By Jason Osiason and Tyler Gibson
Rebecca Hall established herself as one of our most consistent and dedicated actors with films such as “Christine” and “The Night House” but her staggering career-best performance in the challenging “Resurrection” skyrockets her to the next level.
While “Resurrection” may be derivative and shallow in execution, what Rebecca Hall achieves is nothing short of a miracle and must be commended. Hall is Margaret, a seemingly composed single mother with an unwavering love for her daughter. It’s best to avoid details and spoilers of what follows but the plot moves in broad strokes to chronicle the anxious demise of Margaret’s sanity after a chance encounter with an ominous man from her past (a very chilling and unassuming Tim Roth). The film’s showcase setpiece is a 10 minute long monologue delivered in riveting single take close-up by Hall. The background is blackened, leaving only her silhouetted face in the light as she dreadfully sets the tone for the insidiousness of the second act. Too often the unreasonable is required but the sequence amazingly and flawlessly never detours into mannerisms or inauthenticity due to Hall’s remarkable and masterful control of expression. The sorrowful tears in her eyes, the faint quivering of her lips, the increasing defeat on her naked face cement the performance alongside the horror genre’s greatest. Rebecca Hall is simply unforgettable. A force to be reckoned with.
The remainder of “Resurrection” oscillates between the grotesque and the eye-rolling with a cool distance permeating throughout. (Andrew Semans directs from his own Blacklist script which is very unadorned in its themes about anxiety and trauma with Margaret uneasily victimized). The camera slyly corridors down hallways and scenes sharply transition into each other. The blood-soaked and gnarly finale will split viewers between alienation and embrace but Rebecca Hall’s startling performance is undeniable.