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Xavierpop Does @TADFilmFest – ‘Resolution’ Really, Really Impressed Louis

Resolution is a tense and well thought out horror mystery that goes much deeper than your typical “cabin in the woods” type affair. Complex in the telling, the solid acting takes a well written script and brings it astonishingly alive. A compelling mix of friendship, drug addiction, isolation, fear and the unknown make for an interesting and unique horror film.

Michael Danube (Peter Cilella) receives a video from best friend Chris Daniels (Vinny Curran) that shows Chris smoking drugs and shooting up the skyline with various weapons. Seeing the video from home, being concerned for his friend, Michael leaves his pregnant wife and travels to where Chris is currently held up to help him. Finding the video to be accurate, he chains Chris to the cabin wall and tells him he has a week to get clean. Testing the limits of their friendship, Chris has the reaction and painful attitude that any junkie suddenly cut off from supply would. Michael settles in and prepares for Chris to eventually come around to his way of thinking. During this, Michael starts taking walks, and along the way discovers a bevy of characters. There are drug addicts that want either drugs or money from Chris, who is hazy on the actual location of the drugs. The owner of the house wants them gone, sooner rather than later, and implies a threat of violence. A UFO cult, mental patients, various hobos and some unseen supernatural force that may or may not be ghosts, the result of devil worshipers, native spirits or a physics experiment gone awry are all present in one form or another and are given as a cause of unfolding events. Then again, they might not be. There is little gore or violence in this film and nearly everything is implied or alluded to, making it a much more interesting puzzle to figure out.

Michael has little to do beyond ensuring Chris stays put, and being chained, that isn’t very difficult. Boredom soon sets in and all the junk lying around seems like an interesting distraction. What at first appears to be novel soon becomes a little morbid as the things Chris is finding seem to not only contain a theme, but are linked oddly. Linking themselves in an odd pattern, the begin to point to something or someone directing the events currently taking place, including the original video sent to Michael. Chris, in the throes of withdrawal, only wants to be unlocked to do more drugs, isn’t particularly interested in the finds or their meanings. Eventually, even he sees there is something far more ominous and powerful at work. In dealing with not only Chris’ problems, and the other problems presenting themselves Michael acts with a confidence all will be well in the end. Even lying to his wife about the exact nature of the situation seems acceptable. Through the mist of the metaphysical, the two try to find reality and a solution to the growing presence that, well, wants an end to their particular story.

The key to this film is the lead actor’s ability to bring writer Justin Benson‘s script to life. Well acted by both leads, the material seems fresh and vibrant, with interludes of humor scattered throughout. Natural and believable as complete people, this film works as well as a character study as it does on every other level. The chemistry between the two actors has a particular authenticity that one tends to find in long standing friendships, easily relating stories and antidotes about one another as if from memory, rather than by script. Without this, the film could have easily fallen apart, or descended into silliness. Co directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead make the most of the leads acting abilities, creating a rich and subtle relationship between the two men.

In the end, what this film is about is horror. It’s a horror film for horror film fans. They want exactly what this film promises, and quite well delivers on. Clever, subtle, subversive and witty, it achieves a much greater whole than its parts might suggest. So much the better for those who might feel every plot element is random will discover it all has meaning, and purpose.