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The Returned (2013)

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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 5,515 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 38 user | 47 critic | 9 from

In a post-zombie world, where the infected live normal lives, their retroviral drug is running out.



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Directors: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse
Stars: Clif Prowse, Derek Lee, Michael Gill


Credited cast:
Detective Cawl
Government Spokesperson
Return Unit Nurse
Hospital Chief
Kate @13
Anti-Returned Activist
Emily Alatalo ...
TV Street Reporter
Lee Fung


In a world where a deadly zombie virus has infected mankind, a single cure has been found. The cure, a treatment called the "Return Protein" which stays the effects of the virus in its host. With injections every 36 hours, the "Returned" are able to live as though they were never bit, despite the virus still coursing through their veins. When it is discovered that the protein stock is running low, chaos hits the streets. Returned who run out of the protein turn to zombies and wreak havoc, protesters turn to murderers as they try to rid the streets of the returned, and right in the middle of it all are Alex and Kate. Kate a leading doctor in the field of zombie virus' and Alex a musician with a dark secret, he is a Returned. As death and fear run rampant, Alex's secret becomes known and his dosage runs low, he and Kate must fight for a chance to live before he becomes a zombie. Written by Uncork'd Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 November 2013 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Retornados  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


(at around 49 mins) When they all pull up to their friends place, and the camera switches to a 45 degree overhead shot, on the right side of the screen around half way up you can see a foot disappear then a lower half of someones leg appear in the garden. See more »


Features White Zombie (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

This horror made me cry.
12 March 2014 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

This movie was amazing.

Right off the bat I will point out that IMDb list the genre as Drama/Horror/Thriller and that is exactly what it is. First and foremost it is a Drama. It's very sad and pulls at the right heart strings, which is a first coming from a Horror movie, as I shed a few tears. Mainly because the story touches on a very heavy subject matter in the most palatable way - euthanasia. Whether by ones own hand or another, when is that time to end it because of an incurable situation? How does one say goodbye? And is that just giving up?

This film, to some degree, was reminiscent of "Outbreak" where there is an advancing disease, a sad love story, slight doses of action and a scary animal that spreads the disease. However, "Outbreak" was far more literal, not nearly as clever and did not go to the depths that "The Returned" went to.

We could make the comparison that the zombie spread is an allegory for HIV. Some might say it is twenty years too late and the stigma is different, those individuals are usually negative because the personal stigma is still attached to those who are positive. So the HIV analogy is more personalised in "Alex", played by Kris Holden-Reid, as a man living with the virus, controlling it and medicating everyday to prevent the virus from taking over. No cure, just a managing program. The film takes the idea of a man living on ARV's to control his condition to that of an 'entertaining' zombie story which, often allows the viewer to think more about the symbolism as apposed to forcing the truth down ones throat.

We could focus on the politics where some people are ill and those that are not are so overwhelmed with fear they react to exterminate. Should they be allowed to protect themselves to such a degree? Is extermination an option in terms of preservation? And should the sick live in fear? But it provides a volatile backdrop to the story at hand, creating tension and supplying character motives.

The gem of this story is the relationship between "Alex" and "Kate" that only intensifies as the story progresses. It's the new age, grundge version of "Dying Young" where cancer is replaced with zombies and the refusal to go on chemo is replaced with a protein shortage but the love and resistance to say goodbye and let go is the same.

This film was unexpected, and I loved every moment it made my brain wheel rotate.


13 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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