As thrillers go, you’ll have to look very hard to find a villain more sinister than the abusive ex-husband at the center of Resurrection. Written and directed by Andrew Semans, Resurrection is a surprisingly dark story about the long-lasting effects of psychological abuse that features an emotionally exhausting performance from Rebecca Hall (The Night House) and Tim Roth as her maniacally vicious ex-husband.
As quiet and unsettling as an aggressive conversation you only half-hear from across a loud coffee shop, Resurrection‘s most unnerving moments come in tense exchanges between Rebecca Hall’s Margaret and Tim Roth’s David. Margaret (Hall) is a self-made success story. She’s a single mom, she’s successful and she’s respected. She is in complete control of her life and she stands tall. That is until David (Roth) shows up to chisel at the cracks in her foundation until she crumbles.
“….a surprisingly dark story about the long-lasting effects of psychological abuse…”
David is everything Margaret has been running from her entire adult life. He claims to know her intimately but in reality, he just knows the exact right words to say to snap her back to the fragile, scared girl she used to be before breaking away and starting a new life without him. His power over her is strong and the psychological games he plays are merciless. It’s as though David has some kind of magic wand or remote control that flips a switch inside Margaret, transforming her once again into his vulnerable plaything.
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Margaret details her abuse thoroughly to another woman struggling with a similar issue but the extent of that abuse and the long-term damage it’s done to her is evident just in how helpless she is to David‘s twisted demands. As we learn, David killed the child he tried to pressure her to abort while it was still an infant. But worse than that, he claims to have eaten the child…and that it’s still alive inside his stomach.
“Resurrection is an intense, slow-building showdown between a fragile woman and her abuser.”
The impossibility of David’s story is never addressed because Resurrection isn’t the story of someone grappling with that wild claim. It’s about a woman that had long-ago lived that as her reality. A reality so intense and so traumatic that she can’t shake it even years after she’s bettered herself and come to recognize the whole ordeal for what it was. Rebecca Hall plays Margaret’s abuse with an unquestioning familiarity. She wears her trauma like an old, undersized coat and David’s subdued cruelty is so relentless that even you start to think that maybe he’s telling the truth.
Resurrection is an intense, slow-building showdown between a fragile woman and her abuser. It’s also got 30 times more blood and nightmare imagery than something like Sleeping With The Enemy so don’t let the words “psychological thriller” scare you away. This thriller has one hell of a horror-fan approved finale.
“…don’t let the words ‘psychological thriller’ scare you away. This thriller has one hell of a horror-fan approved finale.”
Andrew Semans’ Resurrection celebrated its World Premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Click HERE to follow all of our Sundance 2022 coverage and be sure to let us know what you would do if a ghost from your past crawled back into your life over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.