After receiving a video of his junkie friend acting crazy, Michael decides to go visit his friend, Chris. He hasn't seen him for a while, and is surprised by how low he has sunk - now squatting in an old house. Michael's plan is to get Chris to go into rehab, and his tactic is to chain him to a pipe for a week, until the drugs have left his system and he can think for himself. While he stays there to keep an eye on Chris, he starts finding weird documentations in forms of books, videos, LPs of folklores, rituals and maybe murders. Things start to get really weird when it seems like someone is planting these documentations for him to find.
Try to ignore the bland title and rather generic poster for this movie, as I don't feel like they do it justice at all. What I expected from this was a mystery horror of sorts. I didn't read any reviews, and just focused on the plot. I thought it sounded like it could be an alright thriller, but little did I know that it would be one of the most surprisingly suspenseful films I have seen all year (alongside "Tin Can Man"). But it's not suspenseful in the usual way at all, since a lot of the time this comes off as a drama. Or rather, most of the time it is a drama.
Michael receives an e-mail with a video showing his old friend Chris, now a junkie, being at his absolute worst - shooting a gun at random, hallucinating, and finally injurying himself. The mail also comes with a map where to find Chris. And this was sent from Chris himself, so Michael comes up with this idea that he's gonna help him get straight. His tactic is quite extreme, as he goes there to visit him and ends up chaining him to pipe. He'll let him go after a week, when he can think for himself and hopefully go to rehab. Meanwhile, he stays there with him in the old, broken down house that he is currently squatting in. During the days Michael walk around the area, and he starts finding documentations of strange things. At first it's just photographes of what seems like a ritual or murder. But he then starts to find old film reels, vinyl records and similar photos that show other things. He starts to see a pattern in it - it seems like stories. Folklores, myths or just simply stories. Chris, who is chained to the pipe still, gets annoyed at Michael's obsession with these documentations, and refuses to believe him when he says that it is as if someone was planting them for him to find. More and more strange things occur, and at the same time Michael has to deal with some of the people Chris knows, as well as the owners of the property they are staying on.
You instantly get hooked on this story, with two characters that feel easy to care for. Michael is a very good man who has gotten away from all the bad shit in his past, and is now expecting a child. First he wants to help his ex-best friend get out of the shitty lifestyle he is currently living. Chris, although a tripped out junkie, is equally likable. His persona is very familiar to your usual "best friend/co-star" character in drama and comedy movies. It makes it easy to feel for him, and their past friendship seems sincere. Even though it's not there anymore, it's always near the surface.
When you finally get into the story and the characters, that is when the real mystery of the movie starts. At first it's nothing too interesting, but you get invested at least. This quickly evolves into something suspenseful, as they start realizing that maybe there is someone stalking them. The thing about this movie is that it's not giving you enough to figure out what's going on. You're left with a drama / thriller-styled story, with occasional run-ins with bad people, but at the same time there's something almost supernatural going around. And to be honest, I found it all to be rather freaky. This grows and grows until you reach a certain suspense, and then it twists it around even more. And you shouldn't expect to know what's going on even after it ends, and this is one of those times that I just loved being messed with. The movie didn't give me any of the control, and that's why I think the movie is best described as "freaky". There is no reasoning with "Resolution", it simply moves on into stranger and stranger territory, dragging you along.
The chemistry between Michael and Chris is the core of the movie. The movie could in fact have been JUST a drama about these two and still work. They were both played perfectly, and it didn't matter that much of the runtime was spent just between these two. But there are a lot of other characters in there as well, that are coming into the movie for different reasons. The character Byron was probably the side-character that gave the strongest vibes. Bill Oberst Jr. manages to create a character that feels both innocent and scary, and one that fit perfectly into this strange movie. It's easy to think that he is the bad guy when you first meet him, but he's essentially there to help movie the story along. And does it amazingly weird!
I can't pin-point exactly what it was that made "Resolution" such a great movie, but I think it has a lot to do with how uncontrollable it is. You never know where it will go, certainly towards the end, but you always want to come along because of the great characters. You want Chris to get off drugs, and you want Michael to succeed so that he can go home. That's why it becomes so freakishly suspenseful when things get more and more off the track. It freaked me out.