Rebecca Hall Astounds in a Gripping Thriller

Rebecca Hall astounds in a visceral and utterly gripping psychological thriller. Resurrection dangles precariously on a ledge of abject terror. The protagonist’s facade of control and independence shatters into cutting shards of doubt. She faces a horror thought long vanquished. The life she cherishes comes under attack from a formidable adversary. Her descent into paranoia and madness is fueled by a desperate fight for survival. The film’s bonkers climax will disappoint or provoke heated discussions. Either way, you’ll be hooked.

Margaret Ballion (Hall) is the master of her domain. The biotech executive exudes confidence. She doles out stern advice to an insecure intern (Angela Carbone); then engages in torrid sexual liaisons with a smitten colleague (Michael Esper). Margaret does what she wants on her schedule. Softness exists only for her beloved daughter. The almost eighteen Abbie (Grace Kaufman) is her pride and joy. Margaret has always kept Abbie within close reach. The idea of her going off to college will be hard to accept.


Margaret’s world begins to collapse with a brief sighting at a conference. She trembles then runs away hurriedly before David (Tim Roth) notices. Margaret’s ex-husband has found her after twenty-two years. His cruel subjugation was devastating. Margaret worries that he’ll harm Abbie; who doesn’t understand why her mother is falling apart. Margaret fails to scare David away. He reasserts his awful dominance with a potent weapon. Their dark secret throttles Margaret like a noose.

Related: Gone in the Night Review: Couples Thriller Lacks Common Sense

Rebecca Hall’s Spellbinding Performance

Resurrection hinges on Hall’s spellbinding performance. Director/writer Andrew Semans (Nancy, Please) keeps her center frame throughout the film. She’s the picture of success in the first act. It’s obvious why men find her alluring and subordinates clamor for guidance. There seems to be no chink in her armor. The sudden change catches everyone by surprise. What happened to this amazing woman? Why does David affect her so badly? The appalling answer reminds that trauma may never be overcome.

The film unsparingly addresses domestic abuse. A tormentor’s hold over their victim is all-encompassing. David’s mere presence is a punch in the gut. Everything that Margaret tried to escape from comes roaring back. David casually smirks as she tries to be strong. He senses her fear and desperation. Margaret’s bravado falters. The persona that she carefully built crumbles to dust. Keeping David away from Abbie becomes her only priority. Their scenes together are alarming.

IFC Films

Let’s continue extolling Hall’s greatness. Margaret has a long monologue that hits like a freight train. She explains her history with David in frightful detail. Imagine keeping a secret bottled inside for decades. Its release isn’t cathartic, but a cold acceptance of what’s transpired and the pain to come. Margaret knows the gravity of the situation. David wants her mind, body, and soul. Hall delivers a mesmerizing, powerfully dramatic scene.

Resurrection’s brutal finale will be divisive. I had the ability to watch it several times. My interpretation ranged from WTF to contemplative. That can be infuriating when you normally get a clear resolve. I’ll give credence to artistic manipulation. Semans doesn’t let you walk away easy. He leaves lingering questions on multiple disturbing fronts.

Resurrection is a production of Tango Entertainment, Secret Engine, Square Peg, and Rosetory. It will have a theatrical release from IFC Films on July 29th. Followed by a VOD and Shudder streaming premiere on August 5th.

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