Reunion not for the faint-hearted

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Emotionally charged story ... Leithfield film and television producer Nadia Maxwell, right, with English actress Julia Ormond on the Wellington set of Reunion, a new psychological thriller. Reunion will have its New Zealand premiere in Wellington on October 30 and begin showing in other cinemas around New Zealand, including Rangiora, on November 5. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By SHELLEY TOPP

Leithfield film and television producer Nadia Maxwell has a new film scheduled to premiere in New Zealand on October 30.

The new high-concept, psychological thriller Reunion was written and directed by Jake Mahaffy, of Ohio in the United States, and produced by Nadia with fellow Kiwis Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Conder, and Mike Ryan from the US.

Reunion tells the story of Ellie, who returns to her childhood home late in her pregnancy and is unexpectedly reunited with her estranged mother, Ivy, played by English actress Julia Ormond.

Ellie, played by New Zealand actress, Emma Draper, becomes consumed by the dark memories of her dead sister that haunt the house and ends up unearthing the hidden, horrifying reality of her family.

“It is emotionally charged and quietly audacious,” Nadia says. “Jake Mahaffy’s examination of how family trauma can become its own kind of haunting is a first-rate psychological thriller.”

The film was made in Wellington and set in a historic old house in Lower Hutt.

“The grand dame was built in 1900 by former Wellington Mayor John Duthie,” Nadia says.

“It is very much a character in the film.”

Jake says Reunion is unsettling to watch.

“It is definitely a little more nuanced and more of a slow-burn psychological thriller with horror elements.

“It is for people who have eclectic tastes in horror films and can tolerate boundaries in the genre.”

Reunion will have its New Zealand general release on November 5, which will include screening in the Rangiora Town Hall Cinemas.