Written by Stephen DeWoody and director, Jon Binkowski, Revisitant opens with Samantha (Michele Simms) attempting to contact her deceased husband, who died exactly one year ago. Her mini-séance does not go well, and she dies. Jump ahead a year, and the young, energetic Sarah (Jade Rattigan) sneaks out of her home nightly to go wandering around Samantha’s still vacant home. Sarah takes various trinkets from the house, as well as collecting and burying dead animals she finds around the neighbor.
After Sarah’s latest trip to the supposedly haunted house, inexplicable things begin happening in her family home. Her mother, Leslie (Lisa Enos Smith), older sister Amanda (Amy Smith), and Amanda’s friend Kat (Maya Smith) experience extreme temperature swings and other phenomena. Fleeing to a friend’s place, the family discovers that whatever was in the house is haunting them, not the residence. Now, they must uncover who the angry spirit is and what it wants with them, which is easier said than done. Can the family escape with their lives, or will they become vengeful ghosts as well?
“…the family discovers that whatever was in the house is haunting them, not the residence.”
There is plenty to appreciate and like in Revisitant though the journey is not always the smoothest. Once the backstory comes, it is in the form of an exposition dump that slows the momentum down a bit. Given how efficiently the characters are all set up and the engrossing in media res of the prologue (Samantha’s seance), the sudden stop of forward momentum is noticeable, though it is not a huge issue.
The bigger problem is a tonal one. There are scenes where the cast, more specifically the adult actors, are over-the-top as if to punctuate a nonexistent punchline. Marc Musso as the supernatural expert Griffon, gets away with the more comedic moments, partially because the role is written to be eccentric and odd, and in part, because he brings a warped energy that works for the character. And yes, there is a whole bit with plumbers and electricians that is pretty amusing, but those people don’t know what is happening. It is a scene that allows some levity, so the proceedings aren’t overly grim and let the audience catch their breath before the true scares come to play. That works.
But Leslie has already been established as a loving mom who is scared of the very threat the entity poses to her children. Her bug-eyed reaction to certain hauntings doesn’t gel with the authentic emotions in other scenes. All the adults, save for Simms, deliver such a performance at one point or another, and it is always just slightly odd.
"…Rattigan is a star in the making..."