Time: 103 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, cruelty & offensive language
Rebecca Hall as Margaret
Grace Kaufman as Abbie
Michael Esper as Peter
Tim Roth as David
Director: Andrew Semans
A woman’s carefully constructed life gets up-ended when an unwelcome shadow from her past returns, forcing her to confront the monster she’s evaded for two decades.
I knew Resurrection as a horror/thriller with Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth, but didn’t know much about it beyond that. It turned out to be really good, and I recommend going into it fairly blind.
While it starts off slow and fairly tame, Resurrection gets continually more disturbing as it as shocking revelations are presented. For a large portion it is difficult to figure out what is happening, and that just adds to the uncomfortable feeling. It is a paranoia thriller and does very well as that; it is frantic, anxiety and stress inducing. It feels uncomfortably grounded and is effectively dark and disturbing. Not a whole lot happens in the second act, but I was locked in and riveted. There are definitely some things in play thematically, including emotional abuse, trauma and gaslighting. I feel like the third act is going to make or break the movie for some. Without going into it too much, whereas the first two acts felt grounded and realistic, the third act goes in a somewhat different direction, which really throws you off. Not only that but the ending itself is vague, ambiguous and has you questioning what you just watched. I respect the ending but not sure I understand it yet.
The movie definitely benefits from its fantastic performances, in fact it feels more performance driven than character driven. Obviously the standout is the lead performance from Rebecca Hall, who is phenomenal here. So much of the movie relies on her and she absolutely delivered, conveying terror, trauma and guilt so effectively. One of the highlight scenes was a nearly 10 minute long monologue which was outstanding. This very well may be Hall’s best performance yet. Tim Roth is great as the scene chewing and menacing villain; even with his small screentime, he’s unnerving in his parts and a strong screen presence. There is a very good supporting cast including Michael Esper and Angela Wong Carbone. However Grace Kaufman was the biggest surprise for me as Rebecca Hall’s daughter, she felt incredibly authentic and helped make the relationship between the two characters feel real.
The film also benefits from strong direction from Andrew Semans. It constantly has a sharp and unsettling tone, helped by the striking cinematography, and the brooding and ominous score from Jim Williams.
Resurrection is a tense, anxiety-driven and unsettling psychological thriller, greatly directed and with excellent performances from Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth and Grace Kaufman. The third act might throw some people off, but I should probably like the first two acts if you enjoy other paranoia thrillers.