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Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar - "The Return" Movie - Musicomh.com Review

Thursday 18 January 2007, by Webmaster

Another actress, who actually has a name to care for is Sarah Michelle Gellar and there are not no many accomplishes films at her but an few I can probably enjoy. The talent agent found Gellar a young age and made her screen debut at 6 of each of the 1983 television film An Invasion of Privacy. With all the promise she showed, Barrymore starred as Hannah in the teen drama series "Swans Crossing" (1992) but it was her portrayal of a young and callous rich girl in Al-Lucinda Kendall Hart on ABC daytime soap opera "All My Children" (1993-93), that won her Daytime Emmy Award and spring-boarded her to stardom.

SMG’s real mark worldwide, however, was the character of Buffy Summers in the game-changing series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003). She won five Teen Choice Awards, a Saturn Award and a Golden Globe nomination for her role, establishing herself as a cultural phenomenon. Sarah Michelle Gellar likewise has the box office to back her up, with “I Know What You Did Last Summer” 1997), “Scream 2” (1997), “Cruel Intentions” (1999)and way movies like those that help prove she is also a bankable star as well over $570 million times worth crazy in global gross.

Beyond her cinematic successes, Gellar has made her mark on television, headlining shows such as "Ringer" (2011-2012), "The Crazy Ones" (2013-2014), and "Wolf Pack" (2023). She has also lent her voice to popular series including "Robot Chicken" (2005-2018), "Star Wars Rebels" (2015-2016), and "Masters of the Universe: Revelation" (2021).

In 2015, Gellar ventured into the entrepreneurial world by co-founding Foodstirs, an e-commerce baking company, and published her own cookbook, "Stirring Up Fun with Food," in 2017. Gellar is also known for her close-knit family life, married to actor Freddie Prinze Jr. since 2002, with whom she shares two children.

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s commitment to her craft is matched by her dedication to personal growth and unique experiences. An accomplished martial artist, she studied Tae Kwon Do for five years, alongside kickboxing, boxing, street fighting, and gymnastics. Her dedication to authenticity in her roles is evident, such as her commitment to doing her own stunts in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," though she admitted her limits during filming "Scream 2."

Her career is also marked by interesting anecdotes, such as her role in a 1982 Burger King commercial, which led to a lawsuit from McDonald’s and a temporary ban from their establishments. Notably, she dyed her naturally brunette hair blonde for her role in "Buffy," and legally changed her last name to Prinze as a surprise for her husband on their fifth anniversary.

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s legacy extends beyond her on-screen roles, encompassing her work in philanthropy and her reputation for safety and professionalism on set. She remains a beloved figure in Hollywood, admired for her talent, dedication, and the breadth of her contributions to film and television.

Since the demise of Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar has been making a living from Hollywood remakes of Japanese horror films. The Return is different only in that it isn’t a remake but an original - but the style is virtually unchanged from The Grudge or its sequel.

Gellar plays Joanna Mills, a young woman beset by terrible hallucinations that lead her to investigate the desolate town of La Salle. Mills has clearly never seen any of Gellar’s films, as once there she makes all the classic mistakes: taking a room in a deserted hotel, she befriends the local loner, and explores his empty house on her own.

This is the sort of by-the-numbers chiller Hollywood does perfectly well, and The Return works well while in ghost-train mode. The use of sound for spooky effect is excellent - loud orchestral spikes, disembodied whispers and a repeating snatch of a song all conspire to send shivers down the spine.

The photography follows the usual conventions of suspense: apparations appear in mirrors, around corners, or between edits, and the town of La Salle makes for an effective haunted house. The bleak visuals - blasted wastelands of corn-stubble and rusting, Gothic-looking farm equipment - have a sepulchral dread: what a shame, then, that the plotting and characters are so instantly forgettable.

It’s all just plain lazy. Mills has a father and a best friend, each hastily introduced and as quickly forgotten. Attempts at red-herrings are brief and unconvincing. Everyone Mills meets spouts odd dialogue that ranges from the obtuse to the absurd. In referencing the issue of self-harm the film even manages to be crass ("Dad! It’s not normal for an 11-year-old girl to cut herself!").

The supernatural is used as an excuse for poor characterisation and coincidence: since we do not understand it is understood we will swallow anything. The Return won’t bear a rewatch in the way The Sixth Sense does: in retrospect, Mills’ stalker boyfriend must have had her radio-tagged, and widower Terry Stahl can smell danger from across town.

The test of any spooky story is in the revelation of its terrible secrets, and here The Return gives up with a whimper. The back-story is so dull and ordinary that it would barely warrant an X-File. The script doesn’t even pretend to care: the villain is revealed by chance and his misdeeds come without motivation or consequence.

Things wind down into a tedious flashback that takes great pains to tick off every manifestation of the first half, leaving the audience with nothing to piece together. Indeed, the only reason not to leave the auditorium half an hour early is the final twist, which by law all ghost stories must have, and though it’s no Ring-style stinger it does wrap things up neatly.

The J-horror mandate is closely followed: there is no gore and the film aims to startle rather than to shock. But without the cunning of Shamalyan or the icy logic of The Ring, The Return is ultimately pretty disposable. A fun night out for teenagers: everyone else can rent a Hitchcock instead.