Directed by Justin Benson (who also wrote it) and Aaron Scott Moorhead, RESOLUTION (2012) is a low-budget character-driven meta-horror flick that achieves a lot from its conceit and a surprising amount from its execution. It’s packed with weird tension, excellent chemistry between the two principal characters, and a completely satisfying conclusion.
Michael (Peter Cilella), a graphic designer living in the city, receives a strange video and map from his old high school friend Chris (Vinny Curran), who is a drug addict. Over the objections of his wife, Michael ventures out to convince Chris to go into rehab, going so far as to chain him to a pipe in the abandoned rundown house where he’s living.
It’s clear from the start this is a strange place. Drug dealers, local oddballs, and native tribesmen (the house is on tribal land) immediately threaten Michael’s plans to dry Chris out. The area apparently attracts weirdos–cults, UFO religions, and other oddballs. Things get weirder when somebody begins leaving strange storybooks, slides, film reels, and VHS cassettes for Michael to find. Each tells a gruesome story and adds up to a mystery for Michael as he struggles with his friend going through withdrawal.
The film rolls out a bit awkwardly but steadily finds its groove. I found myself as interested in the real and often-humorous chemistry between these old friends as the horror element. Will Michael accept Chris is a drug addict and let him go? Or will Chris embrace life and reject drugs? This story is told organically in the midst of steadily mounting weirdness and tension as Michael meets the odd locals and begins to sense somebody or something is manipulating events. I found the last act gripping, more panic than fear, with a surprising and satisfying conclusion.
If you enjoy finding rare gems in indie horror, check this one out.