Horror movie

Surreal ‘Resurrection’ may be summer’s craziest horror movie


(2 stars)

Anyone for whom Rebecca Hall’s memorable enigmatic performance in last year’s “The Night House” is still fresh in mind – was the grieving widow tormented by her husband’s ghost, a suicide victim or simply traumatized by grief? – will recognize aspects of this same enigma in “Resurrection”. In writer-director Andrew Semans’ beautifully acted but problematic new horror flick, the actress plays Margaret, a woman so psychologically damaged by the fallout of a previous relationship that she and we can’t be sure she is stalked by an extremely manipulative, even murderous ex-boyfriend (Tim Roth) or loses her mind.

There is, of course, in both movies, a third option presented, but it’s a particularly pesky option in “Resurrection,” which takes a bizarre, allegorical twist in the climax: one that rivals the hallucinogenic third act. from “Men,” but another recent thriller about a woman crawling out of the wreckage of a bad relationship.

What are horror movies trying to tell us about modern love? Maybe it’s better not to ask.

Margaret is a successful biotech executive in Albany; single mother of a teenage daughter, Abbie (Grace Kaufman); lover of a married colleague, Peter (Michael Esper); and supervisor of a twenty-something intern, Gwyn (Angela Wong Carbone), whom she advised out of a bad romance. The way Margaret showers tough love on Gwyn and is more than a little overprotective of Abbie suggests she’s been through something in her past. Ultimately: boy, she said.

When Roth’s David suddenly appears 22 years after leaving the much older man, Margaret confides something in Gwyn. It’s best not to reveal what, but his confession — which involves questionable, long-buried behavior on his part, but truly monstrous actions on his part — will make your hair curl. Gwyn, for her part, does not take Margaret at face value. The story is so moving. And Abbie, when her mother begins to panic about David’s reappearance, thinks Margaret is simply losing her grip on reality. Just like Peter, who falls in love with her.

And maybe she’s delirious.

The police can’t do anything, because David hasn’t done anything either. Nothing actionable, anyway, though he seems like a master of emotional torture. Both Roth and Hall are excellent and carry the film for the first hour or so: her with her mix of instability and steely and he with his devilish charm. But the story eventually turns from a stalker drama into something much, much harder to swallow.

“Resurrection” ultimately leaves us, like Gwyn, wondering if the story that’s just been dropped on our knees – a kind of sick, surreal poetry, fashioned from blood and curdled guts – is a new breed of film. monster or something old fashioned. metaphor of loss made flesh. Unfortunately, given his acting pedigree, that doesn’t quite work on any level.

Not rated. At the iPic Pike & Rose; available on demand August 5th. Contains coarse language, violence and psychological torture, disturbing images and sex. 104 minutes.