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For the incredibly stupid front page reviewer here (it's not even a
review really, just whining with no substance by somebody who doesn't
seem to like or recognize horror.), I'm not affiliated with the film in
any way, feel free to look at my other reviews. I'm just a horror junky
that thought he had seen every horror movie worth watching, and now
that i've seen this, maybe I have.
This movie is really creative. Without giving away too much it definitely broaches other themes that have been covered by other movies, it reminded me a bit of Inland Empire and 13B, in theme only, not content and while it's a somewhat familiar theme it goes in a very different direction with it. It's very well paced and does absolutely amazing jobs of foreshadowing and just piling on the atmosphere and dread so well that at one point I almost didn't want to see what was going to happen, the ending completely took me by surprise.
It's clearly a zero budget indie movie but you would hardly know it to watch it, it's well shot and the cinematography is really good. My only issue is a script one, I thought the main characters dialog and decisions dealing with the crazy events of the film were oddly nonchalant and downright frustrating at times but then again it would have made the movie impossible if he had done what most sensible people would as a reaction to some of the events which is to call the cops lol.
This is absolutely fantastic psychological horror. Bravo to the directors and everybody involved with this. I rarely gush like this in these reviews but there's a reason Resolution has gotten so much hype from horror specific movie sites. It's THAT good.
Since there's no plot synopsis, i'll give a brief one. A man is invited by his ex best friend to his cabin out in the boonies. He knows his best friend is pretty much a rock bottom meth addict and he's rebuffed all his attempts prior to get him into rehab so he shows up with a stun gun and a pair of handcuffs, chains him to a pipe in the dilapidated shack he lives in and is going to stay with him while he detoxes. Strange people live around there and every day he feels he's being lead to strange things like records, books, journals and old film. Things get more weird from there.
Caught Resolution at a film festival. This is a movie that you have to
see, as there is no way to really describe it. It doesn't fit into any
sub-genre within Horror, but it definitely belongs in the family. The
film is one of the most creative and unique I've seen in a while. It's
thoroughly entertaining, moves at a good pace and keeps you guessing
the entire time (and after its conclusion for some. Personally, I can't
wait to get a second view of this film.) The two leads put on very good
performances which is essential for a film with an isolated setting.
This may end up being one of those films that people either love or hate. I loved it, and speaking with fellow audience members I did not find any one who really disliked it. Even if you don't end up "loving" the film, you'll no doubt be entertained. Plus it will provide for some interesting conversation with fellow fans. I think most viewers, like myself, will find it refreshing and unique. (And those are two qualities that are getting harder and harder to come by in modern horror.)
See this film! You won't regret it.
8 1/2 stars
As the other reviewer already stated, this is different. I had no idea
what it would be (didn't read the synopsis, the movie was part of a
Festival), but I was really pleasantly surprised. A little movie that
could. It's not without flaws mind you, but you can feel it tries hard
and there is a real connection between the two main characters, which
is very important to the movie.
If you don't mind a few bumps along the ride you will definitely enjoy this movie too. You have to remember, that while it has some light moments, it's not a fast paced movie. It moves along slowly, but it never felt like a drag (to me at least). If you're a fan of independent cinema, you will probably wanna check this out
Resolution is a multi-layered chiller with hidden depths and a quirky
The central premise revolves around Michael (Peter Cilella) and wayward but lovable rogue Chris (Vinny Curran). Once best buddies, Chris is now a self-destructive meth addict and Michael has decided to stage an intervention by chaining up Chris and forcing him through cold turkey.
Now, if this were standard Hollywood fare we'd have two drinking buddies with their girlfriends staying at a cabin in the woods. Instead, Resolution sets up a believable situation and one in which the protagonists are forced to stick around.
The chills are subtle. Conversations between Chris and Mike are realistic, at times amusing, but mostly just glimpses into a story to which most of us can relate. The one time golden boy turned drug addict and the path of chaos and disappointment he leaves in his wake. The audience is never shown this path, but the interplay between Chris and Mike and Mike's obvious love for his friend are profound enough to fill in the blanks.
Other reviewers have said this is not a horror. I'd be inclined to agree, despite the hugely unfair comments and low ratings accompanying those other reviews (with which I certainly do not agree). Resolution is strange, creepy and unnerving at points, but never horrific and rarely frightening. It is clever and it will grip you from beginning to end, despite the ambling nature of the script, Chris's mostly sedentary role and Mike's often infuriatingly laid back personality.
