Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
In an era where horror films can only be truly commercially successful if their done-to-death premise can be described in one neat sentence, it comes as a much welcomed and pleasant surprise that a low-budget, conceptually challenging horror indie like Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s Resolution provides be the breath of fresh air the genre sorely needs. There is no question that this film is an inventive, character-based story that holds your attention from the beginning through the middle to the much-speculated ambiguous end.
The film kicks off with an interesting start as viewers are introduced to Mike (Peter Cilella), a content family man who is left bewildered after watching a video of his childhood friend Chris (Vinny Curran) showcasing his downward spiraling drug addiction on camera that was sent to his email as well as Google Map directions to Chris’ whereabouts.
Thinking that this is a cry for help, Mike travels to an abandoned house Chris has been squatting in and forcibly locks him up in hopes of detoxing his friend from his crack addiction. However, during this time strange people start showing up to the house, and when Mike is sent on an inexplicable scavenger hunt and discovers an array of disturbing forms of media that range from diaries, VHS and reels of film, they both soon realize that Chris’ affliction is the least of their worries.
Resolution is a remarkable achievement from co-directors Benson and Moorhead, and like this year’s meta-horror hit Cabin in the Woods (which this film will inevitably be compared to), it is able to frighten the audience, turn around traditional genre conventions and poke fun at the viewers’ own addiction of watching horror films through an effective and thought-provoking manner.
Unlike high concept mainstream horror films, Resolution is able to depict chaos that happens when people step outside of what is considered societal norms in a way that has never been seen on screen through a well-crafted script, effective cinematography and intentional misdirection that will be impossible to duplicate.
We all know a movie is only as good as its actors, and it’s breakout stars Cilella and Curran as the seemingly doomed pair that truly make this film work as well as it does. It is through their authentic chemistry and clever banter that the unexplainable and frustrating mysteries are bearable to sit through. Generally when one watches a horror film, the fear is controlled or limited; yet, since the audience will have such a strong affinity for the two main characters, it makes the events that much scarier since their outcome or fate is not controlled by their own hopeful expectations, which is an incredible rarity in the genre.
Overall Resolution is a film that will remind the horror community why it is so important to support the indie scene since it is a precise example of what happens when the alchemy among crew, cast, tone and script all work flawlessly.
5 out of 5