Daniel Joseph Borgman’s Resin (Harpiks) celebrated its World Premiere at the 2019 Toronto Internation Film Festival where it was dropped on everyone’s sunny day like a thick, heavy vat of hot tar. The film tells the story of a young girl, hidden away from the world by well-meaning but ill-prepared parents. Resin feels like it pulled from the headlines of a local newspaper, and that reality makes the darkness throughout the film all the more painful. At its core, it is the story of two parents who will do anything to protect their family, but the innocent baby steps they take to keep everything they hold dear safe walk them past reasonable, beyond forgivable, and out into the thick, murky swamp of mortally damning.
Jens (Peter Plaugborg) and Maria (Sofie Gråbøl) have carved out a comfortable and secluded space for themselves in the woods outside of town, hidden away from the prying eyes of the local townspeople. And as regular, privacy-protecting folk, they’ve also tricked the village into believing that their daughter Liv (Vivelill Søgaard Holm) had drowned as a small child. Jens and his now tween-aged daughter spend their days foraging and frolicking all over their property. They do as they please, living off the land and off the grid. Maria, however, is bedridden and pregnant, but the trio are happy in each other’s company. That is until an unexpected visitor comes knocking on their door, with the power to take away everything they have worked their whole lives to protect.
“Resin is that brand of squirmy, wide-eyed storytelling that has D-O-O-M spelled across every frame in invisible ink. “
Maria understands that Liv should not be made to live like a fugitive but she is powerless to do anything. Jens teaches his daughter as best he can, but Liv is living in a world that embraces fantasy, ignores pain, and suffers from that bittersweet delusion that things will be perfect forever if you just squeeze tighter and tighter on blind faith. It was impossible to keep Liv hidden forever, and now that she is curious and able to explore the world around her, she is completely unprepared and arguably more vulnerable than she would have ever been.
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Resin is that brand of squirmy, wide-eyed storytelling that has D-O-O-M spelled across every frame in invisible ink. You never once believe that Jens’ plans to keep his family isolated and insulated will lead to a happy ending. As is the case with films about the deepest, darkest pits of mental illness, there is no happy ending to be had for characters that refuse to compromise on beliefs they’ve constructed to protect the fears that are familiar from the fears of the unknown. Jens believes that he is right to keep his family hidden from everything that threatens their lifestyle, but the anxiety and paranoia that drive his actions are simultaneously upturning every seed that he has sown.
I’ll be real with you, this movie hurt to watch at times. The childlike irrationality of Jens and the calm, macabre nature of how he talks to his daughter about death and preservation is the stuff of true crime horror stories. Characters are hurled at Jens during a particular manic period of his life and he knows no other way to handle their intrusion than with violence. People simply do not deserve what happens to them in this movie. You will find no outright gore or straight-up scarers in Resin but you will want to take a deep breath before settling into this dark and mostly depressing tale of a girl struggling to claw her way out from a 70ft deep grave her father began digging for her before she was ever born.
Resin celebrated its World Premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival Sunday, September 8. Written and Directed by Daniel Joseph Borgman, the film stars Vivelill Søgaard Holm, Peter Plaugborg, Sofie Gråbøl, Ghita Nørby, and Amanda Collin. TIFF 2019 runs September 5-September 15 in Toronto, Ontario and you can find all of our reviews, interviews, and news HERE, as well as on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!