Resolution (2012) – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead Adjust Tracking was the nifty looking short that was shown before Resolution. It is a fun set-up with an Are You Afraid Of The Dark style twist, and is worth a watch if you can track it down.
Resolution is a very unusual film. The plot revolves around Michael who is trying to forcibly detox his meth-addicted friend Chris in an isolated cabin over five days. During that time he finds strange old pieces of media telling stories with violent ends before finding clues to suggest that he is trapped in the middle of such a story. What follows is a steady descent into paranoia sprinkled with sharp humour and meta moments.
There is also a strongly unsettling sensation that there is something mysterious unseen and growing in power during the film. The editing is really fantastic and contributes to the film’s unique atmosphere.
Resolution is in many ways like a low budget cousin of Cabin in the Woods as both are based heavily on subverting the audience’s expectations and tropes of the horror genre, though they go about it in a very different ways. Resolution actually takes it one step further and often seems to tackle narrative structure in general rather than just limiting itself to horror stories.
The most effective aspect of the film is the relationship between the two leads. It is frequently comedic and believably dramatic. Their relationship is so enjoyable to watch that the subversive narrative feels like a distraction. When Resolution reaches its intentionally unsatisfying and abrupt ending, it is hard not to wonder why the film is a satire at all when there is a highly effective and tense comedic-drama buried inside.
Resolution is still an excellent and very enjoyable film that has appeal for both high-brow and low-brow audiences but if any fault can be pointed out it would be that the filmmakers chose to make Resolution a clever self-reflexive movie rather than a smart and sincere film. Nonetheless Resolution is a film well-worth watching, and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are filmmakers who display real skill and will hopefully continue to make provocative and interesting films.