The Resident….you love me right?! YOU HAVE TO LOVE ME!!

The Resident (2011)

 

reviewed by Cash

I was excited to see a new Hammer genre movie featuring Christopher Lee.

Mr. Lee’s last corroboration with the infamous studio was the year I was born .  To The Devil A Daughter with Nastassja Kinski in 1976. Hammer has been in hiatus for nearly three decades.  And if you’re not familiar with the older works of the studio.  You definitely need Horror 101!!

The Resident stars Hillary Swank as an ER doctor, struggling with her new single life, looking to move into a new apartment.  She finds a charming place with an even more charming landlord (played by Watchmen’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and with a great deal on the rent to boot, how can she refuse?  But the old proverb “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” comes into play REAL quick.

It’s hard to be shocked by a movie where you know the whole premise from the get go.  I don’t have to tell you that things go sour between the two stars, the poster gives you that right away.  The chemistry between the two characters is warm, cuddly and even passionate at first and then things take a severe turn for the worse.  And before you know it, the story is making you more uncomfortable than you were prepared for.

I thought the movie was wonderfully shot.  There’s some good photography and light play.  Sound track is good and intense when it needs to be.  The dialogue was, for the most part, smart and believable.  My greatest admiration comes from the nods this movie seems to give to several well known thrillers from the past couple of decades.  When Jeffrey Dean’s character starts to come apart and we’re given a glimpse of his psychosis there’s a scene ripped right from Fatal Attraction.  I was immediately reminded of Glenn Close unravelling, staring into nothingness, flicking her lamp on and off over and over again.  I was also reminded of Pacific Heights, Crawlspace, People Under the Stairs and any movie with a great lurker. We’re talking Michael Myers lurking here.

Mr. Lee’s presence was fairly ceremonial but at 88 years of age he still commands the viewer’s attention merely by being on the screen.  His character is mainly to give the audience a feeling that something isn’t quite right and boy, is THAT an understatement.

I also enjoyed how the apartment building is a character in itself.  The endless corridors and walkway, walls within walls, hidden chambers, one way mirrors.  This was a great addition to the story.

I will admit that that the finale seemed a bit kitsch but the movie ends precisely where it needed to.  I never thought Swank was that attractive but the director made her character uber-fuckable without having to whore her up.  She plays a smart, sexy professional very well.  The script required her to casually reveal almost everything she has to her audience. As a male viewer, I appreciated that.  Her character had flaws though. I won’t get into that, its just my opinion.  Morgan is very genuine throughout.  You like him at the beginning and despise him in the end but in between we get the feeling that he is a tortured soul, inheriting bad intentions from a foul bloodline and he is more tragic than evil.  But nevertheless, you want bad things to happen to him when all the pieces are exposed.

I think some script revision would have been good but the end product was everything I thought it should be and Christopher Lee was certainly the cherry on the top of this production.  I admire him for staying on the job at such a respectable age and agreeing to be part of another Hammer Horror.

I’ll give it a 4 out of 5

This is my first NEW movie review for Horror 101.  Comments are welcome!!

 

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