Directed by: Andrew Semans
Distributed by: IFC Films
Written by Jeff Sparks
“Resurrection” stars Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, and Grace Kaufman in a plot about a woman whose psychotic ex returns after twenty years to tear her down with sadistic mind games. A new performance from Hall is always an event to look forward to for fans of acting, although the films she’s in don’t often garner the same anticipation from me. Films like “The Night House” or “Christine” may have been interesting but weren’t great films if you ask me. Other projects like “Godzilla vs Kong” simply made me disappointed to see her waste her talents in a forgettable popcorn flick. Her performances seem to outdo the films that she’s performing so well for. “Resurrection” continues that trend. Hall is so good, so dedicated, but the film doesn’t do her work justice. Other than the dedicated acting the film has strong cinematography. The way it’s shot gives a visceral feel that makes every scene look sharp.
Hall plays Margaret, a woman who becomes entranced in a plot to protect her teenage daughter from her obsessive ex (played very well by Roth). The plot of a mother protecting her daughter is nothing new and that is where the first problem of the film arises for me. Margaret chooses to not tell her daughter about the danger she’s in, which makes not only her daughter but also her colleagues think that Margaret is mentally unwell due to her unhinged behavior. Half the movie becomes Margaret telling her daughter not to worry over and over even though her actions become increasingly more erratic in a way that would worry anyone. It was at this point I found the film more frustrating and unbelievable than I did compelling. This leads me to Roth’s character, who attempts to be an intimidating presence. He attempts to scare and control Margaret by taunting her with comments about her traumatic past but the things he says are more ridiculous than they are frightening.
After Roth’s character squirms his way back into her life the film sees our main character give in to his sadistic desires. I don’t mind dark films but if you’re going to show something like a woman taking abuse and then buying into her abuser’s delusions then your film better be something special. Other than some interesting camera work and good acting, “Resurrection” isn’t special, and experiencing the film wasn’t worth the struggle of watching an abuse victim lose her mind and do nothing productive about it for two hours.