Losing a loved one is never easy. It’s probably the only moment where the physical and the spiritual somehow make a fleeting connection. The emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of loss find their intersection in director Kenny Yates’ thriller, ReBroken, written by Kipp Tribble.
Will (Scott Hamm) is a man devastated by a single tragic event: the accidental death of his daughter, which left him a mere shell of the man he once was. By day he attends a court-mandated grief support group run by Bella (Alison Haislip) as Will and the other members work through their feelings. But, unfortunately, all that work goes for naught when Will heads home alone, eating TV dinners, drinking excessively, and reliving the memories of his daughter’s death.
Each day, as Will leaves the support group, he is approached by Bryan (Kipp Tribble), who believes in the group and encourages him to work toward the path to recovery. However, another member, Lydia (Nija Okoro), tells Will that she doesn’t buy the preaching from the group and tells her about a man, Von (Tobin Bell), who can remove his sadness. Curious, Will seeks out Von, who lives in a tent in a remote part of the city. When they meet, Von asks him to draw a picture, and when Will returns, Von gives him a box of records of meditations. When he plays the records, Will begins receiving ghost-like messages from what might be his deceased daughter.
“…Will begins receiving ghost-like messages from what might be his deceased daughter.”
ReBroken takes an experience of humanity that we all relate to in heartache and loss and spins it into a supernatural thriller. The trick is doing so respectfully, which Tribble, working from a story by Hamm, does in intriguing ways. The first half is about how we cope with loss and why it’s harder when trauma is involved. They bypass the standard five stages of grief and discuss the four keys to recovery: 1. Accept the reality of the loss. 2. To experience the pain of grief. 3. Adjust to an environment where the deceased is no longer living. 4. To emotionally relocate the deceased and move on. This half is an extensive examination of loss and how grief can trap you in the circle of despair.
It is tough not to go into the plot further than this, but spoilers would abound. Just know that leading into the third act, Will’s journey to recovery takes a very sharp turn; you might even say it takes a twist. The film takes the tone of a noir thriller. Hamm gives a thoughtful and measured performance as a man caught in the circle of despair and desperate to find redemption when he connects with his lost daughter.
As far as the narrative goes, it’s slow and methodical as the mystery between Will, and his daughter is revealed like layers of an onion to an ending you might not expect. ReBroken is an earnest reflection on grief and loss, wrapped in a supernatural thriller with a surprise at the end. It is a well-acted, intriguing picture.
ReBroken is available on all major streaming, satellite, and VOD platforms.