Resolution Movie Resolved Explained Conjectured
Resolution is the tip of the iceberg of what is going on in this world here. Between Resolution and The Endless? We have the beginning of greatness here. IMDB
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Resolution Movie Resolved Explained Conjectured

I pitched to you guys a desperate need. A hail Mary of sorts. Yeah, first world problem. But I needed movies. Interesting, head scratching, mind blowing movies. And you guys came through. I think you threw 5 or 10 at me via comments, emails and morse code. So thanks for that. And one of the movies that you sent me was Resolution. Which when coupled with its counterpart movie, The Endless, is mind blowingly amazing. Sure, Resolution as a stand alone, isn’t brilliant, but it’s still a worth while little movie. Finished reading about Resolution, and now you are ready for The Endless? Great, check it out right here.

So this is where we stow the periscope and dive. Here be dragons. If you do not want to hear spoilers then, please, avert your eyes. Ok? Great.

Quick Overview of Resolution

Super simple idea. Michael’s best friend, Chris, is ruining his life in a hopped up drug fueled downward spiral. And in an attempt to avert disaster for his friend Michael physically intervenes. Like, to the point of handcuffing his buddy to a wall. So far so good. Has a bit of an inverted Leaving Las Vegas feel to it going on. Oh, no, better yet? They Look Like People! Yeah, I was trying to figure out what movie it was like the whole time I was watching, and that is it. That’s the one. They Look Like People. But at the half way point, the acting and the direction makes it 100% clear they are less concerned about Chris’ recovery – which has decidedly taken a back seat to pretty much absolutely everything – and more concerned about Michael and his own sanity. Or, whatever the heck else is going on around those parts. Because whatever it is, it isn’t normal. Nope. Not normal at all.

The Players of Resolution

Resolution really is a story about two guys in a shack. Until, it absolutely isn’t. And at that moment, we realize that this low key, introspective sounding movie is going to become anything but. Don’t believe me, take a look at this crowded list of groups of players in this “pastoral” picture:

  • The Druggies – there are three or four druggies that have been hanging out with Chris and providing him his stuff. But these guys are apparently pretty mean? That’s what Chris says anyway. Regardless, Chris owes them some drugs after last month’s advance. But Chris is absolutely no state to deliver.
  • The Indian Land Owners – Apparently the cabin that Chris has chosen to squat in? Yeah, well that is on Indian land. Better yet, they want both Chris and Mike off the land immediately. But they aren’t also above a bribe apparently.
  • The French Researchers – There are three French Researchers. Two alluded to from years ago (photos, audio, conversations). And a third that has continued to live there in the bush away from other humans as much as possible. Oh, did I mention he’s really into some sort of red seeded drugs? Yeah, he really is.
  • UFO Cult Members – alright, so these guys? These guys were so crazy random, I have not a clue as to what to do with them. But there are here too. What I like most about these guys? These parts are acted by the Director and the Screenplay writers. They did have some of the coolest lines in the movie, so there is that. “The celestial messiah will lend his vessel before the end of days…” or something like that?

The Unresolved Strange Goings On In Resolution

Not only were there a ton of players on top of this “two man” low budget thriller, but there were also a lot of really strange and unresolved happenings as well. Occasionally we see things appear and disappear. Photos appear on Michael’s chest when he wakes up. Strange neighbors staring in the window. Video cassettes are discovered that show their futures? Or record things that no one could have possibly recorded. Like when Michael originally tazed Chris? That was video’d somehow. And the videos of their deaths? Lots and lots of really crazy things are starting to happen to Michael.

So much so? Chris, the druggie? Yeah, he’s totally wondering whether or not his interventionist friend? Whether he’s really all there or not. You have that right. It’s all going upside down and all kinds of pear shaped. Even to the point of stretching credibility. Just one of those things happens to me? I’m out. Gone. Forever. But they are happening over and over again. With great regularity.

And as for explanations? Oh, the movie doesn’t lack for potential explanations. The first one we are given is by Chris actually. He posits that Chris has MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) and that he is leaving the information for himself. The Indians? Yeah they let them know their is a burial ground nearby I believe? And that these are holy grounds. The French researcher leads Michael to believe that the two other researchers were looking for monsters and found it in themselves. The UFO NutJobs believe that the interstellar messiah is on his way. So we aren’t lacking in potential resolutions to Resolution.

The Unresolved Conclusion of Resolution

As Michael and Chris realize that really really strange things are happening, Michael releases Chris and the slide projector comes on. We see Chris then Michael dead and in coffins. Soon after? Followed by the computer showing them their future, which is their demise at the hands of the druggies. But instead of freaking out, Michael and Chris use this first hand knowledge to dodge death each time. And eventually the Indians kill the druggies in the cabin… or the other way around, it was loud and confusing on the plane I watched it on. But narratively, it really doesn’t make a difference one way or another. And as the cabin is on fire, and the bodies are burning, Chris flips out as they are seeing something up, high above them.

