Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Resolution, Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead's

5 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Resolution" (2012, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

Lord Battle - "It's hard for me to articulate how I feel about Resolution. Five years ago I first saw the film and ever since then I've been thinking about it, discussing it, and celebrating it. I really love how Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson managed to create a Valley of Adventure through amazing acting and clever indie film-making. Resolution didn't have a huge budget but is rich with ideas. Resolution has solidified itself as one of my all-time favorite films, and the last film I've seen truly scared me. It does have one very strong jump scare, but what scared me was a combination of relating A LOT to the Chris character which showed me a side of myself I'd never seen, and being presented with what I thought was a sort of cinema purgatory. In this purgatory, we are doomed to play out a particularly dramatic/climactic moment in our life, over and over. Basically, a reality that meant being contained to a film reel, a magnetic strip, or a dump drive. My theory was wrong, but nonetheless terrified me, and if you want to talk about found footage as a subject rather than a genre, Resolution is king." - 6 Stars (Default 5)

Huntress - "Much like Lovey Molly, Resolution manages to incorporate found footage elements into a film that is not otherwise shot in the POV format. And it does this so well that years later I realized that my memory cataloged it as a POV film altogether, which means Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead got it right. The conflict within Resolution is one that just about everyone who has ever cared about someone else can relate to and one that the actors give genuine life to. The atmosphere is eerie at a gradually growing rate... Definitely needs a rewatch." - 3.5 Stars

Math Mage - "It takes a brave film maker to create a movie about disappointing your audience. It goes without saying that people in a horror movie don’t know they’re in one until it’s too late. This usually leads to their deaths indirectly (they make choices they might not if they knew the house was haunted/vampires are real/the music box is cursed etc.); in this film, it leads to their doom directly. I was initially confused by the references to The Cabin in the Woods on the bluray case, because the film didn’t seem meta at all. It seemed like the story of a dude kidnapping his friend as an intervention, in what might later prove to be a haunted shack. The supernatural elements seemed at odds with amusing banter surrounding the deep character-driven drama that was playing out. The vignettes of meeting weird locals, and finding creepy messages were distractions from the story of two estranged friends whose relationship is complicated. Except that’s not what’s happening. The entity haunting the pair is an audience monster and it paid for a horror movie, not an admittedly interesting piece about drug addiction and the morality of forcing people off drugs for their own good. You can feel the creature’s growing frustration as our protagonist ignores or deflects interesting narrative threads. Drug-dealers show up and they’re crazy! You react reasonably, and offer them money so they leave confused. Native Americans show up and they're pissed! Suspiciously pissed, why? Oh, you de-escalated the situation and bribe them, but ask no important questions. Romance escaped lunatic!? No, go back to sleep. Abducted by cultists!? No, just walk away. Mystery dog!? Not interested. Suspicious journal of missing researchers!? Can’t read French. The dog’s owner is French, and he’s chill so he’ll totally read it out loud for…you’re not even gonna bring it up, are you? During the last 20 minutes, the creature has had enough and reveals the depressing endings they’re in for, challenging our characters to make better ones. It is disappointed. This movie is kinda boring till the last 15 minutes re-contextualizes the preceding 75. Perhaps these spoilers will improve your viewing, or perhaps not." - 3.5 Stars

Eddie the Gamer Ghoul - *Spoilers* "An' that's why I ain't gots friends...dey always cause'n ya grief. Da movie started off boring. Not bad, ya know that good sort a boring. One dat suggests a norm life fer da character. Den ya get dis freaky cultists a crazy from some asylum two dickwads and an assortment of other shit dat jus leads to poultryguists an one bigass pissed off fire deamon dat kills em all. Fun movie, I tell ya." - 3 Stars

Wandering Panda - *Spoilers* "I saw this film a couple days ago and I'm happy I took my time thinking about it. My initial impression of the film was it's bland, slow paced, and all around what the fuck. But now thinking back on Resolution I realize it's amazing. I love the relationships between the two leads, it's something I go through with my own friends. The slow pacing is great; not only is it necessary it's crucial. Now the "what the fuck".....if you haven't seen Resolution it's worth a watch. Trust me. Panda theories ahead minor spoilers. I have a few theories on the film but I'm only sharing one. Hold on to your hats... US, the audience, is the entity. It would explain why the recordings are from impossible angles and shows it in our point of view. It also explains the last 2 minutes of the film. The entity rising up from the fire can be interpreted as the audience standing up from their seats, ending the film. I have a few more but it will be too long and since there theories, I might be overreaching. But that goes to show, like any good movie, it's worth re-watching." - 4.5 stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Over the past five years, Resolution has solidified itself as one of my all-time favorite films. It's also become one of the best examples of "Overlooked Cinema". What I'm referring to when I say overlooked cinema is all of the great indie films that get released to streaming sites, self-distributed websites that lack eyeballs but demand conversation.

On Tuesday, June 19th, the Overlook Hour Podcast was honored to have Justin Benson, and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring, and the best V/H/S Viral segment BoneStorm) join us to promote their new film The Endless.

Also on iTunes!

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 6/14/2018
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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