Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Resurrection: Rebecca Hall in a deranged horror flick

Rebecca Hall in Resurrection

Resurrection stars Rebecca Hall in a story about abuse, trauma, and madness. Hall gives a totally convincing performance as a woman driven to insanity by the sudden reappearance of the man who abused her twenty years ago.

Resurrection is told from Margaret’s (Rebecca Hall) point of view. We’re never sure how reliable she is as a narrator. As the story progresses she’s more and more consumed by guilt, PTSD, and paranoia. As we stick with her POV, it isn’t clear what’s real and what isn’t.

Playing opposite her as her long ago abuser is David (Tim Roth). Roth is equally committed to his role as the gaslighting, manipulative, controlling sicko who drove Margaret’s psychological downfall in the first place.

Margaret has a 17 year old daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman). Abbie can see her mother going off the rails, but her mother refuses to explain what’s happening. Instead we learn the story of that decades old abuse as Margaret tells it to a young co-worker. She delivers the story in a very long, single shot monologue that is remarkable. Her story is so bizarre that her young co-worker thinks she’s making it up.

Margaret is a successful businesswoman. She’s at a conference when she sees her long-ago abuser, David. She runs. At home she demands that her daughter Abbie stay put and keep the doors locked. When she confronts David, he is as full of lies and manipulations as he was all those years ago. Margaret can’t resist his gaslighting, but at the same time she wants to kill him.

A poster for Resurrection with a fragmented image of Rebecca Hall

There’s a long 2nd act where the abused and the abuser engage in a psychological war to see who will come out whole. The 3rd act is short and even more mysterious than the rest of the film.

I was shocked and dissatisfied with the ending. It provided little clarity into what we’d already seen. Had any of it been real or was it all a mad hallucination?

Whatever the ending meant, Resurrection seems to be making the case that trauma never goes away. It’s always lurking in a back corner of the victim’s consciousness, ready to rise up and cause havoc.

You can find the film on Prime Video and Apple TV. There’s a small rental fee right now. If horror films were considered for awards, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rebecca Hall earn some acting award nominations for this bravura performance.

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