Resolution

2013

Resolution

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,984
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Movie Info

In an abandoned cabin on the edge of an Indian reservation, Mike (Peter Cilella) stages a risky intervention to force his friend Chris (Vinny Curran) off meth and into rehab. But what begins as an attempt to save his friend's life takes an unexpected turn when ominous threats start appearing around the house - and they realize that Chris's addictions are the least of their worries. RESOLUTION is genre-bending horror at its most bone-chilling. (c) Tribeca film

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Critic Reviews for Resolution

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2)

  • a Pirandello-esque sort of paradoxical meta-horror whose folk are unwitting players in a film (or several), desperate to find a way safely to exit the stage and escape the gaze of an unseen, and obviously viewer-like, observer.

    Jul 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A strangely tense and humorous meta-narrative about two friends experiencing weird goings-on at a remote cabin.

    Jan 24, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A smart and chilling indie horror from co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead ...

    Jan 24, 2013 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

    Ian Buckwalter

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • Resolution makes its own creative crisis the star, trying to make something original out of elements so hackneyed, the filmmakers can't bear to reproduce them.

    Jan 24, 2013 | Rating: B

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Ambiguity enlivens the smart, knotty Resolution, which routinely nods to its own artificiality while positing storytelling as a constantly evolving beast apt to save your life one moment and consume you the next.

    Jan 22, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Though Resolution has some significant flaws, it's important that films like it get made and that filmmakers like Moorehead and Benson continue to aim high and take chances.

    Apr 15, 2019 | Rating: 6.1/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Resolution

  • Jul 11, 2017
    Terrible. A few creepy scenes, but boring and pointless otherwise. Ridiculous ending.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2015
    Even if the plot drags in the first two acts, eliminating the tension and making the mystery feel bland and not engaging, this is an interesting effort that finds a curious balance between humor and horror, with a smart meta-twist in the third act that justifies all that came before.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2013
    <B><I>RESOLUTION</I> (2012) </B>independent WRITTEN BY: Justin Benson DIRECTED BY: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead FEATURING: Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Bill Oberst Jr., Kurt David Anderson, Emily Montague GENRE: <B>PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER</B> TAGS: genre-bender; puzzler, drama, mystery, occult, horror PLOT:<B> In this tense micro-budget thriller, a young man tries to bring his friend back to reality, only to find that "reality" is not just open to interpretation, but malleable and ever-changing. In fact, the pair's reality might not even be their own.</B> COMMENTS: In spite of some worn cliches -mysterious found footage, missing researchers, and a mystic medicine cabin obligatorily set on an Indian reservation, with Resolution, independent writer/director Justin Benson brings us a breath of fresh air. The film is technically adept on its small budget, and presents a real genre-bender of a plot. Resolution builds slowly as a crime drama, becomes a psychological suspension, then morphs into a puzzler riddled with paradoxes. It releases in a brief climax of occult horror. In the story, yuppie Michael (Peter Cilella) travels to a remote squatters' shack, where his addict friend Chris (Vinny Curran), bristling with firearms and contraband, has holed up, resolved to kill himself with drugs. Michael restrains Chris, and forces him to withdraw "cold-turkey" over the course of a week. A progression of weirdos make the scene. Chris's low-life cohorts (Kurt David Anderson and Kyler Meacham) drop in, demanding drugs. A tightly-wired Native American property owner (Zahn McClarnon) and his menacing gang show up to evict the occupants. A scheming real estate developer (Josh Higgins) creeps in, mistaking Michael and Chris for the deed-holders, and a doomsday religious cult is engaging in shenanigans a little too nearby for comfort. Michael strives to maintain control over the situation to buy enough time to get Chris straightened out, and back to civilization and rehab. Despite the threat posed by oddball interlopers, the real tension is yet to come. Someone...or some THING is watching -and recording everything Michael and Chris do. But how? The surveillance indicates a presence that looms closer and closer, yet Michael can't detect the observer. Looking for clues, Micheal discovers strange footage shot by a missing anthropology team, then locates a laconic neighbor, Bryon (Bill Oberst Jr.), with an uncomfortably unorthodox existential philosophy. From here the story plunges into perplexing paradoxes. Chris's sleazy drug buddies and the landowner converge for a showdown. Mind-bending events knock Mike and Chris away from objective reality and any sense of control over their destinies. Resolution is talky, but intriguing. The long-winded plot is better suited for an hour short. Aside from establishing an initial setting and circumstances, the first half of the film doesn't bear vital relation to the engaging concepts of the second. It's still pretty good. Unsettling developments keep us watching. Plot twists reveal a honeycomb of passages down which to venture. Rather than choose one of them and proceed, the filmmakers offer a twisted experience based on the fact that these alternate routes exist. Part of the fun of Resolution is thinking about the various possibilities and what they mean. In our minds, we DO pursue them, trying to predict the outcome, but just when we think we know what's going to happen, Resolution throws us a new twist. Throughout it all ripples a nerve-jarring undercurrent of menace, indeterminate, and incipient. Mike and Chris's safe return to the outside world is increasingly unfeasible. There's some subtle cinematic artistry in Resolution which reinforces the exposition. In the scene in which Michael is conversing with Byron, Byron discusses his views about narrative and story. As he explains to Michael, Byron holds a mirror. At first, the mirror is angled so that Micheal's reflection blends with Byron's face. The effect is to project Byron and Micheal as melded together, depicting a dual entity. But Michael cannot see it. Only we can see it. Byron angles the mirror so that we see another mirror on the wall behind Michael, producing the illusion of endless repetition. It illustrates the concept of how a painter records a scene. There is the scene, and the painter painting it. But there is a larger scene. For us to see the painter painting the scene, there must be another painter, painting the painter painting the scene... and so on to infinity. This is a pivotal moment in the film. Resolution carries distinct, though not fully developed sub-themes about the evolution and structure of folklore, myth and story, and these are tied into the paradoxes. Filmed in a half-completed lodge under construction, illuminated by hook lamps, and without background music, intimate camerawork increases a sense of realism, almost like seeing a documentary. The technique is effective because Resolution turns out to be all about deconstruction and the plastic nature of reality. By the time we realize this, we've accepted the actuality of what's transpired, only to have the drop sheet yanked out from under our feet.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2013
    I thought this film had a clever little concept, with some solid execution and intelligent dialogue. I think parts of it, especially the climax, really remind of Cabin in the Wood's Ancient Ones representing us, the audience, and the fact that we demand "sacrifice" from our horror movies. The movie recalls that concept, as well as the fact that the concept of narratives and how stories end are a big important part of this film. So in a way, the movie is probably, at times, too clever for its own good but I do think it was a unique approach to telling the story. Not a lot of people have the balls to subvert typical horror, or film, tropes in general and it's nice to see a movie that tries to go about its own path. I do think the film almost HAD to be funny considering the way the concept played out. It was a good concept, but it didn't really have much in the way of horror or really built up tension. Yes, there are strange goings-on in this place, but I never really felt any dread that something shitty was about to happen. Thankfully, the clever dialogue sort of picks up the slack and Vinny Curran, who plays Chris, is definitely entertaining. Peter Cilella was fine, but unimpressive and sometimes his delivery left a lot to be desired. But I did like the chemistry between the two, so that helps. In all, this is a solid movie, one that certainly isn't perfect but it is ambitious on top of having a good script and some good performances. This isn't something you really need to go out of your way to see, like Cabin in the Woods, but it does entertain for its relatively short running length.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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