Somehow, A Resurrection never showed up on my radar until recently. I don’t know if it had a limited release or what, but I had never even heard of it. Mebbe I’m just gettin’ old. Anyways, I went into it totally blind; I knew nothing at all about it except the title. It started out a little odd, and to be honest, I was kind of put off for the first few minutes; it came across like some new CW drama for just a bit…but once things started moving (which didn’t take long), once the groove of the flick hooked me, it was off to the races.
Eli is a teen who is troubled with nightmares (OK, from the shit we see he’s drawn, he’s troubled in other ways, too). We follow him to school, where he’s (surprise, surprise) the nerdy outcast; we sympathize with him while he’s trying to give a pretty girl a picture he drew, feel for him when the ubiquitous Asshole Jocks snatch it from him…then have a lovely WTF?!? moment as his whole face changes to a mask of controlled rage and he utters “He’s coming for you. Coming for you all.” , and goddamn if it doesn’t sound like he means it. This (naturally) leads to an altercation later on that brings Eli and the “in crowd” into after school detention, where the principal and the counselor, Miss Parker, try to sort out the mess. As she tries to engage the boy, Parker finds that strange revelations come to light about Eli, his recently-deceased brother, and the other kids. Eli has some creepy stories to tell, and seems to know much more than he’s telling. The more she hears, the stranger things become, and despite her rational, psychologist’s perspective, it isn’t long before the counselor begins to question her own hold on logic and reality…
Whereas this film doesn’t really fit into a familiar horror-type mold, it does have elements that put it firmly in the category. Without giving much away I can tell you there’s some voodoo-type stuff going on; there’s some beyond-the-grave retribution touched upon. You can even put some slasher-style goodies on the table; there’s not a lot of it, but what there is I thought was mighty tasty.
The flick was well written and directed. I found the plot engaging and well-paced, the clues and twists structured well into the narrative; the movie has an aura of picket-fence normalcy, but with a through-line of something sinister in the air, building strength. Visually, it makes the most of its budget; the camera work and editing is on a par with much a higher-end production. All of the acting is spot-on; stars Mischa Barton, Devon Sawa and Michael Clarke Duncan (in what was to be his last feature role, RIP) turn out excellent performances. I found myself genuinely liking (and rooting for) their very believable characters. The supporting cast of young actors is also talented, but the standout is J. Michael Trautmann as Eli; he embodies angst, sorrow, and innocence all at the same time; he goes from being a frightened, regretful child to an obsessed psychotic, his smoldering eyes piercing
right outta the screen. It was a role that could have easily been botched or over-done, but I was most impressed with the young actor. Gorehounds are even thrown a bone; you have to wait a while for the effects, but once they hit…well, it may be short and sweet, but what you get is quite gruesome and well done. My only real gripe is that I thought that the ending was a little confusing; it wasn’t a deal-breaker, but it seemed kinda tacked-on, out-of-place. In my opinion, the film could have ended five minutes earlier and been more satisfying, but hey; that’s just me.
I gotta say, I liked the movie; it was a fun watch. It held my interest, made me think, and even surprised me a couple times. While it wasn’t an out-and-out ‘horror’ flick, I feel that between the dark, foreboding feel throughout the film, the supernatural undertones, and the blood-soaked climax, A Resurrection acquitted itself nicely enough to count.
That’s my two cents.