| October 5, 2013

I volunteered to review this for one reason:  there’s a quote on the cover of the DVD from the Village Voice that states that Resolution “Puts The Cabin in the Woods to Shame.”  Now, if you haven’t seen The Cabin in the Woods, it’s fantastic.  It made my top ten list for last year against some really stiff competition, and is simply a wonderfully crafted horror parody.  So, I was pretty much setting myself up to hate Resolution by going into it with these very high expectations.  It makes it that much more significant then that I ended up really enjoying this film.

However, it has to be said that Resolution bears almost no resemblance to The Cabin in the Woods.  Yes, they’re in the woods, in a sort of cabin (more like an unfinished house), and yes, there is a humor element and a horror element, but if I had watched this without that quote being plastered on the front cover, I never would have made the association.  Also, while this has a horror element, I would never classify it as a horror movie, or a comedy for that matter.  Resolution is a play about two life-long friends.  Mike (Peter Cilella) has left his pregnant wife behind to go into the woods to find Chris (Vinny Curran), who is squatting in the aforementioned house/cabin, firing handguns at birds and getting high on crystal meth.  Mike takes it upon himself to save his friend from his drug habit by handcuffing him to a bar in the house for a week so he can get clean.  That would be more than enough to keep my interest, but Resolution almost insists on becoming a horror movie, and over the course of the week, Mike and Chris begin to see things they can’t explain.  Books, slides, videos, CDs, and several other media are left for them to find and show the pair a variety of bizarre little stories, including some that seem to be from their future.

The rules concerning these strange horror elements are not very well established.  Mike seems to understand what’s going on but his explanations to Chris (and the audience) didn’t make any sense to me so it was difficult for me to understand what was happening and how they were going to try to get through it.  It’s odd because the film doesn’t need this bizarre angle; it works perfectly well as a drama between these two friends trapped together during this week long intervention.  I wasn’t sold on the Chris character in his first few minutes.  He was jumping around and shooting guns and acting pretty much crazy.  His lines felt improvised and awkward, but once he’s locked up and going through the stages of withdrawal, threatening Mike, insulting him, begging Mike to kill him, and so on, it’s really easy to get invested in this character.

There is a sense of hopelessness to the horror aspect here, which I enjoyed, but without giving too much away, it didn’t pay off effectively for me in the final moments of the film.  Again, what I liked about Resolution was independent from its trying to be a horror film, so the crap horror movie ending didn’t ruin anything for me, but it’s hard to watch a movie not live up to its obvious potential.

Special features include interviews with the cast and crew, parody videos and outtakes, and commentaries.  Available on Blu-ray and DVD from Cinedigm on October 8.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD

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