Directed by Antti Jokinen. Starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee
Sliver and Psycho collide in this very messy story that is so flat on the thrills that you wonder why Oscar winner Hilary Swank would have been a part of this.
So Hilary Swank’s ER Doctor Juliet has just dumped her cheating boyfriend and moved out. An apartment that’s too good to be true finds her along with its teddy bear cute landlord Max (Dean Morgan, remember that guy from the show Grey’s Anatomy, sorta looks like a version of Javier Bardem?) and his ageing-ailing grandfather August (Christopher Lee).
The first half sets up Juliet in the house, it’s a bit creepy and clearly she’s being watched. But by who, you ask? Well, the filmmakers don’t really want to keep up the suspense so they tell you with a flashback of how the mentally disturbed Max is stalking her.
Boring, is all I can say for the first three-fourths of this film. It’s only when Juliet’s ex-boyfriend Jack (Lee Pace) comes back that the film develops some thrills but then it’s too late and too quickly evicted. Jeffrey Dean Morgan just isn’t convincing as the pervert who sneaks into Swank’s bedroom after he’s drugged her to sexually assault her. His motives aren’t clear, apart from the fact that you are fleetingly shown that his father killed his mother and shot himself. That’s it! The wonderful Christopher Lee is relegated to a miniscule role. Just his presence is scary and could have been used so much better.
Hammer Films is an old UK company responsible for cult classics like the Frankenstein series starting off with The Curse of Frankenstein. The films were sometimes a bit camp and cheesy but always had charm and excitement.
At the end of The Resident, when Juliet discovers the sordid truth, she runs, she fights. And even though she’s got him on the floor with staple gun nails in his shoulder, she doesn’t finish the job. She knows he’s raped her, he’s probably going to kill her, he’s probably killed her boyfriend, but she just leaves him there and runs. Being a doctor she’d have know precisely where to hit him. But not till he’s gotten off the floor several times does she realise a nail to the head would do the trick. Tut tut.
The Resident has some chilling music, which thanks to the director and actors doesn’t even lift the film half an inch off its lazy-ass butt. Speaking of which, second-time director Jokinen seems to think that giving us close-ups of Swank’s well-toned buttocks will help the film. Clearly his apartment has no furniture in it.