers like Freeling who aren’t afraid to cross boundaries and write for female horror fans. I won’t spoil the end of Rebound for you but I loved what I saw and I hope that’s the direction Freeling delves into in future projects.