Writer: Justin Benson Directors: Justin Benson and Aaron Morehead IMDB Official Site: www.resolutionstory.com If
we continue to receive films of the caliber of The Last Will &
Testament of Rosiland Leigh and now Tribeca Film's Resolution, then 2013
is primed to be a banner year for independent horror. It’s as smart
and engaging a film as I’ve come across in a long while, and it
packs tiny details that seem easy to overlook at first blush, but
come back to pack a wallop as the story unfolds.
the outskirts of a Native American reservation Michael (Peter
Cilella) chains his meth addicted best friend Chris (Vinny Curran) to
a pipe in his squatter’s home in a last ditch attempt to detox him
from drugs. Yet despite his best intentions, Michael discovers that
watching a junkie piss himself while sleeping and shaking throughout
the day makes for a boring way to pass the time. Before long Michael
finds himself exploring the fringes of a location rife with castoffs:
a pair of low-rent drug dealers, a doomsday cult, a french
archeologist who has spent the past thirty years living in his RV
away from society and a wandering mental patient that likes to play
Peeping Tom in the wee hours of the night.
importantly, Michael finds snippets of other people's stories left in
odd locations. Decades old journals, dusty 8mm reels and weather-worn
photographs all find their way into Mike's hands. All of these stories end in awful ways for the involved parties. Michael starts to
connect these disparate stories as part of a much larger, more
sinister narrative, but can't finger who is pulling the strings and
for what end.
Justin Benson and Aaron Morehead feed the audience snippets of the
story a little at a time, forcing the viewer to the edge of his seat while
coming up with their own explanations. Clues and easter eggs are
parceled out sparingly. Resolution benefits from multiple
viewings as he dots become clearer and easier to connect. Resolution
also shares a trait with many of my favorite horror films. Benson and
Morehead aren't looking for one shocking moment, or trying to turn stomachs with gore. Instead Resolution plants kernels of dread and growing unease in the pit of the viewer's stomach and allows them to
blossom over time.
pair of riveting and organic performances from Peter Cilella and
Vinnie Curran prevent Resolution from ever feeling like it’s dragging its
feet. The two actors build a tremendous rapport that paints a
picture of a friendship based on mutual affection that stretches back decades.
The way the two bounce lines off one another make it easy to
understand why Cilella's character can't give up on his friend. At
the same time, Curran takes a role that could have been one note and
injects it with humor and more than a bit of tragedy. At one point he
makes a poignant argument how his lifestyle helps him cope with the
crushing sadness of his life, and pleads with his friend to just let
him die in his own way.
Resolution Benson and Morehead explore themes of inevitability
and the need to let things go. Is Michael looking to help his best
friend, or is he stoking the fires of a hero complex while washing
his hands of culpability? As Michael keeps turning up clues that has
all signs pointing to an awful conclusion if he continues to push the
issue, he still finds it impossible to walk away. Resolution explores
how we see ourselves as a main character in a much grander story
where we believe ourselves impervious to bad outcomes. Michael
presses on with Chris' detox and the strange events around him
because he refuses to accept any ending than the happy one he's
written in his mind.
What seems like a small, simple tale at the outset morphs into something with a lot of heft. It's the kind of movie that inspires hours long conversations over many beers long after its ending. Smart, sharp and delivering a pair of standout performances, the fact that it manages to creep the viewer out in profound ways seems like an added bonus. RESOLUTION is currently available through video-on-demand services such as Amazon.