Horror? Psychological drama? Just plain weird? These are all categories in which the Danish film Resin, directed by Daniel Joseph Borgman (The Weight of Elephants), could fit into. Hard to categorize, it is equally hard to get into. I felt a little towards it like the father of the family, Jens, did towards society, meaning I didn’t know if I wanted to be part of it or could trust it.
While doing some research on the film I discovered that frequent producer of Lars von Trier films, Peter Aalbaek Jensen (Nymphomaniac: Volume 1, Melancholia), was a producer on this one as well. Makes sense as Resin is of the same style. Weird. Dark. Showing sides of human nature or behaviour which are not pretty.
Seemingly struggling to save his young daugher from drowning, Jens (Peter Plaugborg – Submarino, The Miracle) is a father our heart breaks for. Soon after we discover that the whole thing was faked. Why, you ask? Well, the response is that Jens and his wife Maria (Sofie Grabol – from Danish television’s The Killing) want to retreat completely from society and believe it will be easier if people think their daughter is dead.
She is not and when we rejoin the family a few years later, we see a trio who live like hermits. The only person who sees them is the postman. Anytime someone approaches their property deep in the woods, Jens hides Liv (Vivelill Sogaard Holm – first film) in a small box-like structure. Maria does not really factor in as she has become so obese that she cannot get out of bed.
Liv, now 13-years-old, knows nothing of the world outside the family land. Nor is she aware that her father has falsified her death. When her curiousity gets the better of her and she begins to explore further away from the family home. This leads to her coming in contact with young bar owner, Roald (Amanda Collin – A Horrible Woman, Darkland), who Liv has been stealing things from.
Rather than being a film about a small family living an idyllic life off the radar. Living off the land. It becomes apparent that is one about mental illness and paranoia. This starts off as rather interesting, but soon it becomes rather mundane. Because there is no progression the possibility of tension being built disappears. Though strange it becomes rather muddled and dull.
Maybe sensing that during the latter part of the film it switches gears into a straight up horror film. Bodies start piling up and blood starts flowing. Then finally you get the oft-used injured person trying to get away from the crazy person. It ends up being rather traditional after all the oddness.