Resolution (2012 film)

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Promotional image for Resolution (2012 film)...

Summary

Michael ties up his best friend, Chris, in a remote cabin to get him sober. The situation starts out bad, but gets worse as weird strangers, fragments of apocalyptic tomes, dark omens, and other strange things begin turning up at the cabin.

A sequel also exists, The Endless (2017 film), and Spring (2014 film) may also take place in the same universe.

Details

  • Release Date: 2012
  • Country/Language: USA, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Mystery, Fantasy, Science Fiction, dark Comedy
  • Setting: Modern California
  • Runtime: 1 hr 33 min
  • Starring: Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran
  • Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Scott Moorhead
  • Writer: Justin Benson
  • Producer/Production Co: Justin Benson, Tribeca Film, Cinedigm
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • TVTropes Page: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (perhaps equivalent to PG-13 for Violence, Profanity, Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)

This actually appears to be a sort of darkly humorous post-modern deconstruction of many standard weird fiction "tropes" (such as the characters visiting a cabin in the woods where nothing particularly scary happens at night, ominous visits from cultists and eccentrics who don't really do much, the discovery of stacks of apocalyptic logs and strange tomes and other clues that never really seem to add up to anything, and a take on an "Eldritch Horror" that would have been unheard of before 2012); it shares more than a little in common with Cabin in the Woods (2012 film).

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Horror-Movie-A-Day, (link) - "One of the directors said he had heard the film described as "Lovecraftian Mumblecore", but I think of it more like True West meets The Shining - whatever plot elements come into play, it never strays far from its dramatic core about two guys at a crossroads in their lives, one being high-and-mighty, trying to convince the other to change his ways without ever considering that the guy might be perfectly happy the way he is. Even at the end (no spoilers), they're still just chatting about their lives and the role the other plays in it - it's actually quite endearing...."
  • Brett Gallman at Oh The Horror! (link) - "Resolution sneaks up on you. Its compelling story and ominous atmosphere make immediate impressions alongside the various, clichéd horror overtures that somehow feel potent in this twilight zone. What lingers beyond this, however, is its subtle caginess. For a film that presents so many possibilities, Resolution is remarkably short on answers. ...but it sticks with you all the same."
  • Richard Scheib at the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (3/5 Stars) (link) - "If nothing else, Resolution at least does something very different from the usual brand of backwoods cabin horror films... ... weird things start to creep in...but initially come so nonchalantly layered in that you don’t pay them overly much attention."
  • Ian Sedensky at Culture Crypt (85/100) (link) - "And unsettling is something that “Resolution” has the ability to do very well. The script is structured so that the story’s final destination is never in full view. And the path it takes there continually fascinates like an almost maddening dangling carrot."
  • Vanessa Stewart at Mother of Movies (4/5 Skulls) (link) - "On the surface, it just looks like a story about one friend trying to save the other. Irrespective of the fact, the majority of the film is spent with the two of them parked in this tiny little house while one tries to get the other to detox, there is ample interesting and subtle information being fed into the story. Every single thing that seems to happen, is tinged with danger." (The Review also covers "The Endless".)
  • Matt Wavish at Horror Cult Films (9/10 Stars) (link) - "What I ... like is its unconventional approach to horror: there are no jump scares, no loud bangs or music, minimal violence, and no cheap tactics. The film relies on atmosphere, exceptional acting and an intriguing and rewarding story, and plays out more like a sinister drama."
  • Serena Whitney at Dread Central, (5/5 Daggers) (link) - "Resolution is a film that will remind the horror community why it is so important to support the indie scene since it is a precise example of what happens when the alchemy among crew, cast, tone and script all work flawlessly....."

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

Michael ties up his best friend, Chris, in a remote cabin to get him sober. The situation starts out bad, but gets worse as weird strangers, fragments of apocalyptic tomes, dark omens, and other strange things begin turning up at the cabin.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • Quote: "How does an isolated tribesman in Ecuador know the difference between an alien, an angel, and a ghost? He doesn't, but he tells a story to make sense of the infinite." - Hippie Cultist
  • Trivia: A hand-drawn picture of the cover of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis is tacked to the wall of the cabin.


Associated Mythos Elements

  • The house and property are scattered with assorted apocalyptic logs and eldritch "tomes" in a huge variety of formats.
  • A variety of weird strangers, including various cultists, visit the property.
  • A sort of comedic take on an "Eldritch Horror" appears near the abrupt end of the film.

Keeper Notes

  • There's not much to work with here for a traditional Call of Cthulhu scenario plot or background: just a couple guys revealing and developing their character while a whole lot of weird, eerie things happen around them, like broken CoC plot hooks that never really catch the characters (or like the direct opposite of an actual Lovecraft story where the characters are complete ciphers, driven entirely on the winds of the Lovecraftian plot elements that appear, in this story the Lovecraftian elements huff and puff but never really seem to make it very far past character interaction and development); there might be a lesson to be learned in there somewhere about how things can go right in a CoC scenario even when the investigators never take any of the Lovecraftian bait, so long as strong motivations and good role-playing drive character interaction forward with minimal Keeper interruption....


See Also