Shudder Streaming: Resurrection (2022) - Reviewed

Trauma has a long-lasting effect on those who have endured it.  Years after a traumatic incident, even a seemingly minor occurrence has the power to hurl those who have experienced trauma back into its snares.  The past becomes present again, and the present has presence.  Andrew Seman’s Resurrection explores what a powerful presence trauma has on an individual, and the film is equal parts harshly realistic and a bad, bizarre dream. 

At first glance, Margaret (Rebecca Hall) has her life sorted out.  She’s a successful biotech professional with a 17-year-old daughter named Abbie (Grace Kaufman), who’s heading out to college soon.  Margaret has an overprotective nature about Abbie, and for good reason.  One day, Margaret is at a conference and spots a man (Tim Roth) in the crowd who triggers her to have an anxiety attack and she leaves the gathering abruptly.  This man begins to surface more frequently when she leaves the house, and Margaret sees no other choice but to eventually confront him about it.  His name is David, and he’s a figure from her past who has haunted her nightmares for years.  He put her through tremendous psychological and physical abuse during a relationship they had when she was young, and now she’s terrified for Abbie’s wellbeing, knowing all too well the atrocities David has previously committed. 


While there are exchanges David and Margaret have throughout the film that venture into absurdity, the solid acting grounds the film enough to prevent these moments from feeling laughable. Rebecca Hall’s complex portrayal of Margaret feels downright palpable at times with the ways she responds to David’s antagonistic resurgence in her life.  At times, she seems confident and in control of the situation unfolding around her, while there are others where she is a shaken, frightened mess, but throughout, her performance is heartfelt, especially when it involves Abbie.  

There are other moments still where she behaves so erratically that it requires an actress as strong as Hall to pull it off effortlessly enough to make her actions seem believable.  

Tim Roth plays his character with a casual yet charismatic sadism that makes the audience uncertain of how to read him.  At first, his pleasant nature is appealing enough to make anyone second-guess Margaret’s strong negative reactions towards him, but then his insidiousness slowly trickles out.  It’s a fairly subdued performance for Roth, but aptly played.


The themes present in Resurrection are often times more intriguing than the film itself.  Through Margaret’s story, the film depicts how persistent the effects of abuse and trauma are on an individual.  It also delves into motherhood, specifically the guilt and grief a mother feels when something goes wrong and how viscerally this can impact a woman.  There are other times when Margaret is gaslit anytime she tries to confide in people — both by her loved ones and professional colleagues. Resurrection is a story that explores trauma, but it spotlights uniquely female trauma specifically and the nuances surrounding it.  While there is ambiguity by the end regarding what is reality and what is being imagined, there is no doubt that Margaret’s past is real and has had a lingering effect on every aspect of her life over the years.


Resurrection has issues with pacing and outstays its welcome before it hits the climax, but the climax itself is strange, rewarding, and unlike something out of a standard psychological thriller.  Check it out on Shudder now to learn why, despite seeming like a straight drama on the surface, it is very much a horror film in its own right.

—Andrea Riley