By Kelan Young

Mailed on October 03, 2013

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Dear Dear Justin Benson

Dear Dear,

I have to say, writing Resolution _couldn't have been an easy task._ As clever and subversive as your script is (despite clear differences, its metafictional nature will inevitably draw comparisons to The Cabin in the Woods), this is the type of film that lives or dies based on the strength of its characters. With such a strong focus on dialogue and other intimate interpersonal moments, it's paramount that the viewer is able to completely empathise with the characters onscreen--or else there are no real emotional stakes. Kudos, then, for absolutely knocking it out of the park.

As two childhood best friends whose relationship is strained by drug addiction, Michael and Chris are the heart and soul of your story. Actors Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran share remarkable chemistry with each other, and perfectly compliment your knack for writing extremely realistic, natural sounding dialogue. These two guys feel completely genuine. Everything about their relationship works, from the petty digs to the earnest moments in which they reminisce about better times.

And because we're so invested in their lives, the film's transition into the overtly supernatural, marked by the boys' dawning realization that they've attracted the attention of an entity hopelessly beyond their comprehension, is all the more effective. Let me tell you something: I think of myself as being fairly jaded, but the fact that you can take something as mundane as two guys watching a videotaped conversation and make it absolutely bone-chilling speaks volumes as to your talent as a writer. Well done, sir, well done.

But it's not just two protagonists you've so cleverly crafted. The supporting characters are just as strong, from the twitchy drug addicts who constantly seem seconds away from committing a terrible act of violence, to the reclusive French student who lends possible insight into the nature of the friends' predicament, to the stoic owner of the house Cilella has been unknowingly squatting in. They all captivate. I'll be perfectly honest: the first time watching I wasn't sure how necessary these people were to the forward movement of the plot; it's impressive that, instead of simply being filler, you're able to make them essential to the resolution of the story.

I really admire your determination to avoid giving the audience an easy ending--or, for that matter, conveniently explaining what the entire movie was about. It may be polarizing for many people, to be sure, but it works. Personally, the ending is a wee bit too abrupt for my liking, but days later I still couldn't stop thinking about it. And when so many genre pictures these days are of the in-one-ear-out-the-other variety, that's about the highest compliment I can give.



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