Resolution – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

A man imprisons his estranged junkie friend in an isolated cabin in the boonies San Diego to force him through a week of sobriety, but the events of that week are being mysteriously manipulated. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating:  100% (Critics) / 64% (Audience)
MetaScore:  80 – Generally favorable reviews
Directed By: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Written By: Justin Benson
Starring: Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon
Studio: Tribeca Films

The Good:
I thought the friendship between drug addict Chris and father-to-be Michael was a very well-written relationship. As a viewer you immediately felt the bond between the two men and understood why Michael was fighting so hard to help his friend get clean despite Chris’ seeming unwillingness to even attempt it.
REOLUTION’s concept was a cool on too. The way the odd occurrence’s initially were so benign that it was possible to think that one of the multitude of odd to discomforting character in the vicinity of the Chris and Michael’s cabin were behind them. But then you started to buy into Chris’ charge that maybe Michael wasn’t as mentally stable as we had been led to believe. Of course the bizarre situations grew to such an outlandish level that it became obvious there were otherworldly forces at work but even then RESOLUTION offers no easy answers.

At a certain point the friends seem to figure out what is happening to them but even that realization comes with a lot of uncertainty that reaches it climax with the incredibly ambiguous ending.
And I loved the visual trick of the screen jumping to signify the mysterious manipulator toying with these characters. It was done in such a cool way that it seemed like the viewer was part of the proceedings.

The Bad:
Some of the acting, especially from the tertiary characters, was remarkably bad. And I am a huge Zahn McClarnon fan (you might not know the name but if you have watched any TV or seen any movies in the past 15 or so years then you have seen McClarnon on your screen) and was hoping eh would have a much larger role than he did.

The Ugly:
While I didn’t hate the ending I did find it to be just a bit unsatisfying. I am all for a creator wanting to leave things up for audience interpretation and I had fun coming up with my own theories about just what the ending meant: Was it us, the viewers, manipulating Chris and Michael? Were there actual aliens using Chris and Michael as entertainment? Was it something to do with the Native American burial grounds near the cabin? Was it all just one gigantic cosmic Choose Your Own Adventure? Who knows?
But I would have liked to have seen just a little bit of what the people who made RESOLUTION had in mind for what was going on.

Final Verdict: An original and smartly creepy movie that relies much more on character and eeriness mores than outright scares to grab the audience and grab you it does right up to it’s mind-bending (if a little infuriating) ambiguous ending.

Grade: B

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