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Film Review


Resurrection

Directed by Andrew Semans
From: IFC Films
Released: 07.29.22
Review by N. Renee Brown | August 1, 2022 at 4:30 PM
D+

Basically: A woman’s torturer shows up in her life again and, as her fragile sanity fractures, she must protect her children…or does she?

Resurrection follows Maggie (Rebecca Hall), a woman with a good job, a hot boyfriend, and a sweet daughter. She’s very put together, confident, and strong, until she sees a man at a conference. This is when we witness one of the most accurate portrayals of a panic attack I’ve ever seen. She runs away from him, all the way home to check on her daughter. 

Throughout the rest of the movie this man creepily shows up where Maggie is, further upsetting her. Eventually, we find out his name is David Moore (Tim Roth) and he was Maggie’s groomer and torturer when she was young—going so far as to kill their baby. He infiltrates her life in ways that make us start to wonder if he is really doing it, as he starts demanding more and stranger things from her.

Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

Tim Roth plays a wonderful twisted man, past his prime but still as powerful to Maggie as he ever was. He is such a versatile actor and this part makes use of all of his talents. When David gaslights Maggie, he is so innocent and guileless that I physically pulled away from him. 

And Rebecca Hall, holy cow, what an amazing descent not into madness but into desperation. She does it one step at a time—one SLOW, AGONIZING step—and when we get to the end we are fully invested in her getting what she needs from this man and getting away. 

Together, these two actors spark off one another until the screen sizzles. 

The cinematography is just as wonderful. During those moments when Maggie is completely preoccupied by David the rest of the world literally goes fuzzy. The camera keeps Maggie’s back in brilliant focus, her head unmoving as she passes through the world while everything else is just fuzzy blobs. Then, when she sees him, everything snaps back into focus. It is disorienting, making us engage with her back, which gives us nothing—no eyes, no face, no emotions—then forcing everything back onto focus in one quick motion. And it is brilliant! 

Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

Resurrection has phenomenal acting, great writing, and stunning cinematography—so why did I give it a 4 out of 10? One scene can kill a movie. And it killed this one. 

One scene, that lasts less than a second, completely ruined this movie for me.

It didn’t just ruin it for me either, the ENTIRE audience LAUGHED out loud at the scene that was supposed to be the culmination of all this despair and torture. 

So, again, WHY is this a 4? 

This is a 4 because someone looked at the other strange movies breaking our brains right now (Titane comes to mind) and said, “Hold mah beer!” 

This gets a 4 because someone said to themselves, “I know how to get ’em!” 

This gets a 4 because…honestly, it is a manipulation. 

Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

The ending is unclear. It’s an effort to make us reconsider everything we just saw but it isn’t powerful enough to really make us doubt anything. Honestly, everything that happens after the climax is patently unnecessary and only contributes to the ridiculousness of that one scene that ruined it all for me.

We’ve proved that the American public can handle strange, creepy, cerebral movies—Sixth Sense, Inception, Titane, etc.—this is not one of them. Resurrection needs a t-shirt that says “ART HOUSE” so we know it is a sleazebag from across the street and can avoid it. 

In the End: Don’t, just don’t. Go watch something with an ending that won’t make you cringe for the disservice it has done to the rest of the movie.

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