Margaret (Rebecca Hall) is a New York businesswoman and single mother in her late thirties or early forties who seems to have her life completely sorted out. Her daughter Abbie is going to college in a few months and Margaret will be alone, well not completely alone because she is secretly in a relationship with a married co-worker. Margaret seems like one of those women who likes to have everything under control and as if everything in her life is somehow programmed, planned in advance. Every day she trains and runs like a fool through the streets of New York, to which she probably owes her athletic figure and thinness, but everything that seemed like a well-ordered and planned life will completely fall apart when it seems to her that she saw a man from her past at a conference tried to forget and suppress.
Panic attacks, strange and obsessive behavior will begin, and a meeting with the mysterious twenty years older David (diabolical Tim Roth), whom she has not seen for more than two decades, will throw her completely off track. We will only gradually begin to get Margaret’s background story in the film written and directed by Andrew Semans, and therefore her increasingly abnormal and psychotic behavior will seem even more strange and bizarre to us. We will find out what happened between her and David only in a long monologue to a work colleague whom Margaret advises in the opening scene that she should leave her boyfriend because he is a sadist. We will understand that Margaret has her own experience with such people, but what she experienced with David goes beyond what we think of when sadism is mentioned.
“Resurrection” turns into a rather sick and even surreal psychological thriller on the verge of horror, which seems extremely disturbing. Although it will turn out that the story here is quite absurd, and that the control freak is only Margaret’s tool to save herself from traumas and feelings of guilt from the past, Semans’ film is mostly held above water by the quality performances of Hall and Roth. This especially applies to the British actress who showed in “The Night House” that she can swim in horror waters. From the moment David reappears in her life, it is completely clear to us that she is no longer the same person. From a self-confident, calculated and successful woman who knows what she wants, she will begin to turn into a terrified and lost, almost helpless girl as she once was who does not know how to protect herself.
But until the end, she will still have to find a way to protect herself, and especially her daughter, from a man she claims is extremely dangerous. The most effective moments of the film are precisely those moments when the viewer does not yet know who David is and whether Margaret has simply lost her mind completely or her frenzy has a real reason. Although last year’s “The Night House” in which Hall was a widow battling the ghost of her late husband was still a better movie for me, the psychological thriller in which Hall is a single mother who also has some ghosts to contend with was also quite solid. And quite shocking, totally wild, what we’ll realize as time goes on and we’ll get glimpses of the horrible, creepy, completely abnormal backstory between Margaret and David.