MovieNugget reviews

0-9 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Resident (2011)

Directed by Antti Jokinen
Starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace
Produced by Tobin Armbrust, Cary Brokaw, Guy East and Simon Oakes
Written by Antti Jokinen and Robert Orr
Music by John Ottman

In what's designed to give the biggest "MEH" reaction from the audience, The Resident is a generic, by-the-numbers stalker-thriller that brings nothing new at all to the genre. Were it not for some very nice cinematography and the lead performances, this would probably have self-combusted under its own mediocrity.

Look, I don't want to pretend that The Resident isn't unwatchable. In fact, it's quite watchable in the same way that an episode of The Amazing Race is watchable but you immediately forget what just happened the moment you finish watching it. The Resident's main problem is that it's a flatline of a film - there are no genuine scares, no genuine thrills, nothing but a middle-of-the-road viewing experience. It's not especially creepy either, which is probably its biggest failing.

The Resident is brought to you by Grade-A Coffee,
the brand of choice for beardy serial voyeurs!

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, in one of her latest failed attempts to break the mainstream market, is stalked by Jeffrey Dean Morgan who has the looks and charm of a hairy Brad Pitt but, for some unexplained reason, the deep, dark secrets of Anthony Perkins from Psycho. He's the landlord, so there's a little bit of sexual tension between him and his latest tenant, but that's soon ditched for a positively uninspired game of cat-and-mouse. Christopher Lee pops up in what is essentially an extended cameo, there's some stuff that happens and then other stuff, and something else, and the viewer promptly falls asleep.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan's new eye cologne didn't work as well as he'd hoped

What little positives The Resident manages to bring to the table are the excellent cinematography by Guillermo Del Toro cinematographer-of-choice Guillermo Navarro and various semi-gratuitous shots of Hilary Swank's extremely fit body. There are precious few other reasons to watch this unless you absolutely must watch everything that Jeffrey Dean Morgan appears in or you have some time to waste and absolutely everything else that was available to watch has summarily disappeared.

Best bit
the 'flashback' scene where we see Morgan's plan in motion

Iconic moment
absolutely not applicable here

Worst bit
the toothbrush scene - it's "worst" on many different levels

Best line
I honestly can't recall a single memorable line - next

Best performance
pick a name out of the hat: either Jeffrey Dean Morgan or Hilary Swank

I *suppose* Hilary Swank, because she exec-produced it as well...thanks

What would have made this better
either gone completely for the jugular and amped up the gore to Takashi Miike levels of insanity, or rejig the screenplay and make it truly creepy and unsettling -- oh, and hire another director

What would have made this worse
if the main roles were reversed...actually, scratch that, it would have made this AWESOME

Companion film
this has some similarities with Single White Female and even Sliver, though I couldn't imagine watching The Resident and Sliver back-to-back

If you liked this...
watch the original Psycho and ask yourself why you liked The Resident in the first place

+ there are a handful of decent scenes that play with the landlord-tenant sexual tension (which are unfortunately jettisoned early on)
+ very nice cinematography
+ Jeffrey Dean Morgan for the ladies, Hilary Swank's bits for the guys

- Christopher Lee is woefully underused
- quickly becomes a bog-standard thriller
- the script is bland and generic
- not scary, creepy or bloody enough to satisfy thriller or horror fans
- the boyfriend played by Lee Pace is as bland as a beige sponge
- some plot holes and "what the hell?" moments

Rating on the Anthony Perkins/Norman Bates level of perverted hotel proprieters:

No comments: