The Resident (2011)

Some films receive a critical mauling because their production values are abysmal, others because they’re diabolically written, many because of their laughable special effects and some simply because they have Danny Dyer in them. The Resident gets a Gorepress 1 Skull because it quite literally bored me to tears.

The premise is as follows: dull nurse Juliet (Hilary Swank) has dumped her cheating boyfriend and moved into an awesome new flat in a very old building. The landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) seems very lovely at first, despite having Christopher Lee as his granddad. Re-bounding away, Juliet flirts with Max, who then goes completely mental and tries to kill her. The end.

If you’re reading this and thinking SPOILERS! then think again. You know all of this information within 20 minutes, when a baffling flashback reveals Max’s more stalkerish side. There is absolutely no subtlety, mystery or suspense in The Resident, it merely happens precisely how you expect it to, slovenly pushing every tired cliché into the mix whilst simultaneously rolling out dreary characters to bore us with.

Perhaps at the base core of The Resident was an idea to deviate from the expected horror formula and show us the antagonist in all his dementia and perversion, but it’s so witlessly handled that it results in moments of tittering laughter when Jeffrey Dean Morgan uses her toothbrush and lies in her bath, touching himself. In an attempt to see the antagonist’s reasons and emotional complexities the makers of The Resident sacrificed any hope of suspense or intrigue.

The blame for The Resident’s failings cannot be slapped into one particular person’s face as everything failed to impress, although a large portion of responsibility should fall on director / co-writer Antti Jokinen. Who? You know, the guy that directed the opening segment of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest? No? Despite this jazz-handy resume tidbit, Jokinen’s direction is dull and at times entirely random, whilst the script is perfunctory at best, sometimes bordering on lazy. But it’s not just Jokinen; the soundscape is dull, the set design expected, the lighting occasionally dismal and the acting entirely without charm.

Exec. producer Hilary Swank gives a reasonable performance as Juliet but she simply lacks likeability – when she takes back her cheating ex-boyfriend you give up caring about her entirely. The Resident also features another utterly pointless cameo from Christopher Lee – and now for an actual SPOILER! – who can add another die-in-a-bed scene to his recent list of Burke & