Directors: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
Stars: Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon
Resolution was getting a lot of comparisons to one of my favourite horror films, The Cabin in the Woods. Critics and audiences were calling it unpredictable, genre-bending and unlike anything that we’ve seen before. The DVD has quotes like, “The movie The Cabin in the Woods should have been.” One quote even compares it to Sinister, which I find bizarre given that Sinister didn’t get great reviews (not my opinion by the way, I think that Sinister is brilliant) so of course I was very excited to give Resolution a watch. We all know that the majority of modern horror films are tired, so to get something unpredictable is a rarity. Unfortunately, Resolution didn’t live up to the hype.
The film has an interesting premise. A man chaining his drug-addicted friend to a pipe in an abandoned cabin, in a bid to make him go cold turkey. Unfortunately, this premise isn’t quite enough to sustain a feature length film. The majority of the film is the two characters chatting and arguing, which is fine for 45 minutes. In fact, the most entertaining scenes are between the two thanks to the chemistry of the actors and the funny dialogue, “I met this dog! She’s awesome. We’re writing a book together!” However, this becomes pretty boring once we hit the one hour mark.
The whole film is just like waiting for something to happen, but nothing really does happen until the last 15 minutes, and even then it’s still dull. It’s frustrating too because the idea is very clever it’s just not done well, in my opinion. The Cabin in the Woods used a similar postmodern meta-narrative however, it was incredibly entertaining throughout, whilst still being intelligent. Resolution is clever, but dull.
A lot of the film is one character walking about and coming across various peculiar encounters. There’s a man in a cave, some shifty religious nuts and a mental patient tapping on the cabin’s window, however none of these have anything to do with the plot itself. I understand that these are supposed to represent various ways in which the narrative could unfold, but is there any need for this to fill out the majority of the actual film? The Cabin in the Woods played with a similar idea in one short scene in the basement.
If you’re after an unpredictable and self-aware horror film, then I’d stick to The Cabin in the Woods or Funny Games. Resolution offers tedium more than anything. It does have a fairly engaging first half, but the second half quickly runs out of steam. I appreciate its ideas, however it ultimately feels flat.