There was something astounding about this independent horror offering that has gone a whirlwind at the festival circuit. What it was is hard to put a finger on, was it the terrific acting, thick and exciting atmosphere or the excellent use of mythos? Perhaps it was more the fact that Resolution managed to surprise you, above everything else and for a modern horror, especially one indebted to others before it, that is a real achievement.
Resolution is a kind of toss up between The Evil Dead, The Blair Witch Project and Sinister with a conclusion that feels Cabin in the Woods on a budget. The film itself cannot be called frightening but really excels with its atmosphere, shocks and intensity. The film somewhat raises a question of what Fear is, as the whole film feels structured to pick the very inspirations of the genre apart. Resolution is concerned with taking laughs from the campfire folklore (aliens, killer wolves, weird locals) that inspires horror all the time, as well as paying tribute to it. Thanks to whip-smart writing and direction by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, this is a somewhat psychological cat and mouse game. It takes a challenged, near fractured, friendship and puts it through its paces for us all to see.
From the off, the peering, creeping camera work gives a strong sense of voyeuristic evil and spins your perceptions come the climax. The really clever thing and what surprises is how many sub-plots are brought in and tied up. An Indian grounds debate and drug dealers out for payment seem conventional but are well placed for later revelations. The entire film reminded in parts of the entertaining V/H/S, very gritty but played with knowingness. The ending may well disappoint many but keep your eyes open throughout and there are drip fed clues as to what it actually means.
The acting is very good quality helping to make us actually care about the central friendship. The initially swearing, incomprehensible and childish ‘meth head’ Chris (Vinny Curran) transforms throughout. Curran gives charisma and comedy to a great part that alters from start to finish. Peter Cilella as Mike is his opposite; smart, successful and clean but its not played with toxic levels of smug. Mike comes across as endearing and warm onscreen. The supporting cast however are a bit too fleeting to leave a mark and more tests of the central duo than full-fledged characters, then again, when all is said and done what a test!
Resolution arguably will make an impact for those lucky enough to see it and will be debated about for a while to come but this is one hell of a smart Horror movie, which avid fans will love. A funny, energetic and atmospheric offering that can be enjoyed by many, particularly horror buffs. Keep an eye out for Resolution.