|Resurrection Movie Review and Trailer: Sundance 2022|
Movie Review and Trailer for Resurrection 2022
- Written and Directed: Andrew Semans
- Starring: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Grace Kaufman, Michael Esper and Angela Wong Carbone
Margaret’s life is in order. She is capable, disciplined and successful. It’s all under control. That is, until David returns, taking with him the horrors of Margaret’s past.
Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth are incredible actors who gave arguably two of the most underrated performances of the past year, in David Bruckner’s psychological horror The Night House and Michel Franco’s provocative thriller Sundown, respectively.
Pitting such dynamic and exciting artists against each other in a trauma-ridden horror film invites dynamite expectations, then, for Andrew Semans (Nancy, Please) Resurrection, sure to be one of the most provocative and polarizing offerings at Sundance 2022.
Margaret (Rebecca Hall) lives a seemingly full life, successfully juggling a high-flying career and single parenthood while raising a daughter, Abbie (Grace Kaufman), soon to be off to college. But Margaret’s regimented status quo is violently shaken when she notices a familiar man from her past, David (Tim Roth), at a work conference. David then continues to reappear in her neighborhood, forcing her to confront a deep-seated trauma that she experienced more than two decades earlier.
It’s pretty much a cliché these days to filter contemporary horror through the lens of trauma, but it’s such a rich and intuitive vessel through which to marry turmoil both personal and intense that you can’t really blame the filmmakers, or even the critics, for invoking him. so often.
Trauma is far from a buzzy affectation in Semans’ incredibly disturbing horror-thriller, which bleeds slowly with quiet intensity from its opening moments and doesn’t let up until its final frames. The film’s first act largely leaves viewers to their own devices to sink into the ambiguous mood without much context about who David is, beyond scattered hints of an incident that happened 22 years earlier, and the suffocating Margaret’s overprotectiveness over her. Understandably frustrated daughter.
But as Margaret’s healed existence falls off balance, the audience is forced to consider what, if anything, might be a fabrication of her fractured mind. It’s typical tired psychological horror by this point, and yet Semans finds an entry that feels entirely unique in its treatment of unresolved grief.
However, some of the more complicated story mechanics and concepts will leave the most biased mainstream audiences absolutely clueless; anyone who’s stumped by The Night House probably won’t even make it through this entire movie. The biggest reveal is one that borders on the silly and the creepy, working through some vividly horrifying concepts that, one way or another, will probably stick with you for a while.
The truth of the situation becomes increasingly illusory, never mind that Semans essentially stops the film midway for a riveting exposition of Margaret detailing her past with David, a past rooted in abuse and something so material. strange, it would be criminal to spoil it.
This revealing confession marks a nexus point for the drama, launching the story into more foreign territory while he maintains the understanding of “Is he imagining things or not?” mystery. Semans maintains this unsettling tension until the very end, where in the most exciting terms it seems that no wacky idea is off the table. The twisted payoff and subsequent ambiguous epilogue are sure to infuriate as many audience members as they fascinate, but it’s hard not to admire the director’s commitment to the part.
While it’s not Semans’ first feature film, this is his first film in a decade, so it feels like a moment of arrival for a genre filmmaker with a vision of his own. Semans dares to reconfigure gender tropes in a way that audiences should probably be careful what they wish for. While the mechanical quirks of the result are somewhat frustrating, there’s a uniqueness to the storytelling that doesn’t feel like a director just trying to make an A24-adjacent movie. Yet it’s as aesthetically tight as we’ve come to expect from that stable, based on Wyatt Garfield’s rich lens and Jim Williams’ hauntingly gritty string score.
Yet it’s easy to imagine that the narrative’s biggest stakes are less persuasive without the prodigious talents of its two leads. Hall, quickly making a name for himself as a force to be reckoned with in the horror/thriller field, delivers a densely layered performance that does much more than just dial in the usual traumatized tics. His face looks so brutally weathered in some scenes that it’s hard to believe he wasn’t actually sleep deprived before filming.
By contrast, Roth makes the most of his cunningly devilish appearances throughout, flashing a chillingly creepy grin at the right moment, but largely maintaining an air of calm that is itself decidedly disconcerting. Regardless of what we make of the situation and its eventuality, Roth turns David to pivot between the heightened and grounded possibilities of the central conflict.
Grace Kaufman also does an excellent job as Margaret’s daughter, Abby, a young woman who is at risk of becoming a secondary victim of the damage done to her mother’s psyche. The difficult dynamic between an overprotective mother and an independent daughter leads to several magnificent and genuinely combustible arguments, but the pair also share an especially moving sequence in which the mother teaches the daughter how to drink and appreciate whiskey.
This feels almost tailor-made for splitting, but it’s hard to argue against the skill with which she’s been put together. Probably one of the craziest horror movies you’ll see all year, Resurrection goes big on some bold ideas while being backed up by a riveting performance from Rebecca Hall.
Source: SHAUN MUNRO, Blinking Myth, Direct News 99