31 Days of Halloween: Day 06 – Resolution

A movie review article by: Paul Brian McCoy

This Schlocktober, Comics Bulletin will be exploring the world of horror cinema, featuring thirty one notable films released between Halloween 2012 and Halloween 2013. Next up is writer/co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's Resolution.

At first glance, Resolution looks like it's going to be treading very similar water to this year's remake of Evil Dead, as Michael Danube (Peter Cilella) shows up at his best friend Chris Daniels' (Vinny Curran) run-down shack, handcuffs him to the wall, and proceeds to force him to kick meth cold turkey. However, as weird as this is going to sound, Resolution is actually trying to do something a little more daring and original than any of the Evil Dead films.

Not only does Benson's script provide creepy chills throughout, there's also a very believable and understanding exploration of the psychology of drug addiction. The physical effects of detox are kind of glossed over, but the scenes between Cilella and Curran where Chris cogently and gut-wrenchingly explains just why he wants to die and why meth is his suicide of choice are powerful and moving.

So when Michael starts seeing strange things going on, Chris is too far gone to really confirm or deny anything. The script plants a variety of possible seeds of explanation for what might be the cause of the strange occurrences, ranging from a UFO Cult that lives nearby, to Native American spirits, to angry drug dealers. But ultimately the explanation is something that I found much more interesting and unique.

I won't go into it, but the hints are there from the beginning, as Michael receives mysterious messages across a variety of mediums. As the tension really begins to build and we move toward the climax, Chris and Michael think they've figured out a way to survive what looks to be a deadly situation.

Whether that works out or not, I'll leave you to discover. Let's just say I was very amused and satisfied.

This is the lowest low-budget film we've looked at so far this month, but it does fantastic work with every dollar. Because the nature of the threat here is something more abstract than what you may expect, Benson and Moorhead are able to use things like the computer screen, audio recordings, old films, and even CDs and books to provide the scares. Even more frightening than the weird supernatural things occurring, are the physical threats of the drug dealers and the implied possible threat of the Tribal Police (the shack is on a Reservation, it turns out).

Who cares about ghosts when a meth-addict wants to shoot you in the head?

Resolution turns into a very impressive little horror film. And an impressive little film about friendship, life, death, and addiction.

Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor/editor for Comics Bulletin. His first novel, The Unraveling: Damaged Inc. Book One is available at Amazon US & UK, along with his collection of short stories, Coffee, Sex, & Creation (US & UK). He recently contributed the 1989 chapter to The American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1980s (US & UK) and has kicked off Comics Bulletin Books with Mondo Marvel Volumes One (US & UK) and Two (US & UK). Paul is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, and sci-fi television. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at @PBMcCoy.

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