Funny, mysterious and scary at the same time, Resolution is an indie film with an astoundingly fresh take in contemporary horror.

If you’ve ever seen photographic film being developed, you will agree that it’s a slow but painstaking process. And no matter how many photos you’ve developed that way, it’s always rewarding when you see the picture emerging into existence. Resolution works the same way, only here the real picture emerges well after you’ve seen the film. And then it continues to play on your mind by taunting you into reassessing what you’ve just seen, over and over again.

Just like various chemicals used to develop film, there are several catalysts at work in this multi-layered but slow cooking pot boiler. Distributed as a horror-mystery thriller, none of this is remotely apparent when we are first introduced to lead characters Mike (Peter Cilella) and Chris (Vinny Curran). They are best friends and over time we get to know them fairly well. What’s apparent is that Chris is a meth addict and Mike wants to save his friend by forcefully inducing withdrawal through cold turkey. Holed up in a depilated shack in the middle of nowhere, Chris is bitter about it but Mike is patient and persistent. Their bickering goes on for a while, sometimes funny, sometimes drab, until you feel it playing out like a pretentious ‘friend in need’ story. You, the viewer, can be forgiven for thinking this is getting all too boring. You want more drama, peril, action. You keep wondering why the filmmakers said this film is a horror thriller. And just then it starts – things go from bad to worse between Mike and Chris as they are unwittingly drawn into a situation that is not only dangerous, but gets weirder and weirder by the minute.

“It’s an unusual story with a beginning, middle and end”, a key character tells Mike when he goes looking for answers. This is a pivotal moment in the film that reveals a major clue and one that will come in handy by the time we get to the seemingly absurd ending. But Mike doesn’t get it, and if you’ve not been paying attention, neither will you as the viewer. It’s not that Resolution tries to be a film meant for rocket scientists, or prides itself as a mind-bender. For a low budget indie horror film, the concept is not only off-the-beaten-path, but one that requires literally thinking outside the box to fully appreciate its making. If I were to compare, directors Justin Benson (also the scriptwriter) and Aaron Moorhead uses a ploy similar to the one that got The Cabin in the Woods a lot of mixed reactions. Viewers of that film either loved it or hated it. Cut from the same cloth, the concept here is fresh and astoundingly visceral, two qualities that are hard to come by in contemporary horror cinema. But if horror cinema has a new sub-genre, then this is the film to have created it and along with it, a new monster you’ll never see during the film. Figuring out who or what that monster is, is undeniably what sets this film apart with a euphoric high.

Rating: ★★★★☆


About Lloyd Bayer

Besides his passion for travelling, photography and scuba diving, Lloyd is a prolific film critic having contributed hundreds of film reviews to web and print journals, including IMDb and local daily Khaleej Times.