God knows we’ve ran the gamut of pervy landlords here at D’D. From the ones who lounge naked in their tenants’ homes, to the ones who rape their tenants’ dogs, and everything in between. So I figured I’d check out THE RESIDENT in hopes that they could successfully illicit that skeevy feeling you get when reading those real-life incidents…then gleefully recommend it to Jaded since she harbors an unnatural fear of peephole cameras in her toilet.
Jaded ended up liking it more than I did and wasn’t nearly as freaked out as I’d hoped. Some of this was because some of our articles dealing with this subject matter are creepier than this movie, as well as the fact that Jaded really dug the antagonist, not caring if she woke up in the middle of the night with him sucking on her fingers.
After her long-time boyfriend cheats on her, Dr. Juliet Dermer (Hilary Swank) moves out and finds the impossible — a roomy New York City loft with a great view, priced well below market value. The icing on the cake is that her new landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is easy on the eyes and a perfect candidate for some rebound sex. But before long, Juliet suspects Max has formed an unhealthy obsession with her and that someone is spying on her inside her apartment. By the time she figures out what’s happening, the film devolves into a predictable game of cat-and-mouse that will leave you breathing a sigh of relief, knowing all this ridiculousness is almost over.
Check out the trailer:
Listen, I’m glad to see Hammer Films back in business. I truly am. As a kid, many late nights and Saturday afternoons were spent masturbating and watching their films…often at the same time. Hammer films like TWINS OF EVIL and SCARS OF DRACULA helped shape me into the demented horror fan you know today. But this is the second film they have released since their revival — the first being LET ME IN (our review), and the second I could not wait to be over.
Things started off decent enough, although I felt Swank was horribly miscast. Her acting was as stilted as ever, but my biggest issue is that she just didn’t look the part of the pretty, brain-dead damsel-in-distress the role seemed to be written for.
Morgan fared better, although I like pissing Jaded of by saying he looked just like Brad Garrett. But at least he was able to be convincingly charming as well as unnervingly creepy when warranted. The only reason I can imagine Hammer icon Christopher Lee is even attached to this is so Hammer could put “AND CHRISTOPHER LEE” at the bottom of the poster. He’s barely in the film, and when he is, his talent is completely wasted.
Before this, Antti Jokinen‘s only directing credits were for some Finnish crap and a DVD for the symphonic metal band NIGHTWISH. This type of background shows, as visually THE RESIDENT looks pretty good — Jokinen did a superb job with the apartment’s interiors (although I never quite understood the floorplan). It’s everything else that falls flat and boring with absolutely no surprises with a story that could have easily been a made-for-TV venture for Lifetime.
Although there’s a very effective scene near the end of the movie in which Swank’s character witnesses firsthand exactly what’s been happening to her while she sleeps, it comes a little too late. Instead of following that disturbing path, Jokinen jumps back on predictable tracks that lead the film to a ho-hum chase scene within the walls of the apartment, ending with one of the most tiring clichés in the horror/thriller playbook.
The only mystery surrounding this film is how anyone talked these talented actors into starring in it. I’m giving THE RESIDENT two doses of Demerol for the girl you are obsessively stalking out of five.