Director: Antti Jokinen
Starring: Hillary Swank; Jeffrey Dean Morgan; Lee Pace; Christopher Lee.
Plot: When a young doctor suspects she may not be alone in her new Brooklyn loft, she learns that her landlord has formed a frightening obsession with her.
Antti Jokinen’s The Resident (2011) turned out to be more creepy, than frightening or scary. Scenes in which a highly dosed Swank would have her fingers licked as she slept and have her unconscious face kissed were just two of the more creepy things about this particular feature. Jeffrey Dean Morgan did a half decent job of pulling it off, too. However, my problem was that there seemed to be little to no build or motive behind the stalker-like attitude that Morgan’s character – Max – had developed in reference to Swank’s character – Juliet.
We were given glimpses of a back story that must have been left on the cutting room floor because, honestly, it was incredibly vague and uninteresting at best. I was left with little to no reason as to why Morgan’s character was committing such heinous acts other than he was incredibly unhinged and perverted. Was that point? I don’t think so. All of the signs pointed towards a story between Morgan’s character and the character of the legendary Christopher Lee, but nothing ever materialised. Instead, Lee’s character only served to be a stepping stone for Morgans’ power in the role of chief antagonist and never really allowed me, a member of the audience, to ever truly understand the relationship between the two characters beyond the fact that they disliked each other. All in all the narrative was very bare, which you’d expect from a horror film, but not the better ones.
The direction wasn’t anything that made any form of impression on me either. In fact, there were some shots which seemed so incredibly random that I can’t even offer an argument as to their meaning while writing this review. Further more, the use of a blur on a quick zoom realisation shot just defeats the whole purpose of the moment of the film so clearly the cinematographer has someone to answer to as well.
All in all, this was poor. I was expecting a horror-thriller that was worth my time simply because of the quality of actors who chose to star in it. It’s not every day you see three well established actors in the same film. Obviously, as this review suggests, I was left disappointed. I suggest you don’t allow yourself to do the same and avoid this one at all costs. A poor film in every aspect and one which I recommend to nobody.