Rebecca Hall can act. I mean, she can really act. She acts her ass off in the psychological thriller Resurrection, too, but like some other movies in which she acts her ass off, that doesn’t mean the movie itself operates at the same level.
I can picture an alternative world in which writer/director Andrew Semans would have looked to Broadway to tell his story. Hall, playing an increasingly manic and paranoid mother whose past trauma–and not her ex-boyfriend–is her greatest threat, would receive plaudits and a Tony award. The play would be a mesmerizing, visceral three-person play experience, a raw, unrelenting deep dive into a woman’s psyche.
Resurrection the movie isn’t quite so visceral.
Hall is fantastic, but then again so is Tim Roth, who oddly plays one sinister dude but who is arguably the more sympathetic of the two characters. After all, even Hall’s on-screen daughter (played incredibly by Grace Kaufman) wants her to GTFO. Anyway, all three stars are great.
The material isn’t bad, either. The story is dark, increasingly twisted, and picks at every imperfection these poor characters possess, gnawing away at their flesh until there is nothing left but gangrenous scars and exposed bone.
And yet Semans doesn’t quite get his hands around this beast he’s cornered. The beast has a nasty bite, but he’s unable to channel such ferociousness at the audience. Despite the immersive performances, Resurrection feels like something you’re observing much more than something you’re experiencing. It’s unsettling, yes, but does it make you sweat? Does it make you lean in or pull away? Hold your breath?
There are a lot of great components at play here, and Resurrection is sure to resonate with some, but this psychological thriller fails to illicit any sense of real terror.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.