Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a tough young Midwesterner determined to learn the truth behind the increasingly terrifying supernatural visions that have been haunting her. Joanna has made a successful career for herself, as sales representative for a trucking company. But her private life has been difficult; estranged from her father (Sam Shepard), stalked by an obsessed ex-boyfriend (Adam Scott), and with few friends, Joanna fears that she is losing control. She sees and feels the brutal murder of a young woman she’s never met, at the hands of a heartless killer – a man who appears to be making Joanna his next target. Determined to fight back, Joanna is guided by her nightmares to the murdered woman’s hometown. Once there, she will discover that some secrets can’t be buried; some spirits never die; and that the murder she is trying to solve may be her own.
Despite trying to have an original storyline, and despite its efforts to keep the audience guessing, “The Return” is predictable and slow-paced. Joanna (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has been having unexplainable, frightening experiences since she was a child, during which she hallucinates, hears music and voices, and sometimes cuts herself. She traces the origin of these episodes to a small Texas town, and discovers that she has a connection to a man there, whose wife was murdered when Joanna was just a child. “The Return” is not extremely gory, but there is some blood, a couple of people are stabbed, and a couple others are beaten up. In addition to this, a co-worker roughly grabs Joanna in one scene, and then tries to rape her in a later scene. Also, there are a few scenes where people are drinking during the film. For these reasons, “The Return” is not approved by Dove.