Friday, October 4, 2013


Every horrorhound's favorite month is upon us, and to celebrate, I'll be dishing out a personal pick from the genre for every day in October. Some will be obvious and rather unoriginal (sorry that I like movies other people like), while some will be a little more oddball and off-the-wall. Some may even challenge your idea of what constitutes a "horror" movie. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the month with some good movies, even if they aren't ones I recommend!

Today's Pick: Resolution (2012)

If there is a common criticism a majority of horror movies suffer from, it's that the characters often take a backseat to the plot or concept. Some horror movies can support themselves this way (see yesterday's pick), but most don't have the imagination, momentum or sheer insanity to do so. Resolution recognizes this and turns the expectation around 180 degrees. It's a movie that is solely about the characters, and it utilizes the idea of stories as something far more mysterious and ultimately terrifying.

The premise is an intensely personal and dramatic one. Michael (Peter Cilella) visits his childhood friend Chris (Vinny Curran) in an abandoned cabin out in the woods. However, when they get there, Michael handcuffs Chris inside the house. This has all been a ploy to seclude and trap Chris in order to get him to kick his meth addiction. Michael promises to stay with Chris while he kicks the drug, but boredom and curiosity eventually lead to him wandering around the woods and finding a myriad of strange objects and even stranger characters, each seeming to be a kickoff to its own story. He also has to contend with Chris's druggie friends and the local Indian gang that claim ownership of the cabin and land it's on. But more unnerving is whatever force that has taken interest in these two men, and the many oddities it seems to inject into their lives.

It's difficult to completely describe what goes on in Resolution without spoiling what makes it so eerily special. It's definitely what you would call a "meta" movie, in that it's commenting on the very nature of stories, and even film as a medium of telling them. While those ideas might seem heady, the film never derails thanks to the absurdly realistic performances from its two leads. The movie gives you plenty of time to just sit with the characters, allowing them to reminisce about their younger days together, and to figure out where their own "stories" went so terribly wrong. It's honestly moving stuff, and for an independent horror movie, that's a rarity.

Lest you think the whole experience is a drama, let me assuage your fears by assuring you that Resolution is overflowing with atmospheric dread. The things and people Michael encounters in the woods are bizarre and off-putting, and as the sanity of the film unravels, so do the surroundings that our characters inhabit. There's an impending doom that hovers over the entire movie, and by the film's end, that doom is given a shape and form that is quite literally too terrible to conceive.

Resolution is certainly not for everyone. It can come off as pretentious, but that's only because it's an experiment in narrative, viewed through the eyes of two people you swear you've known at some point in your life. The two leads are what Resolution really cares about, and that's an astoundingly fresh mindset when it comes to the horror genre. The movie is brazenly stating, "Plot is ephemeral, but characters are what matter." That is going to turn off a good chunk of the audience, but for those that it connects with, it creates a profoundly memorable movie experience. If you want to stimulate your brain while having the added benefit of being extremely creeped out, pull up your Netflix Instant account and load up Resolution.

Tomorrow, we welcome the first creature feature to the list and it happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies. Catch you back here tomorrow!

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