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Film Review: The Resident

Posted on the 17 January 2013 by Donnambr @_mrs_b

About The Resident (2011)The Resident Film Review: The Resident Juliet (Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby), a beautiful doctor, has found the perfect New York apartment to start a new life after separating from her husband. It’s got spacious rooms, a spectacular view, and a handy, handsome landlord. But there are secrets behind every wall and terror in every room as Juliet gets the unnerving feeling that she is not alone. She is being watched. She is being stalked. And no one is safe when she discovers the relentless horror on her doorstep. But how do you stop an evil that you can’t see…until it’s too late? Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey’s Anatomy) and screen legend Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings) costar in this pulse-pounding shocker from famed horror studio Hammer Films (Let Me In).

 

Starring: Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace

Directed by: Antti Jokinen

Runtime: 91 minutes

Studio: Image Entertainment

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Review: The Resident 

Double-Oscar winner Hilary Swank is one of Hollywood’s best and it would be no surprise if she added to her tally later in her career, in my opinion. Antti Jokinen’s The Resident tackles a very serious problem affecting society today – stalking. Not often taken seriously, stalkers have sadly been allowed to harass their victims unopposed and even kill them. Making a film about this subject had to be done sensitively so does The Resident pull it off?

Juliet Deverau (Hilary Swank) is a surgeon in search of a new home after splitting up with her unfaithful boyfriend Jack (Lee Pace). She finds a decent apartment with the only problem being the noise and vibrations from a nearby subway. Juliet’s landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his father August (Christopher Lee) seem initially welcoming but then Juliet begins to suspect someone is stalking her. Her initial suspicions are the old and lonely August but when Juliet becomes close to Max only to push him away as she addresses her broken relationship with Jack, Max shows he has something of a dark side.

The Resident spends its first half hour with Juliet’s search for a new apartment, meeting Max and August, finding flowers outside her door and later meeting Max again at a party. There is mutual affection and it seems a relationship is on the cards but then the film rewinds back to the beginning and we witness events from the perspective of Max. What we assumed was Juliet’s first meeting with Max at the apartment was anything but. Max and August were at the hospital when Juliet was on call and seeing her, Max immediately becomes obsessed. He learns her name, telephone number and orchestrates a way for her to come to the recently renovated apartment. When she moves in Max is watching her, through peepholes and even sneaking into her room at night to watch her closely.

 

When Juliet and her ex Jack get back in touch, Max gradually turns nasty. We witness some very uncomfortable examples of stalking such as sneaking into the apartment to lie in the same bath, use the same toothbrush, drug Juliet so he can watch her sleep without detection and even more unpleasant things. Although these are realistic depictions of the levels some stalkers will go to, the film does gradually lose its way as it approaches the conclusion. Juliet inevitably gets wise to Max and confronts him and things do turn pretty violent.

 

The Resident just doesn’t really work for me. Swank is okay but nowhere near at her best while Morgan does a better job as her stalker. Christopher Lee is underused and has no real purpose other than to briefly throw us off the scent of who the stalker is but within the first half four of the film we’re shown the real culprit anyway so why bother? The final exchange ends very abruptly and given the damage that has been done to Juliet and to those around her you would have expected she might be a bit more upset about the experience as the final credits loom but she seems strangely in control. This had the potential to be a really great film but it’s a pretty pointless experience in the end which is a real shame.

The Resident is a far cry from Swank’s two Oscar winning turns in Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and Million Dollar Baby (2004) and I can only hope she chooses her scripts more carefully in future. A legend like Christopher Lee should not be in films like this either, while Morgan at least comes out of the film with the potential to do other things, much better things I might add.

Verdict: 2/5

(Film source: reviewer’s own copy)

Film Review: The Resident | Thank you for reading Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave

 


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