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'Resolution' Movie Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


Resolution movie poster
© Tribeca
If there was such a thing as "alternative horror," Resolution would be it. Quiet, thoughtful and mind-bending, it dismisses genre tropes right and left, but at what cost?

The Plot

Mike (Peter Cilella) decides to stage a one-man intervention for his old high school buddy Chris (Vinny Curran), who's been spending his days strung out on meth in an abandoned house at the edge of an Indian reservation. When Chris declines Mike's suggestion of entering rehab, Mike takes the drastic step of handcuffing him to a wall and forcing him to go cold turkey. His plan is to stay with Chris for a week, making sure he has food and water and a pot to piss in, in hopes that he will clear his mind and become the friend Mike once knew. But as Chris stews day after day, Mike comes across a series of mysterious items -- photos, a book, a video tape -- that become increasingly ominous in nature, seemingly indicating a supernatural presence that has dark intentions.

The End Result

L-R: Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran in 'Resolution'.

L-R: Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran in 'Resolution'.

© Aaron Moorhead
Resolution is a refreshingly offbeat hodgepodge of genres -- horror, comedy, drama, thriller -- that toys with the conventions of the standard "cabin in the woods" horror movie scenario. Subverting typical genre frights every chance it gets, the film maintains a quiet indie vibe throughout: it's talky, introspective and deliberately paced -- at times to a fault. Although it crafts an intriguing sense of mystery, Resolution takes far too long to get to the supernatural crux of the storyline, interjecting scenes that add little to the plot beyond increasing the quirk factor. Because of its unconventional approach, the scares are muted and fail to take full advantage of some genuinely creepy setups -- so much so that many viewers will likely find it a stretch to even call this a horror movie. Cilella and Curran are likable in the lead roles, however, the latter providing comic relief to the former's straight man routine, and Resolution as a whole proves to be a welcome change of pace -- challenging and enigmatic, with echoes (granted, much more lighthearted ones) of last year's acclaimed Kill List.

The Skinny

  • Acting: B- (Good comedic performances that are able to stretch into the dramatic as needed.)
  • Direction: C+ (Nice indie vibe, but could play up the scares a bit more.)
  • Script: C (Nice concept, but too lethargically paced with disposable elements.)
  • Gore/Effects: C (Modest gore; minimal effects.)
  • Overall: C+ (Smart and funny but light in scares and slow in build-up.)

Resolution is directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead and is not rated by the MPAA. Release date: January 25 (on demand January 23).

Disclosure: The distributor provided free access to this movie for review purposes. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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