The Reunion review – one scene is so violent it’s actually unwatchable
This ITV thriller is full of ludicrous plot twists and every single trope you’d expect from murder mystery hokum. Until it turns unexpectedly gruesome and queasily retro about sexuality
The Reunion (ITVX) promises some gorgeous January escapism, but don’t be fooled by that bright blue water and those sun-kissed rocks. It’s adapted from Guillaume Musso’s bestselling novel of the same name, it’s mostly set on the French Riviera, and it revolves around the mysterious disappearance, 25 years earlier, of a charismatic student named Vinca, and a group of friends who have covered up layers of secrets in order to protect themselves and each other. It could have been The Secret History via A Place in the Sun. What comes out in the wash, however, is a frothy potboiler so highly strung that the only way to endure it – and sticking with it is a feat of endurance – is to marvel at the sheer ludicrousness of each unlikely twist.
Our narrator is Ioan Gruffudd as Thomas, a successful author who is taking part in a dreary book signing when he is invited to attend his former school’s 25th reunion celebrations. A woman who looks an awful lot like his old friend Vinca drops a flyer on the table, inviting him back to the Lycée International Saint-Exupéry in the south of France. The only trouble is that the real Vinca disappeared in 1997, and the flyer has a message scrawled on the back in marker pen: “What did you do to her?” So far, so I Know What You Did Very Many Summers Ago.