Inspired Resolution a Twisted Gem of a Thriller
Michael Danube (Peter Cilella) has ventured out into the hills to a remote, rundown shack of a house that former best friend and current junkie Chris Daniels (Vinny Curran) has been calling home. Once there, he at first attempts to convince his one-time pal to come with him to rehab, more than willing to pay the cost because he genuinely wants to help him get clean. When that fails, Michael finds a way to subdue Chris handcuffing him to a pipe in the wall. Heís going to spend the next five days helping him detox, doing whatever he can to keep his spirits up, his body hydrated and his mental status relatively clear.
Vinny Curran and Peter Cilella in Resolution © Tribeca Film
What happens next is a bit difficult to explain, not because the independent thriller Resolution is twisty and complex but more because much of what takes is so outlandish and absurd, yet still so chilling and uncomfortably effective, to go into any of it in too great detail would spoil all the fun. Co-directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (with Benson also writing the script), the pair of relative newcomers have crafted a first-person mumblecore dialogue-driven surrealistic horror thriller that takes its time to reveal its malevolent intentions. Itís a cleverly engineered Ďfound footageí style enterprise where one initially has no idea that said footage is supposed to be found, everything building to a satisfyingly unnerving conclusion thatís as amusing as it is sinister.
Donít get me wrong. It took a bit before I was able to fully appreciate and enjoy all of the subdued emotionally jarring carnage Benson and Moorhead were insidiously attempting to inflict upon me. There were times I couldnít help but wonder why Michael was spending so much time attempting to help Chris or how it was bits of video and recordings of the two discovered scattered willy-nilly around the dilapidated homeís yard and surroundings werenít unsettling the duo like a large part of me felt it should have.
Yet the dialogue Benson has come up with, the ease with which Cilella and Curran effortlessly banter back and forth, the beautiful simplicity of the images Moorhead (acting as cinematographer) throws upon the screen, all of it comes together so perfectly I couldnít help but become more and more fascinated by all that was transpiring. Better, the last 15 minutes of the movie achieve a manic intensity that suits all that has come before splendidly, and as Iíve already stated those final few moments and that last image are kind of incredible.
Thereís tons more I could say but little more I feel like I should, the fun of Resolution in discovering where it is headed and how the filmmakers intend to get there. Benson and Moorhead show real talent, an understanding of genre and character that goes beyond the relative simplicity of the initial premise theyíve so ingeniously constructed. Comparisons to the Jay and Mark Duplassí Baghead are arguably inevitable and equally unfair, the pair maybe working in a somewhat similar realm but going in directions altogether original and different. This is a good movie, maybe even a great one, part of me having the sneaky suspicion Iím going to be mulling over numerous bits and pieces of it for the remainder of the year.
Film Rating: ÍÍÍ (out of 4)