Resurrection (2022) poster

Resurrection (2022)


UK/USA. 2022.


Director/Screenplay – Andrew Seamans, Producers – Lia Buman, Tim Headington, Drew Houpt, Lars Knudsen, Tory Lenosky & Alex Scharfman, Photography – Wyatt Garfield, Music – Jim Williams, Visual Effects – Molecule FX & Wild Union Post (Supervisor – Alex Noble), Special Effects Supervisor – Ed Drohan, Production Design – Anna Kathleen. Production Company – Square Peg/Secret Engine/Rosestory.


Rebecca Hall (Margaret Ballion), Tim Roth (David Moore), Grace Kaufman (Abbie Ballion), Michael Esper (Peter), Angela Wong Carbone (Gwynn), Josh Drennen (Officer Howard), Rosemary Howard (Desk Clerk)


British-born Margaret Ballion has a successful career in New York City. She is raising a daughter Abbie who is about to turn eighteen, while she has a thing with her married co-worker Peter on a casual basis. All of a sudden, Margaret begins to see David Moore, a man from her past, and becomes fearful. Margaret knew David in her teens and they had a relationship in which he was incredibly controlling. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son – only to return one day and find that David had eaten the child. Fleeing from David, she eventually made a life of her own. Margaret now begins to become obsessed and unstable, controlling of Abbie and refusing to let her go out. She wants to kill David but he taunts her that their son lives on inside him and that in killing him she will be killing their son too.

Resurrection was the second directorial film for Andrew Seamans, who had previously made the revenge drama Nancy, Please (2012). His screenplay for the film had made the Black List of unproduced screenplays. The film had its premiere at the Sundance film festival, before having a minor theatrical release and being bought up for streaming by the Shudder network.

The film centres almost entirely around Rebecca Hall’s performance. Hall has emerged as a strong performer since the early 2000s in everything from The Prestige (2006), The Awakening (2011), Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) to Godzilla vs Kong (2021) and awards winning and nominated work in films such as Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008), Christine (2016) and her directorial debut with Passing (2021). She is a fiercely intellectual actress, not to mention, as the film here shows, is in incredible physical shape – there are a number of scenes here of her vigorously jogging. At 5’10” and having trimmed most of her body fat, Hall projects a tall and angular presence.

Rebecca Hall gives one of the most extraordinary portrayals of Disturbed Psychology since at least Isabelle Carré in Anna M. (2007). It is a fearless and emotionally gruelling performance where Hall physically commands the show with what seems like every fibre of her being. One of the most captivating scenes is where she tells co-worker Angela Wong Carbone the story of David and her child, a rivetingly bizarre piece that goes on for several minutes where the camera closes in on Hall’s face as she narrates and the room behind her becomes a black screen. The scenes of her dominating and eventually driving daughter Grace Kaufman out of the house are strong stuff, while the last twenty minutes of the film push everything into a very grim place.

Rebecca Hall as Margaret Ballion in Resurrection (2022)
Rebecca Hall in a fierce and extraordinary performance as Margaret Ballion

There is an element of Psychological Ambiguity to what is going on. When Rebecca Hall first walks over to the park bench to confront Tim Roth, there is an uncertainty to their exchange where his reaction seems to switch between being a complete stranger who does not know her to being familiar with her and her daughter’s name, while Rebecca’s behaviour in the scene is so fiercely accusatory it cannot help but seem unbalanced.

Thereafter, Tim Roth becomes the character we have been told he is so we forget about this scene. Although there are times we cannot exactly be certain. When Roth comes to visit Rebecca at the office, we get a glimpse of her co-workers looking into her office where we see her alone. However, in the next shot he is in the office, where we cannot be sure whether the set-up was suggesting that he only exists in her imagination or he was just off-camera. The very last shot of the film with Rebecca back at home, daughter Grace Kaufman returned and holding the baby seems to confirm that what happened was real, before in the final shot we close on Rebecca looking directly at the camera where in the very last second her blissful happy smile seems to turn to terror, which would seem to suggest the puncturing of the illusion.

Resurrection should not be confused with the other works of the same name including the faith healer film Resurrection (1980) and the serial killer thriller Resurrection (1999).

(Winner for Best Actress (Rebecca Hall) at this site’s Best of 2022 Awards).

Trailer here

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