M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Three of my decade-long Retro-Best in Horror recap Countdowns begins officially on October 1, 2012 and goes through September 30, 2013. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2012 and September 30, 2013 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on January 21, 2013 and available on digital download, On Demand and BluRay/DVD here!
Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
Written by Justin Benson
Starring Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Bill Oberst Jr., Kurt David Anderson, Emily Montague,
Find out more about this film here!
Michael (Peter Cilella) and Chris (Vinny Curran) have been friends forever, but while Michael has married, expects their first daughter, and is becoming successful in his life, Chris has developed a drug problem and hangs out at the edge of town doing crack in an abandoned house and shooting at birds. After receiving a video message that Michael feels is a cry for help sent by Chris, he sets out to break him of his unhealthy crack habit by locking him in a cabin for a week to sober up. Being a good friend, Michael decides to wait it out with his buddy through this tough time.
That was the plan anyway. But soon things start going sideways and upside down. There happens to be a mental hospital nearby and the patients tend to escape from time to time. The house is near a Native American ceremonial ground and the local tribe isn’t too happy Mike is squatting there. And what about the mysterious books, videos, films, and recordings that keep showing up on their doorstep? And where’d that knife come from?
While this can be easily dismissed as a story of consensual descents into madness, that’s not really what’s going on. This film gets insane with time twisting, choose your own adventure style antics from some unseen force. This film goes through a tremendous amount of crazy shit, especially towards the end as Mike and Chris try to outrun a fate which they have already experienced a few times over.
The premise of this film, which I won’t completely reveal here nor do I completely understand it having just seen the film once, is ballsy and original. There’s a slice of MEMENTO, some TIME CRIMES, and maybe a dash of LOOPER going on here, though it keeps things much smaller than that. The film also reminds me of the of THE CORRIDOR, another story about unseen forces manipulating friends in diabolical ways.
What makes this film work so well are the performances by the two leads. Peter Cilella as Michael embodies a purely good intentioned person, too blinded by his good deeds to notice he’s walking into trouble. Vinny Curran’s Chris is fantastic as the pitiful, yet quite personable and funny crack addict who still has the charm that made his friendship to Michael so strong in the first place. Both of these actors play the roles subtly, down to earth, and keep things very real as everything goes crazy around them. I’ve gotta mention Bill Oberst Jr. (last seen scything zombies as Lincoln in ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS ZOMBIES) who makes an appearance as a strange scientist with connections to the weird property Michael has chosen for this particular intervention with his friend. His cold stare and bizarre giggling monologue about the paranormal is absolutely riveting.
You have never seen a horror movie like RESOLUTION. I guarantee you that. The filmmakers Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead are able to tell an ingeniously creative and spooky tale with a ramshackle cabin, some old video footage, some weird locations, and just a few suggestions that something is very, very not right. Both a testament to the effectiveness of low fi horror and a marvelous achievement in original storytelling, RESOLUTION is bound to be a memorable experience for all who watch. Fantastically acted and subtly horrific, RESOLUTION is a film you have to make a resolution yourself to see.
THE 2012-2013 COUNTDOWN!
#9 – RESOLUTION
#10 – SLEEP TIGHT
#11 – WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
#12 – THE CONJURING
#13 – SIGHTSEERS
#14 – WITHER
#15 – KISS OF THE DAMNED
#16 – JUG FACE
#17 – NO ONE LIVES
#18 – YOU’RE NEXT
#19 – HOME SWEET HOME
#20 – THE TAINT
#21 – THE PURGE
#22 – RITUAL/MODUS ANOMALI
#23 – V/H/S/2
#24 – MON AMI
#25 – EUROPA REPORT
#26 – BLIND ALLEY
#27 – MIDNIGHT SON
#28 – DEVIL’S PASS
#29 – COME OUT AND PLAY
#30 – THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH
#31 – I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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