The Resident (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner11/03/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Disappointing thriller that starts well but blows its big twist too early and then stumbles around trying to kill time till the predictably blood-soaked climax.

What's it all about?
Directed by Antti Jokinen, The Resident stars Hilary Swank as Juliet Devereau, a New York surgeon who moves into what appears to be a dream apartment (spacious, low rent, view of the river) after splitting up with her cheating ex Jack (Lee Pace). In no time at all, Juliet makes the effort to get to know her creepy neighbour (Christopher Lee) and starts flirting with her hunky, nice-guy landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but something about the apartment doesn't feel quite right and she eventually sets up CCTV cameras to find out what's going on.

The Good
Swank is excellent, playing Juliet with a note of sweet-natured vulnerability that makes us instantly afraid for her, even before the bad stuff starts happening. Morgan is equally good as the too-good-to-be-true landlord and the decision to steer clear of twitchy psycho behaviour on his part is the film's one refreshing departure from the usual clichés.

The Bad
The film's main problem (apart from yet another appallingly misleading poster, but that's another issue) is that it blows its central twist way too early, which places the audience in the awkward position of spending as much time with the creepy, would-be rapist (and all the keyhole-spying that that entails) as it does with the heroine. After that, the film has no idea what to do next, so it stumbles around, with the creepy would-be rapist getting creepier and rapier (at one point he lies underneath her bed and sucks her fingers while she sleeps) until Juliet wises up in time for the predictable finale.

To be fair, the nail gun-based climax is exciting and well staged, but the film takes forever to get there. Similarly, it completely wastes Christopher Lee as Max's actually-not-that-creepy grandfather and the script falls down both in attempting to set up plausible red herrings (Lee and Pace are both briefly painted as potential bad guys before the early reveal) and in giving Max a decent backstory.

Worth seeing?
Despite a promising set-up and strong performances, The Resident is ultimately disappointing, thanks to a poorly thought-out script and a preference for sleazy creepiness over suspense and thrills.

Film Trailer

The Resident (15)
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Content updated: 18/12/2017 03:26

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