The Resident – Film review
- Henry Northmore
- 16 March 2011
Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Christopher Lee star in the latest thriller from Hammer studios
It’s certainly fantastic seeing the legend ‘Hammer Film Productions’ on the big screen again (especially when it’s followed by the name ‘Christopher Lee’) however this thriller goes more for the chills of The Nanny or Fear in the Night than the Draculas and Frankensteins the studio is most famous for.
Recently single ER doc Juliet (Hilary Swank) lucks out when she finds a suspiciously gorgeous, suspiciously cheap, suspiciously empty gothic apartment in Brooklyn. Her seemingly jovial landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is soon recast as an obsessive psycho voyeur, creeping round her apartment at night and watching her from the warren of secret passages, crawlspaces and spy holes conveniently located throughout the building.
It’s all fairly predictable taking cues from stalker movies through the years such as Hider in the House, Crawlspace, One Hour Photo and even Fatal Attraction. Finnish director Antti Jokinen’s lacks the subtlety to bring real menace to the screen. Some moments jump from creepy to comical as Morgan seemingly lurks in every shadow, crawling out from under beds to suck Swank’s fingers as she sleeps while there are a couple of horribly clunky masturbation scenes that you’ll wish you could forget. Lee gives The Resident some continuity with Hammer films of old but he’s criminally underused as Max’s vaguely sinister grandfather, a real shame as even at the age of 88 he’s still a commanding screen presence. It’s not a complete disaster, the home invasion theme is still unnerving in itself, Swank and Jeffrey are both solid and the final act while preposterous is stupidly entertaining.
Out now on general release. Thanks to Cineworld Fountainbridge, Edinburgh.