Unlike many 'clever' stories, Resolution is in no way self- congratulatory. There's nothing trite about the way the film unfolds and that element of 'hipster cool' so often prevalent in movies that deliberately shirk cookie-cutter modes of filming and storytelling is mercifully absent. This, of course, is dangerous for any film maker as it shirks not only the accepted Hollywood blueprint for 'how to make a movie successful' it is also uncertain about its target audience. Resolution is one of those rare movies: a film that just wants to tell a story. And herein I think is one of the most sublimely subtle sub-texts of the entire thing.
Because ultimately Resolution is an exploration of equilibrium, a film maker's eye-view of how a story unfolds and how bucking the trend might lead to divided opinions. In one of the story's creepier moments one character states that when he looks into a mirror he sees an infinity of moments, all with a beginning, middle and end. The essence of good storytelling is to have equilibrium (beginning), equilibrium broken (middle) and equilibrium restored (end). The resolution of the movie title, I think, is as much a commentary on the way the film is put together as much as it alludes to the recorded material within the film.
It's unfortunate that such neatly realised ideas don't automatically turn film makers into billionaires. If there were any justice in the world, this would be the case. But unfortunately what a modern paying audience wants is thrills and spills, not subtle interplay, dialogue and sub-text. Hence, I imagine, the divided opinion in reviews and the film's poor showing at the box office.
Ultimately I wish audiences were a little more attentive and open to movies like Resolution, but the majority are not and that makes this something of an indulgence on the part of directors/writer team Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Are they guilty of being a little too self indulgent? No. I don't think so. Could they have injected a little more life into the story? Yes, possibly. But I don't think the result would necessarily be more satisfying - just different, and more like the kind of thing we are, by now, used to seeing in the found footage genre.
I can't possibly close my review without mentioning the ending which, given the name of the film and the identified sub-text, had to be something special. Well, the jury's out. I probably need to watch the whole thing over and pay more attention this time to what's going on behind the scenes and between the lines, but on the face of it the ending felt like a cheat and that's disappointing.
In any case, I can't wait to see more from Benson and Moorhead and Zach Galiafinakis lookalike Vinny Curran and Greg Kinnear lookalike Peter Cilella (seriously, were those two separated at birth or what?)
Michael (Peter Cilella) is committed to getting his best friend Chris
(Vinny Curran) 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
Resolution was an utterly mind-blowing experience that has a fantastic twist to the horror genre. To be honest it's more of a trippy suspense/drama with quaint and small horror elements thrown in the mix. The story is completely involving with two lead characters that you can connect to, making the mysterious and creepy going ons all the more effective. The film starts off pretty slow with an anti climatic ending, and doesn't have that much if any action, but the unique outcome, engaging and riveting characters and plot twist, make the viewing semi worth it.
The performances from Vinny Curran and Peter Cilella were breakthrough and organic and you believe their story and friendship. Peter plays Michael Danube, a soon to be dad who decides to take one last trip to visit and help his drug addicted friend Chris Daniels played by Vinny, who isolated himself in a remote shack. Michael decides to show some tough love when Chris refuses to go to rehab and soon after handcuffs Chris to a metal bar to force him to detoxify. Michael starts to then experience strange and unexplained happenings when he discovers some reel playback footage. From there on it's a trippy ride and it's the type of film that you probably need multiple viewings to figure it all out, but the scenario is so refreshing from the norm that this genre usually brings us.
Director, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have crafted a one of a kind, surreal suspense flick. A real breakthrough effort from them that will have you scratching your head, spooked and anxious to see how it will turn out. Unfortunately the conclusion just didn't really pay off for me and just ended way too soon just when things started to get really good. For first time directors though, I think they are exciting and brilliant new talent and can't wait to see what they have in store for us next.
Overall, Resolution was different, freaky and has two likable leads and I was intrigue through most of it but the ending just didn't sit well with me. Recommended if you enjoy films like Cookers, or just want to watch something different from the genre for a change. 6.5 out of 10
I really, really liked 'Resolution.' It's not an easy film, and it doesn't provide easy answers. I will take strange/atmospheric/well acted/creeping dread over cookie-cutter Hollywood horror crapfest any day of the week. 'Resolution' seems to be about two guys who are at the mercy of a storyteller that wants a story to be told. Where is the story coming from? Is it on their minds? Is there a puppetmaster behind it all? Or is it just some freaky meth-withdrawal side effect kind of thing? I don't know, and I actually really appreciate the fact that this movie doesn't tell you in clear cut answers. In a way it reminded me of 'Upstream Color' in that there is a lot to think and wonder and imagine about in this film. After I've done that for a few days I'll watch 'Resolution' again. I hope this writer/director gives us more.
