Runtime: 103 minutes
Director/Writer: Andrew Semans
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Grace Kaufman, Michael Esper, Angela Wong Carbone
By Morgan Roberts
Andrew Seman’s film “Resurrection”(2022) is one filled with twists and turns. Margaret (Rebecca Hall) has a seemingly perfect life. She has a great job. She has a strong relationship with her daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman). Even as a single parent, she finds time for herself – and coworker/bedroom buddy Peter (Michael Esper). But all of that unravels when she reencounters David (Tim Roth). David has an immediate hold on Margaret, and we quickly learn the dangers she and her daughter are in.
The film does have some plot holes. A major one lies with trying to understand what is and is not happening. There are hinted events that are used to demonstrate David’s insidiousness but Margaret seems to be the only person putting two and two together despite David alluding to direct contact with Grace. Then, there is the final act of the film. It focuses on the horrors of groomers and abusers, but loses all steam in its gory finale. The ending lacked any type of fulfillment.
But what saves this film is the core performance by Hall. Hall, known as an always underappreciated actor, gives a harrowing performance as her character comes apart at the seams. Margaret, the once highly put together professional, comes obsessed with keeping David out of her life, and her paranoia is worn more and more on her face as the film progresses. She understands the terrors her character has endured and engrains that in her performance.
Likewise, Roth gives an unsettling performance as David. David is surely our antagonist, and Roth’s performance haunts us even when he is not on screen – very much like his character. And as his character does, Roth is very calm and calculated in his decisions, from a stern look of disappointment to an unnerving smile, Roth’s choices are very clear which is what makes his turn as David so disconcerting.
If “Resurrection” had stuck to its original intention of ingrained torment of a domestic abuse survivor, the film would have been a knockout hit. Its third act completely lost sight of its original intent. Luckily, “Resurrection” has Hall and Roth to give outstanding performances to create some kind of a semblance of what the film was at the start.