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The Returned- Complete First Season

4.6 out of 5 stars 324 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In an idyllic French Alpine village, a seemingly random collection of people find themselves in a state of confusion as they attempt to return to their homes. What they do not yet know is that they have been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Buried secrets emerge as they grapple with this miraculous and sinister new reality, struggling to reintegrate with their families and past lovers. But it seems they are not the only ones back from the dead. Their arrival coincides with a series of gruesome murders that bear a chilling resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past... A gripping, stylish mix of real and surreal, the highly cinematic The Returned (Les Revenants) features a wide range of top French film actors and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. The Returned was also a smash hit last year on French television and the highest rated subtitled drama on any UK channel in nearly a decade.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Pierre Perrier, Yara Pilartz, Frédéric Pierrot
  • Directors: Fabrice Gobert, Frédéric Mermoud
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Music Box Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GAZ1H1U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,948 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph Kohout Jr. on November 13, 2013
Format: DVD
NO SPOILERS:

The Returned (French: Les Revenants) is a television drama series created by Fabrice Gobert and shown on Canal+ in France, BeTV in Belgium and SVT in Sweden. Eight episodes were shown from 26 November to 17 December 2012. It is an adaptation of the 2004 film They Came Back (in French titled Les Revenants). Season 2 is to air in 2014.

Credit to Wiki for the synopsis:

"In a small mountain town, many dead people reappear, apparently alive and normal: road accident victim teenager Camille; suicidal bridegroom Simon; "Victor", a small boy who was murdered by burglars; and Serge, a serial killer. They try to resume their lives as strange phenomena occur: amongst recurring power outages, the water level of the reservoir mysteriously lowers, revealing the presence of dead animals and a church steeple, and strange marks appear on the bodies of the living and the dead."

Let's get the obvious out of the way. Yes, the audio is in French and there are subtitles. Yes, the French are generally not known for producing TV with international appeal (the excellent series "Spiral" being the exception). First point: As an evolving connoisseur (like my use of French here) of international TV, I have come to actually appreciate subtitles. Why, you ask? I have found that watching a program (TV or movie) with subtitles requires a greater level of concentration (hence commitment). I can't be checking my email or playing marbles on my laptop when I have to read the subtitles. As an added benefit, I found my long forgotten high school French coming back to me, as I began to understand more of the spoken words and even some of the inflection. Second Point: It would be a huge mistake to discount Les Revenants due to the so-so reputation of French TV in general.
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I was absolutely chilled by the first episode. Its matter of fact tone while dealing with the shocking reality of long dead family members returning as they were to a future they cannot comprehend is a fascinating concept. This is a brave and intelligent take on the 'undead' without the usual clichés. I was mesmerized. There are many little twists and turns and unexpected little surprises throughout.

I have seen the first two episodes, and it is my new favorite series. It's too bad American TV always has to go for the flash and over-the-top horror movie tropes in their tired attempts at gothic chills (Fox's Sleepy Hollow, NBC's awful Dracula). This quieter but much scarier French show delivers genuine shock and will haunt you days afterwards.
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The first thing you need to know is that this series from France is in French with English subtitles. I know, subtitles. Don't let the fact that it is in French deter you as this series is totally watchable with subtitles. The acting is superb, the characters simultaneously ordinary and compelling, the storyline intriguing and the atmosphere deliciously creepy. I won't get into what it is all about here as you have have undoubtedly read the synopsis and are now reading the reviews to decide whether or not it is your cup of tea. If you are looking for something different, if you like drama and mystery with a dollop of the supernatural, are interested in other cultures and like to think outside the box you probably want to check this out. Season 1 ends with numerous unanswered questions which left me wanting more, a lot more. Season 2 is set to air in France in 2014 so we may have a bit of a wait here as this is from 2012 and just now aired in the U.S. Finally, this is not one for the kiddies - aside from some adult language, nudity and graphic violence, the premise of "The Returned" is disturbing.
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Format: Blu-ray
I was one of the few people on the Mountain who saw -- and loved -- the movie Les Revenants/They Came Back. When Les Revenants/The Returned based upon the film of the same name aired on Sundance, I had to watch. And I'm enthralled. "The Returned" is one of the best TV series of this decade. The eerie theme of the dead who return to a small, unnamed French town, is simple and yet profound. We get to see and know weird zombie twin connections, a returned serial rapist/killer, and a creepy kid named "Victor." And among the living is that fundamentalist Helping Hand outreach -- that's got enough food to outlast impending disaster and is armed to the teeth. And what *is* it with those dead animals floating in flood water??? How is the priest involved, what does he suspect -- or know? And then, there's the fact that *nobody* seems to be able to *leave* this town. What IS this series really about?

Is the nameless town really Purgatory, and all the people in it have been "floating" there since the first dam burst back in the 1970s? (This would fit nicely with it's Catholic flavor.) The Returned are the strangest zombies I've ever seen -- sure they decompose a little, but they also are able to reproduce sexually with the *living.* Weird. The Returned asks us to set aside our perceptions about death and life. It certainly made me think how I would react if my own dead came back. (I'd welcome them, I think, as long as they didn't eat brains or Service Dogs.)

The one thing for certain in the world of The Returned is that love *endures* -- especially motherly love. (Again the Catholic thing going on here.)

I cannot recommend The Returned enough. Buy it and know the wonder of French Zombies. And dream of your own dead without fear.
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