Chris tells Michael that he doesn’t want to die right now. And that he’ll go to rehab if only Michael takes him immediately. But then Michael looks up and says, “I’m so sorry.” And this is the important bit, “Can we try it another way?” What exactly are we supposed to do with that right there? Well, let’s see if we can come up with a couple of interesting theories that pulls together all these incoherent threads and puts them into a logical solution.

Theories About the Ending of Resolution

So yeah, I’m just spinning these suckers off the top of my head. I really have no great big revealse or any great ideas for how this movie is logically held together.

Theory #1 – Michael Is The Insane One

Personally? My favorite theory is Chris’ first theory, which is that Michael is the insane one here. He’s the one placing the items and pre-recording them in advance. He’s the unreliable narrator. It’s Michael that is the one that needs to get into therapy sooner rather than later.

Problems with Resolution Movie Theory #1 – 

Not much. Other than that we never see any indication this is true. Zero. We see lots of things lacking proof of their existence. But who knows? Weirder things have happened. It is actually the best physical theory we have. Physical, I mean, like… actual, practical realistic… REAL WORLD theory.

I would have expected some hint from the director, from the screenplay writer that Michael was our culprit. And we just don’t get anything like that. For example… nope nope, not naming the movie, but there is a particular time traveling movie where our protagonist is also our bad guy? Right, well in this movie we are given piles of hints. Blackouts, for example. Tiredness. Visions of evil bunnies. Oh, shoot. I think I just identified the movie! hahahah. Oh well. You get the idea. We have none of that here in Resolution.

Theory #2 – It’s That Druggy French Researcher

If anyone is capable, and interested enough, to Punk Michael and Chris, well it’s definitely that French researcher. Who could be recording and delivering the videos? Who is that is strange enough, and interested enough, to try and freak these two guys out? It’s the French Researcher. I mean, he did kill the other two researchers after all. hahaha. He killed them and told everyone that “The were searching for monsters and found them in themselves.” Come on! That is an extraordinarily well thought out line. I mean, he has had 20 years to plan his alibi for the murders! And seriously? He loves studying people but doesn’t love living among them? If this isn’t a resume for a serial killer I do not know what is.

Problems with Resolution Movie Theory #2 –

Pretty much all of it. I guess, he could be the second best real world culprit. Michael being the first. Do I believe he killed the two other researchers? Sure. But I don’t think that is relevant to our story or our narrative about Michael and Chris. He’s strange, for sure. But could he have done all of the wild and near supernatural things to make this movie plot line work? No.

Odds and Ends Movie Theory #3 –

What about the UFO Spiritualists? The escaped asylum inmate? What about the Indians from the reservation? Ok. Sure. Could be. The screenplay authors definitely have given us a whole lot of crazy to chase in this movie. But is it really any of these things? Highly highly doubt it. The director and the writers didn’t give us much plausibility to a real world explanation for this movie. Great directors walk that line between real and unreal, or option 1 and option 2, giving equal credibility and possibility to either. Christopher Nolan is probably the best at this. Think Spinning Top. Or think dream layers. Or better yet Memento.  Regardless, we don’t get any of that here. If Michael was our guy, the French guy, the UFO weirdos?!?, then we would have needed some sort of indication that this is the case other than the idea coming from a burnt out druggy.

Enter Generic Looping Hellspawn Theory Here #4

I don’t have much here. But we have seen lately, a number of looping movies here on taylorholmes.com. Stay, Listen, The Ghost, you know the drill. You hit the end, and you find yourself back at the beginning again. Could it be a Sisyphean thing? A Nietzschean conundrum. Maybe it’s just their sins catching up with them and forcing them to loop back over their time all over again. But basically the theory here is that evil, some evil that Michael and Chris have committed, are forcing them back to the beginning again.

Troubles with Theory #4

Not much really. We don’t have the constraints here of theories 1 through 3 that are set in the real world. We have a pretty good idea that some obstruction or some sort of blockage is keeping them from concluding this movie in a positive way. But the one area in which this theory falls all apart? We don’t have much in the way of signaled sins. Chris is a druggie, but besides that he has no pronounced or defined sins. Michael? He’s helping Chris get clean, though in an unconventional way. See? No real sin that we know of. In Triangle? Oh, we had a sin alright. But not here. So I am not convinced.

Meta Resolution Theory #5

This is where I get to go a little crazy. But the theory that I like here? The theory that makes the absolute sense to me is so meta it’ll be tricky to explain. I mean, I’ll explain it easily enough, but I don’t know if it’ll be in a way that makes an sense to you, the reader. But let me give it a shot.

