Resolution (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 10-Jun-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Trailer-Start-up trailers (7:35)
Audio Commentary-with directors Benson, Moorhead & actors Cilella, Curran
Audio Commentary-with directors Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Behind The Scenes (21:20)
Alternate Ending-Alternate Ending (5:15)
Deleted Scenes-Extended Scene (2:15)
Outtakes-Outtakes (10:42)
Deleted Scenes-Crazy Chris (1:28)
Trailer-Theatrical and Accent Films Promo trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 89:03 (Case: 93)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Justin Benson
Aaron Moorhead
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Peter Cilella
Vinny Curran
Zahn McClarnon
Bill Oberst Jr.
Kurt David Anderson
Emily Montague
Skyler Meacham
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

When you think of horror movies that feature spooky houses you may well think of films like Evil Dead and Cabin Fever. However, it was the release of Cabin in the Woods last year that took a fresh look at this genre. Resolution, by filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, tries to do something similar with their hit Tribeca Festival 2012 independent film. Although Resolution delves into the frightful cabin theme, it does so without the use of dark imagery and a scary soundtrack, which certainly makes it unique for a horror film.

Resolution is set in an abandoned cabin, in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of an Indian reservation. Mike (Peter Cilella) shows up unannounced to help his junkie childhood friend, Chris (Vinny Curran) to forcibly detox for 5 days and then enter rehab after 'seemingly' receiving an e-mail with a video attachment showing the mayhem that Chris is up to, essentially showing him spiralling out-of-control due to his drug use.

Resolution has supporting characters, but as a whole the film is about Michael and Chris detoxing together over five days in the wilderness, albeit with Chris forcibly handcuffed by Michael. Peter Cilella and Vinny Currans performances are very good, especially Curran who brought a natural, comedic touch to his role, made more effective by Cilella's subtle reactions. The chemistry between the lead actors is excellent and their scenes together hold well, no doubt due to their preparation and rehearsals together prior to principle photography.

As paranormal influences start to broach more onto the main plot, the tension builds for these two, so what begins as a simple story of one friend helping another in a time of need takes a sharp turn when old photographs, 8mm movies, video footage, audio recordings and carvings start appearing, some involving the two men in future situations. At this point, the two men try to rationalise these occurrences as the work of Chris' junkie pals, until they start to realise that something else is going on.

The only real issue I had with the film was the ending, which I found ironic because the film is called Resolution, yet the plot doesn't in fact, well...resolve!. Perhaps the resolution lay in the friendship between the two lead characters over the five days, or maybe it was an 'in-joke' by the filmmakers, Benson and Moorhead. At the very least, the supernatural horror element left more unanswered questions than through the entire film beforehand.

The unresolved ending would appeal to fans of independent cinema rather than horror fans. It's easy to see why this film, therefore, was so popular on the independent film circuit in 2012. The only real clue to the ending lies in Michael and Chris concluding that the cabin wants a story out of them, and perhaps a repeat viewing will allow you to ascertain what exactly that story is.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The cinematography in Resolution is excellent. Co-director Aaron Moorhead has been able to combine simple effects, photography and colour timing to produce a good image for a low-budget feature such as this one.

Resolution is presented in an aspect ratio of 2:40:1 in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code. The theatrical aspect ratio was 2:35:1.

Shot on the Red One Digital Camera, Resolution is sharp and contains good shadow detail, as well as fine detail on close-up shots.

Colour was bright and natural-looking for the majority of the main feature as, unusually for a horror film, most of it is set during daylight hours.

The only film artefacts were intentional ones which were part of the main plot, when the two characters view found video footage.

Unfortunately, there are no subtitles available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

As per the lack of night-time scenes, Resolution contains no soundtrack, which is again unusual for a horror movie. It does utilise sound effects for suspense, however.

The main audio is surprisingly not lossless. It is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in English. Both the audio commentaries are encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Dialogue is clear and synchronised, although the dialogue did sound a little hollow at times.

As mentioned, there is no soundtrack in the film, however music plays in the end credits.

The surround mix uses great discrete and suspenseful effects to make up for the lack of a soundtrack.

The subwoofer uses low-end LFE bass sounds at times that envelop the sound mix completely. I thought the subwoofer effects made up for the lack of a soundtrack, just like the surround mix, in providing suspense.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Start-up trailers (7:35)

Start-up trailers for In Their Skin (1:58), The Wicked (2:07), The Thompsons (2:00) and Noobz (1:30) play sequentially. They cannot be avoided by selecting the Blu-ray menu from the remote, but must be skipped.

Cast & Crew Audio Commentary with Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead & actors Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran

I found this commentary contained too many 'in-jokes' to have any value as a commentary upon the main feature. I guess the inexperience of the participants played a part in this, but the goofing and laughs sure didn't help in making out what the participants were taking about at times!

Directors' Audio Commentary with directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Despite the two directors stating early that this was their first commentary, this at least allowed the audience some more insight into their filmmaking experience. Made on the $US25000 that Benson saved over three years (IMDb states the budget was approximately $US1000000 - where they get this figure from is undetermined), you suddenly have a newfound respect for the efforts of these young men, who also state how the crew had to be employed as supporting characters to save costs. They also share some anecdotes on test screenings, where the plot was re-tweaked to emphasise the supernatural elements wanting a 'story' from the two main characters, and a revelation of the monster, which is unseen, in the ending of the film.

Behind The Scenes (21:20)

This contains on-set and off-set footage of rehearsals and location scouting with handheld cameras used. There are also discussions amongst the crew about setting up camera shots and lighting of scenes.

Alternate Ending (5:15)

This alternate ending takes place six months later, with the two characters seemingly in Michael's dining room, discussing the events since the cabin. I'm glad this ending was excised, as it represents too much of a transition from the main events of the movie.

Extended Scene (2:15)

An extended scene of Michael meeting the cult members (played by directors Benson and Moorhead and producer David Clarke Lawson Jr.) near the river.

Outtakes (10:42)

This series of goofs and outtakes includes a final hilarious outtake involving director Aaron Moorhead, being discussed retrospectively as an old friend of the two main characters.

Crazy Chris (1:28)

These are outtakes of the opening scene where Chris is shown taking drugs and shooting things. The opening scene was shot a week before principal photography began, and was used as the video attachment to bring Peter Cilella's character Michael into the movie.

Theatrical Trailer + Accent Films Promo Trailer

The start-up trailers can be selected separately from the main menu, under Trailers, as well as the theatrical trailer and an Accent Films Promo trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

Resolution has been released in the United Kingdom in June, 2013, albeit on DVD only without any extras.

A United States Region A Blu-ray/DVD combo package is due for release in October, 2013,with the same extras as the Region B Australian Blu-ray.

Summary

In an era where horror films are often seen as parodies of one another, it comes as nice surprise that a low-budget film such as Resolution provides a breath of fresh air for the horror film genre. In my opinion, Resolution will hold your attention until the end. Since the film has become an independent hit in 2012, Benson and Moorhead have become full-time directors, promoting Resolution around the world at various festivals.

This Region B Blu-ray release by Accent films includes a decent amount of extras, many more than would be expected from a low-budget film. Do yourself a favour and check it out!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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