Rebecca Hall in Resurrection (2022)
IFC Films
Written and directed by Andrew Semans, Resurrection is the 2022 drama/horror film starring Rebecca Hall as Margaret, a woman who tries to maintain control of her life when an abusive ex-boyfriend (Tim Roth) re-appears in her vicinity. The film is an actor's showcase. It's one long pulling of a string until the tension snaps it in half. Resurrection wants to expel as much dread from its audience as possible before spilling the beans. It's a common indie practice since it's easier to write scenes that feel superfluous when focused on a single major payoff. Resurrection largely avoids boredom thanks to its multiple opportunities for its main character to keep you glued to your seat, but not long before you notice its inability to dive any further.

Two Sides, Same Coin: Much of the tension in Resurrection is due to Rebecca Hall's crazed performance. She puts everything into her character's rapid mental health deterioration after a series of chance sightings. Even though we spend nearly every moment of the film with her character, the film slyly shifts the perspective in which you view her actions. Her transformation is shown through progressively suffocating scenes of falling apart in the confines of her initially tidy modern existence. It's Hall's performance that justifies the price of entry. If for nothing else, you're watching to see the veteran actress transform horrifically in front of your eyes. The film can back her up with Tim Roth's more methodically-unhinged character, whose master manipulation abilities drive the underlying social themes into full-blown exploitation. His disambiguation as an antagonist is unsettling on its own level — in that it quietly provokes Hall into increasingly dangerous methods of self-preservation. The dynamic between these two makes Resurrection well-worth watching.

Still from Resurrection (2022)

A Bit More Of The Same: As for how the film is structured, it falls into the camp of a thriller that reserves most, if not all, of its dramatic payoff for the final moments. It's clear that there's not much else going on beyond the film's core relationship, as it goes into a demented game of He Said, She Said for some time. The film spends most of its hundred minutes showing the harmful effects of Roth's influence over Hall's psyche and personal relationships, which become tiring when the plot doesn't advance meaningfully for a while outside of a few near-misses with confrontation. I got a sense that Resurrection wants its audience to question the reliability of Hall's perspective, if only for a moment, but I was always on board with her primal urges to remove her abuser from her life — by any means necessary. Instead of driving supporting characters away from Hall, it would have been more interesting to see how intertwined they could have been to the narrative, which could have continued developing a real sense of danger. I embrace the weird place in which the story concluded. I only wished that more characters could've been involved. The entire experience might have been better rounded if we saw more of the surrounding world next to Rebecca Hall's shining performance as a sweat-laden trauma victim on the verge of multiple freakouts. Nonetheless, there are always thrills to be had when one's suppressed secrets are forced into the light.

Resurrection looks extremely sharp; it wears the clothes of a corporate thriller with the instincts of modern 'elevated' horror, and the result is a mixed bag.

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