In this version or vantage, the movie is actually about the muse. It’s about that Greek godess of inspiration. And then it is about creative desire and our own critical spirit. But more specifically, it is about Justin Benson, the screenplay author of Resolution. It’s about his war within himself to create a movie that is a quality movie. It’s about the movie character, the screenplay author, who is now the demon, the hellspawn that is the movie ending. And it is the screenplay characters, that are looking up off of the page, to their god, their creator, and saying to Justin… was that good enough? We can go again. Really we can.

Does that make sense?

Meta Resolution Theory #5 Problems

As the movie was coming through to the end, Michael says more than once… these things that we are finding, they are pushing us towards an ending. The roll of film. The video on the laptop. The slides. All pushing Michael and Chris to these endings. In this way, it is a low budget meta story in the genre of Westworld. But Justin Benson, the screenplay author (and director) is our Dr. Robert Ford. Yes?

Oh wait… I was supposed to give you problems with theory #5. But alas, I cannot. Because I really do think that this ending is all about our Director and author fighting with himself to find an acceptable ending to himself. And what we are given is exactly that. An off screen monster that is threatening and beguiling to our two protagonists. No? I buy it. hahaha.

What are your theories about Resolution? I really didn’t even get to some of the juicier bits in the dialogue that I really badly wanted to talk about. The section where Chris tells Michael that he’s only attempting to save him because of the enormous chip on his shoulder and his desire to look good. I didn’t talk about the quote from Michael to Chris, “I’m sorry about Sara”… like at all. That one line has had me twisted in knots trying to figure it out, and I’ve had zero luck. Does it mean Chris was interested in Sara? Does it mean they were once a thing? Does it mean that at Michael’s and Sara’s wedding she over reacted?

Or what about “We all have temptations, but we keep them in check so that we don’t hurt the people around us.”? Come on, that is ripe for conversation. But if there is no god… and there is no purpose… and all you have is drug addiction? Why not just burn it down. I could go on and on and on. Sorry. I guess I found the movie somewhat more intriguing than I realized I did! hahaha.

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11 Responses

  1. Dayna

    Sorry about Sara line. Sara was the dog that came to visit. The drug dealers shot her. After Mike buries her and tells Chris….who did love the dog…that hes sorry about Sara.

    Reply
  2. ryan

    my ‘sorry about sara’ (which obv was just an oversight given the post above) bit was when Chris ran to the burning house to get his drugs the camera showed the head of someone that looked like was shot in the head. Was that a filming mistake? Am I having a ‘sorry about sara’ moment as well? It couldnt have been the meth heads who were shot in the house. It wasn’t Chris/mike and it was way too close to where mike/chris were hiding to be the Indians who were way too far away to be struck by the ammo set off from the fire. makes me think it was a production mistake…but such an obvious one that is what is making me still think about it. Oh and another curious detail was michael thanking Frenchy for giving him aspirin (which he didnt) and Frenchy responding saying “Aspirin…?” with a sly ‘aha’ smirk.

    I like theory 5 btw which I like as the deep thought resolution Type A film viewers need. my theory is taking the french loner’s where those that don’t view films for deeper meanings/answers can feel satisfied using the French loner’s high on drugs theory of meaning in all things physical and conceptual and the entity at the end being anything the individual viewer needs to feel satisfied (monsters/comet aliens/Indian shamans/druggies…red seeds/Chris and/or mike were asylum escapees themselves/cave dwellers). The latter fits for most to accept as an ending (certainly will be a ‘The Sopranos ending was bullshit’ contigent out there but cant please everyone….but who GaF to anyone who didnt think that ending was legendary!). The biggest piece of evidence I think on the entity being whatever floats your boat is the almost too many whacky puzzle pieces that could fit to the point its a bit silly (which also actually lends credibility to Theory 5).

    Anyhow I had just seen this today and enjoyed it enough to actually look for other ideas. This is the only article I read on it.

    Reply
  3. Dan ray

    I believe they are semi lucid characters in a horror movie, the tropes of cults, dangerous locals, drug dealers and the paranormal are all different plots they can follow , instead they refuse and try to conclude it as a drama- they are met with rejection by some unknown entity that has been trying to narrate the story all along and punished

    Reply
  4. ori

    My theory is simple:

    The sobrenatural thing at the end wants a close to the story.

    But Michael says something like: “We have get a nice and happy end to thw story”.

    Michaelidentifies himself and Chris like a characters on this story. He brokes the story-telling, the conclusion that would be they leaving the hills and Chris would go to rehab.

    Reply
  5. Joe

    Maybe you know maybe you don’t but there is a part 2 of this movie called The Endless. It explains some things. The two of the cult guys that were shown in this movie are the stars and directors of The endless. Just watched it before this. It is a better movie than this in my opinion.

    Reply
  6. Ben

    Watch The Endless. Explains a lot about this movie. Chris and Michael have a scene in it as well.

