The death of a loved one is never easy. When that loved one is your newborn child, it can be devastating emotionally and psychologically. How this loss can affect a couple is explored in the latest short from director Chris Peters. In “To Dust Return” we learn the story of John and Sharon Reynolds, a couple who are trying to cope with the loss of their newborn son. John takes it particularly hard and looks to draw strength from the wisdom of his wife during this dark period in their life. John is played by Sam Jaeger (AMERICAN SNIPER, INHERENT VICE) with great emotion. You can feel how John is having trouble dealing with this tragedy and how he looks towards his wife for strength. Jennifer Morrison (ONCE UPON A TIME, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) is Sharon and provides a very moving performance as a woman who is trying be strong for both her husband and herself. Sam and Jennifer have fantastic chemistry together and their relationship feels real.
As with many short films there is a twist. “To Dust Return” that twist is an emotional punch in the gut. I will admit I did not see it coming. This is due in part to the great performances, but also by the writing and the direction of the film. The reveal is so subtle that it took a few seconds for my brain to catch up with the film. When the credits began to roll, it made me think about how I would have handled the situation, because I am also a father. I could see myself possibly reacting in the same way John did … almost. This film is a dark tale about a subject that is not easy to talk about. The excellent performances by Sam Jaeger and Jennifer Morrison, along with the fantastic execution of Chris Peters, makes “To Dust Return” a powerful short film that will leave you thinking about what you would do in the same situation.
5 out of 5 Stubs.