Written and directed by Karl Mueller (Mr. Jones), the film centers on Kyle (played by Fran Kranz), a working suburban dad whose life has seemingly grown routine. Running into his old friend Zack (Adam Goldberg), however, shakes everything up. Kyle is persuaded to attend a Rebirth seminar, only to find that the new beginning has its drawbacks.
The trailer highlights the rut that Kyle has fallen into. He spends hours staring at a computer screen and commuting, and the most fun he appears to have is running on a treadmill. It is no wonder he is tempted by the Rebirth promotional video — the testimonials promise a break from the routine, sensuality, and fun.
What Kyle walks into looks like a frat party at first, but there are warning signs as well. The group of men he is with is cautioned, “Some of you will find this highly disturbing.” On top of that, they all begin chanting the words “Not a cult!” We suspect that if you have to deny it, it is probably true.
Where the trailer gets really interesting is when Kyle begins exploring the different Rebirth rooms. It quickly becomes clear that the seminar isn’t all fun, hookups, and meditative exercise. Kyle comes upon a particularly strange situation in one room, where a man has managed to take his cell phone and put a picture of his family on a TV screen.
From then on, it’s a montage of creepiness, as Kyle can’t seem to leave and the people surrounding him look increasingly violent and unpredictable. Unpleasant as it looks for participants, the film should be a fun ride for psychodrama enthusiasts.
Rebirth hits Netflix on July 15.
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