    Reply
  7. Mia

    If you see the movie ‘The Endless’ you will now what ‘Can we try it an other way?’ meant 🙂

    Reply
  8. John

    Mike and Chris are actually characters in a horror movie and are being held captive in a sort of time loop bubble of space by the evil entity that shows up at the end. They are reliving the same week over and over. The entity represents horror movie audiences and there demanding nature. They, and the entity, are not happy unless they get the ending they want. The researcher, cult members, shitty carl, etc are all trapped in their own bubbles by the same entity and are playing out their own movies. The entity wasn’t happy with Mike and Chris’ ending that time around, which is why Chris said “I’m so sorry” and Mike said “Can we try it another way?” Notice that at points during the film there are times when it looks like the movie film is flawed. The scene turns like a reddish color for a second and it looks like part of the film is burnt or damaged. These are clues that Mike and Chris are characters in a movie.

    Reply
  9. John

    Mike and Chris are actually characters in a horror movie and are being held captive in a sort of time loop bubble of space by the evil entity that shows up at the end. They are reliving the same week over and over. The entity represents horror movie audiences and there demanding nature. They, and the entity, are not happy unless they get the ending they want. The researcher, cult members, shitty carl, etc are all trapped in their own bubbles by the same entity and are playing out their own movies. The entity wasn’t happy with Mike and Chris’ ending that time around, which is why Chris said “I’m so sorry” and Mike said “Can we try it another way?”, indicating that it’s not there first time playing out this loop. Notice that at points during the film there are times when it looks like the movie film is flawed. The scene turns like a reddish color for a second and it looks like part of the film is burnt or damaged. These are clues that Mike and Chris are characters in a movie.

    Reply
  10. Charon

    Ok I’ve watched resolution 5 times now! And I believe it’s that the house basically is controlled by some form of Indian god like being also controlling the area around it that pretty much demands a film for itself with a violent end to anyone that dares to reside in that house and will pull in any means necessary to achieve this, people/animals/weapons/photos/carvings etc.. that’s why when chris squats there for a short period it monitors his self destructive nature and seeing it as something can be exploited for its use and in some Devine way or higher realm power can convert it into any form of media to achieve this that’s why even tho Chris has no internet or computer it contacts mike with a map of the location and video of Chris’s downward spiral basically stratgically using his true faith, loyalty, belief, love and worry for his best friend compelling/luring/manipulating him into going there to trigger the chain of events that will give this higher being the blood shed it lusts/desires to feed it’s violent hateful nature! when you see the weird burn like over exposure it’s basically reaching a checkpoint in the story that has basically changed the future outcome and in most of the cases some form of media is added with the new future of the 2 protagonist but not in the first part of the film as it doesn’t show what’s happening to them but shows the past events that took place to the previous unlucky souls that resided there as like some form of message or hint to give them an understanding of what it truly desires from them! Getting to the 3 French researches you are right for sure that absolutely crazy loner in the camper killed the other 2 to appease this malevolent entity and save his own life but may of failed cause he survived and basically became trapped and a pawn to be used for its bidding and basically lost his mind! The druggies where dragged in as one potential cause of mike and Chris’ demise, same with the Indians as both had different ways to be detered one being drugs which mike over looks and tries to buy them off completely failing and triggering the junkies anger causing them to basically start hostility close in on the 2 men and the Indians money and because the Indians got cash they basically in a extremely subtle threatening way tried to help/warn them to get the hell out of there immediately knowing what was going to happen also giving them a deadline for there demise but mike who completely overlooked and sinister nature behind it because his fault obviously was that he narrow kindly only sees good nature’s in people cpletely oblivious to the Darkside of humanity as his lifestyle obviously sheltered him from dangerous situations and people making him completely naive to danger! The problem was that basically there was a double edged sword conundrum because the entity had a contingency plan to ensure these men met there doom for it’s pleasure! And because these men basically did everything they could to survive instead of facing there inevitable fate and hadn’t left by the 5 night both threatening factors converged on each other with one killing the other in the fate that was ment for Mike and Chris’ (the body seen on the porch with a shotgun wound to its head if you remember was the bald druggie that tried to run out the door when his counterpart was executed Infront of him but was shot in the doorway and fell out the door landing on the porch) honestly I still can’t figure out exactly why Chris wigged out and ran back to the burning house! But when they get Infront of the house and the entity shows itself it’s quite obvious both protagonists realised they had completely and utterly F’d up royaly and Chris’ basically tried to praise the entity on his knees trying to appease it where Mike scared out of his mind basically asks for a redo or second chance basically sealing them to a fate far worse then death a endless time loop and pretty much in my opinion a living hell because it’s obvious mike still didn’t understand in the slightest that has to die, which will basically ensure the will repeat basically forever for them until they give up and basically welcome death with open arms! I hope that helps people!

    Reply

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