Review: The Resident

This is painful, I really, really wanted to like this. For me it was Sir Christopher Lee's big Hammer return since the underrated 1976 classic, To the Devil a Daughter. 35 years later, it's clear to see today's re-invigorated Hammer Films, is not the Hammer Films that I used to know and love. 

The Resident is not a bad film, it's just not overly good. Hilary Swank stars as Juliet Deverau, a young ER doctor, recently moved to New York who settles in a Brooklyn apartment, that seems too good to be true. Deverau begins to suspect that her over-friendly landlord, Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), has developed an unhealthy obsession with her.  

The story itself feels like any 1990s TV movie and I'd blame that on writer/director, Antti Jokinen. The film's direction is predictable and lazy. We see an overlong montage explaining that Max has been stalking Juliet - this is just a flashback of previous scenes with shots of Morgan added in. It's clear to anyone with a small degree of intelligence that Max has been stalking Juliet, and a five minute montage repeating that is bland and unnecessary. This is just one example of the sort of direction you can expect from Jokinen. 

In various scenes we see ridiculous (and sometimes laughable) behavior from Morgan's character - I mean we see him using Juliet's toothbrush, sitting in her bath and drugging her wine. The amount of wine Juliet drinks, it's ridiculous - you loose a bit of sympathy for her!

On the plus side, despite some of problems with the script and characters - the acting is largely pretty good. Morgan does has best with a laughably creepy character and Swank is quite good as the vulnerable doctor fighting back. I'm sure it's no surprise that the highlight of this is Sir Christopher Lee. He's not in this much (roughly 5-8 minutes of screen time) and there's something nostalgic about seeing photos of him when he was young sitting on his characters shelf. Lee Pace also stars as Juliet's distant boyfriend and is unfortunately rather underused.

If you want mindless suspense entertainment check it out, but don't go expecting the glory of Hammer's original psychological thrillers. Because this really isn't Hammer. 

The Resident 8857987537795583357

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