Toronto After Dark Review: Resolution

Resolution

After getting sent a link to a video featuring his high-as-a-kite best friend engaging in a succession of insane and increasingly dangerous behaviour, along with a google maps link to a remote location, Michael (Peter Cilella) leaves his pregnant wife safe at home and treks out to the middle of nowhere determined to get Chris (Vinny Curran) off meth and into rehab. Upon arriving at a half-finished cabin on the edge of an Indian reservation, Michael handcuffs Chris to a pipe and explains that he’ll stay there for 7 days while the drugs work their way out of his system. As the time passes, the two alternately bicker and reminisce about old times and as the days pass Michael does his best to fix Chris’ life, negotiating with violent drug buddies and paying off a the head of the local tribal council when it becomes clear that Chris has been illegally squatting in reservation property. What’s more, odd things begin appearing to Michael wherever he goes. An old record with with an eerie recording, a reel of film with unsettling images, an old book with journal entries written in French; someone is clearly trying to send him a message…he’s just not sure what it is or how exactly he and Chris figure into the bigger picture.

What is there to say about Resolution that doesn’t ruin the skillful way the story reveals itself or send you down a rabbit hole of theories about what it all means? Suffice it to say that Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead embark on a brave journey to subvert the horror genre and infuse it with comedy that feels heartfelt rather than slapstick, keeping the plot machinations as unpredictable as they are hilarious and wonderfully weird. Benson and Moorhead also smartly keep the central relationship–Michael and Chris’ troubled yet close friendship–as front and centre as the mysterious goings-on at the cabin. You’re as eager to see how this friendship is going to weather the week as you are to find out just what the hell is going on with all the crazy messages. It’s a rare film that’s able to balance scary, funny and extremely poignant story beats the way that Resolution so effortlessly does – let’s just hope it’s given the chance to screen for the wider audience it deserves.

Resolution Trailer


Kristal Cooper has been a film buff since the age of two when her parents began sneaking her into the drive-in every weekend. Since then, she's pursued that passion by working for the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Film Centre as well as spending many a happy hour inside Toronto's wonderful theatres (she still mourns the loss of The Uptown). She is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture and feminist issues, and continues to slog away at her day job as a small cog in the giant machinery of the Toronto film community.

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