Resolution, unquestionably one of the best genre offerings of 2013, is a Horror-Thriller mind-fuck written and directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead, featuring tour-de-force performances by Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran as Michael and Chris.
My 3 pages of notes (most of which won’t even make it into this review) proves Resolution is a work with some serious Donnie Darko level complexity (borderline sci-fi), seemingly overflowing with clues and red herrings (and red marijuana). But in the end, Benson and Moorhead may have gotten the last laugh, delivering a punch line that literally demands repeated viewing.
Read my review after the jump.
Official Synopsis: Michael is committed to getting his best friend Chris to sober up and get his life back on track. But what begins as an attempt to save his friend’s life quickly takes an unexpected turn as the two friends confront personal demons, the consequences of past actions, and forces beyond their control. Expertly balancing dark humor with genuine thrills and unexpected pathos, Resolution is an utterly unique cinematic experience that defies genre classification.
Mike and Chris may just be the most exciting Horror duo since Tucker and Dale. The success of Resolution is thanks in no small part to the chemistry between these characters, the ease of their banter, and the believability of the emotions they emote.
Numerous comparisons to Cabin in the Woods are, in my opinion, very inaccurate. 2011’s mega-hit is textbook Horror-Comedy with Lovcraftian undertones, propped up by a massive FX budget. Resolution, on the other hand, is a lean, character driven creep-fest; a unique Horror watching experience that sharp-minds will love devouring. And I’m not just making excuses for an Indie film delivered by first-timers as Resolution lacks for nothing money could buy. Well done, inspired filmmaking.
While Benson and Moorhead can be trusted when they claim they never set out to create a homage-piece, it can nonetheless be enjoyed as one. Resolution contains echoes of many classic and recent Horror heavyweights and feels like a celebration of the genre. We’re on a scavenger-hunt for explanations as to the nature of an opaque supernatural phenomenon that crisscrosses the entire spectrum: From UFO cults to phantom VHS tapes, Native American spirits to Government Black Ops, and hobo junkies to ancient curses. Aliens, ghosts, gateways to hell all offer themselves as potential culprits.
Resolution is completely effective, delivering top-shelf shivers throughout, never using jump-shocks, loud noises, or gore. It’s an engrossing, multi-faceted story that’s smart, serious, and at times hilarious.
Without giving anything away (which is tempting to do and difficult to conceal in a review of substance) I will say that Resolution is a story about stories, skillfully crafted, mentally stimulating, and scary as hell. Those expecting a neat-tidy explanation (like Cabin in the Woods) may find no resolution at the film’s conclusion, because Resolution require some effort. Those willing to delve and discuss the infinite possibilities will find this indie gem thoroughly rewarding.
Aficionados must take note of Resolution which has “Sleeper Classic” written all over it. Bravo.
4 out of 5 Skull Heads.
|Release Date||January 23 2013|
|Director(s)||Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead|
|Writer(s)||Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead|
|Starring||Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Kurt David Anderson|