- Great performances
- Unpredictable plot
- Solid themes
- A bit confounding at times
Rebecca Hall delivers one of the best performances at Sundance in this superb psychological thriller.
Margaret’s life is in order. She is capable, disciplined, and successful. Everything is under control. That is, until David returns, carrying with him the horrors of Margaret’s past.
“Resurrection” is easily one of the best films I previewed at Sundance 2022. Mostly because of its unpredictable plot’s layers and Rebecca Hall’s excellent portrayal of the enigmatic character at the film’s core. The film begins with showing us the world of Margaret (Rebecca Hall), a woman who is successful in her field and carries a strong, confident assurance everywhere she goes. The opening conversation is between her and a young intern where the latter is explaining how she feels uncomfortable and demeaned by a male colleague. Margaret responds to the woman’s concerns stating that a sadist never understands why people don’t enjoy his sadism as much as he himself does. This seemingly odd line gives a narrow view into the philosophy of this strong but tortured character.
Margaret seems to have everything together: a good career, a cutting, sarcastic daughter that is the apple of her eye and a functional affair with a married colleague. All of this is threatened one day when Margaret catches sight of David (Tim Roth, excellently creepy), a mysterious stranger from her past. From here, Margaret starts to lose control – she becomes overprotective of her daughter, loses her focus at work and always looks over her shoulder…just to find David lurking not too far behind. Writer/Director Andrew Seamans deftly pushes the film through for a good half-an-hour plus before we understand who David is (and if he even exits) and what exactly unfinished business he has with Margaret. In a terrific one-shot monologue, Rebecca Hall delivers what may be the best acting of her career as Margaret explains (in terrifying detail) her connection to David, past heartbreak and why up until now, she has managed to elude him.
“Resurrection” walks the fine line between psychological thriller and psychological horror, the latter coming more to fruition in its third act. Through its unpredictable twists and revelations, the film easily puts itself in the place as one of the most original thriller-horror hybrids of the past decade. It doesn’t insult its audience, waiting for them to catch onto its key hints and it doesn’t spoon-feed what they are to make of its ambiguous, unsettling ending. This can be a bit frustrating at times with the film not spelling out what is real or what is fake but depending on the type of audience, it may be a rewarding experience. The film has a unique story as it explores dynamic themes of guilt and control. Margaret may a tough woman (the past justifies the present) but that doesn’t mean she’s not a tragic character that carries many sins and many demons. Rebecca Hall’s terrific performance expertly navigates the vast emotions of this well-written character. She commands the screen and doesn’t let go anytime she occupies it. The film follows her and with that, the road it goes down is dark but also compelling as hell.
“Resurrection” is a treat for all psychological thriller aficionados. Rebecca Hall’s terrific performance illuminates the film and works as a great contrast to Tim Roth’s creepy adversary. With time, I’m confident this film could be labeled as one of the best, if not one of the most unique psychological thrillers of all time. Its ending may be a bit confounding for some but it’s the unpredictable journey along the way that outweighs all other cons.