Rebecca Hall is far from an unfamiliar household name. In the past couple of years, the actress has emerged and cemented her place in Hollywood. In front of the camera (Godzilla vs. KongThe Night House), or more recently behind it (Passing), Hall has shifted the spotlight back to her acting career due to her consistently remarkable performances. Therefore, Resurrection was a mandatory addition to any watchlist at this year’s Sundance Film Festival edition — a highly rewarding decision since Andrew Semans delivers one of the best of the fest.

Resurrection tells an incredibly tense, disturbing story about a woman’s dark past catching up with her decades later. This unresolved trauma brings back a surreal nightmare — heightened by Tim Roth’s David — that will leave audiences at the edge of their seats. Roth opts for the restrained version of a psychopath, which seamlessly suits the actor’s style. Minimal expressions and a monotonous speech pattern elevates his lunatic persona. Semans also shows terrific control over the intensity of each scene. Even during the second act, where repetitive stalking sequences slightly reduce the excellent momentum; the endless, nerve-wracking feeling of imminent danger continues to escalate due to the uneasy, frightening atmosphere — brilliantly generated by Wyatt Garfield’s cinematography and powerful sound design.

Semans cinematic explorations are fascinating, but Rebecca Hall is the primary reason why Resurrection stands above so many other familiar films. The actress may have delivered her career-best performance as Margaret — a complex protagonist who begins as just another worrying, loving mother with professional success and a stable life; only to succumb to madness due to a never-ending, profoundly unsettling acts of psychological warfare. Hall embodies her role, offering a transformative, hypnotising display and emotional range. Her 7-minute (!) uninterrupted monologue will be forever used as “Exhibit: A” of her immense acting talent.

However, the ending will divide many. Keeping spoilers safe from the public sphere, the best word to describe Resurrection‘s final few minutes is “indescribable”. As the final scene unravels, Semans proceeds with various unexpected developments; risking the terrifying realism of his pre-established acts. All in all, Resurrection is an exceptionally tense psychological thriller; deeply elevated by a masterclass performance from Rebecca Hall. The lingering cinematography and effective sound design exponentially increase the suspense and intensity levels. A divisive, interpretable ending may divide some viewers, alongside a slight loss of momentum in its second act; but these are minor issues in what will surely end up as one of the best films of the year.

Resurrection premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, as part of the ‘Premieres’ category.

By Manuel São Bento

A 28-year-old critic with a tremendous passion for film, television, and the art of filmmaking. An unbiased perspective from someone who stopped watching trailers since 2016. Member of GFCA, IFSC, and OFTA. Approved on Banana Meter. Social media: @msbreviews.