In spite of some worn clichés -mysterious found footage, missing
researchers, and a mystic medicine cabin obligatorily set on an Indian
reservation, with Resolution, independent writer/director Justin Benson
brings us a breath of fresh air. The film is technically adept on its
small budget, and presents a real genre-bender of a plot. Resolution
builds slowly as a crime drama, becomes a psychological suspension,
then morphs into a puzzler riddled with paradoxes. It releases in a
brief climax of occult horror.
In the story, yuppie Michael (Peter Cilella) travels to a remote squatters' shack, where his addict friend Chris (Vinny Curran), bristling with firearms and contraband, has holed up, resolved to kill himself with drugs. Michael restrains Chris, and forces him to withdraw "cold-turkey" over the course of a week.
A progression of weirdos make the scene. Chris's low-life cohorts (Kurt David Anderson and Kyler Meacham) drop in, demanding drugs. A tightly-wired Native American property owner (Zahn McClarnon) and his menacing gang show up to evict the occupants. A scheming real estate developer (Josh Higgins) creeps in, mistaking Michael and Chris for the deed-holders, and a doomsday religious cult is engaging in shenanigans a little too nearby for comfort.
Michael strives to maintain control over the situation to buy enough time to get Chris straightened out, and back to civilization and rehab. Despite the threat posed by oddball interlopers, the real tension is yet to come.
Someone...or some THING is watching -and recording everything Michael and Chris do. But how? The surveillance indicates a presence that looms closer and closer, yet Michael can't detect the observer.
Looking for clues, Micheal discovers strange footage shot by a missing anthropology team, then locates a laconic neighbor, Bryon (Bill Oberst Jr.), with an uncomfortably unorthodox existential philosophy. From here the story plunges into perplexing paradoxes. Chris's sleazy drug buddies and the landowner converge for a showdown. Mind-bending events knock Mike and Chris away from objective reality and any sense of control over their destinies.
Resolution is talky, but intriguing. The long-winded plot is better suited for an hour short. Aside from establishing an initial setting and circumstances, the first half of the film doesn't bear vital relation to the engaging concepts of the second. It's still pretty good. Unsettling developments keep us watching. Plot twists reveal a honeycomb of passages down which to venture. Rather than choose one of them and proceed, the filmmakers offer a twisted experience based on the fact that these alternate routes exist.
Part of the fun of Resolution is thinking about the various possibilities and what they mean. In our minds, we DO pursue them, trying to predict the outcome, but just when we think we know what's going to happen, Resolution throws us a new twist. Throughout it all ripples a nerve-jarring undercurrent of menace, indeterminate, and incipient. Mike and Chris's safe return to the outside world is increasingly unfeasible.
There's some subtle cinematic artistry in Resolution which reinforces the exposition. In the scene in which Michael is conversing with Byron, Byron discusses his views about narrative and story. As he explains to Michael, Byron holds a mirror. At first, the mirror is angled so that Micheal's reflection blends with Byron's face. The effect is to project Byron and Micheal as melded together, depicting a dual entity. But Michael cannot see it. Only we can see it.
Byron angles the mirror so that we see another mirror on the wall behind Michael, producing the illusion of endless repetition. It illustrates the concept of how a painter records a scene. There is the scene, and the painter painting it. But there is a larger scene. For us to see the painter painting the scene, there must be another painter, painting the painter painting the scene... and so on to infinity. This is a pivotal moment in the film. Resolution carries distinct, though not fully developed sub-themes about the evolution and structure of folklore, myth and story, and these are tied into the paradoxes.
Filmed in a half-completed lodge under construction, illuminated by hook lamps, and without background music, intimate camera-work increases a sense of realism, almost like seeing a documentary. The technique is effective because Resolution turns out to be all about deconstruction and the plastic nature of reality. By the time we realize this, we've accepted the actuality of what's transpired, only to have the drop sheet yanked out from under our feet.
In the deepest, real, and visceral sense, Resolution is a horror movie.
Its primary tool is not only the psychological mind game Justin Benson
puts his characters through (i.e. misguided friendship, drug addiction,
violence, and the mystery of whose watching) but what he also forces
the audience to realize as they watch them spiral out of control.
Resolution not only breaks the third wall, it decimates it. We become
the monster just by sitting there and watching. If that's not enough to
wrap your head around then you have to see it to really get to really
get mind screwed.
OK, so if you're expecting jump scares, blood, and gore, then change your expectations to getting sucked into a story about a dying friendship, drug abuse, earning a deep sense of foreboding, and be left thinking "holy sh@." Chris and Michael's polar dynamics will suck you into their friendship and the struggle with drug abuse is too real. How many of us have had the same idea as Michael, or felt the same about ourselves as Chris does? Then the most important question becomes... what the hell is watching them? The answer seems obvious.
Obviously a low budget film, Resolution doesn't waste time with cheesy effects or flashy photography. It relies entirely on the acting ability of its characters. Not only are Cilella and Curran convincing as best friends out of touch but a special nod must go out to Bill Oberst Jr. for playing the most convincing creepy french hippie ever to grace a screen, and I do mean grace. This guy can add creepy to any character and still maintain decorum! Talk about a mind screw! ~ the Creepercast
A deeply oddball, and pretty entertaining low budget mash-up of
character study, humor, and metaphysical horror. It's not like anything
you've seen before, but it achieves that effect by taking a LOT of
elements you've seen before, and having fun combining them in novel
A young guy - Michael - who seems to have his life pretty together goes out to try and save his depressed, meth-head, gun loving friend Chris who is living alone in the middle of the woods. The unanswered question of who took the video of this Chris acting so crazy sets the tone for this film full of unexplained weirdness that creates a generally tense and creepy atmosphere despite any clear resolution to many of the questions (that's only one of several meanings the pun-laden title seems to have).
Much of the film is the relationship between these two men, and how Chris reacts to being forced to go cold turkey after Michael handcuffs him to a wall pipe. Both the acting and dialogue wavers between fun, honest, touching and a touch amateurish. Chris has one of the easier, least believable sudden withdrawals from serious addition I can remember seeing on film. But this film doesn't seem too worried about being real. It seems far more interested in being entertaining and leaving you wondering just what things mean; that old, creepy photo, the escapee from a local loony bin who knocks on the window at night, the fact that they are on Indian lands with a bad history. Do these things mean anything? Or do we just assume they do from a lifetime of horror and suspense films? The film-makers aren't always saying, they want us to wonder for ourselves and to smile while we shiver just a bit. I'll be curious to watch this again. It seems like a repeat viewing will either reveal its shallowness or uncover hidden depths
This is my first review on here I felt compelled to write one after
seeing some of the negative reactions to the amazing piece of work that
is Resolution. I knew everyone wasn't going to love it as much as I
did, because it is a fairly esoteric work (yet at the same time I found
it to be completely accessible and entertaining) but one star? Wow. All
opinions are valid I suppose it's just surprising to see because I was
so blown away it.
I don't want to give away much of the plot but the set up is two old friends are stuck in a cabin for a week while one of them undergoes withdrawal from drug addiction. It's a very slow burn perhaps that's another reason why people didn't like it, but I was totally gripped the whole time because the writing is so good, the performances are so good, and it's unexpectedly very, very funny in the first hour.
I enjoyed the film enormously but I'm not too smart so I didn't completely grasp all the deeper layers to it until I went online after watching it and read people's opinions and theories on it. Then I started to realise what an amazing, intelligent and deconstructive work it is. It is a rare film, one which I felt buzzing off of for days afterwards. This doesn't happen to me very often, but occasionally I will see something that leaves me excited, buzzed and inspired as an aspiring writer-director myself to try and do better in the scripts I'm working on. After some thought I decided it was my favourite film of 2013, this is not a popular opinion I realise, and I did love Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street etc, but I have to say that I think Resolution is a better film. At least I like it more.
Some have complained that it's not really a horror film, and it does encompass other genres, but I liked this about it. I see a lot of horror movies it's my favourite genre and most of them, though enjoyable, are pretty similar, so it's really nice and refreshing to see something as unique and mold breaking as Resolution.
A bold, original and daring mix of horror, drama, comedy and deconstruction of the horror genre and storytelling in general. 10 out of 10. See it!
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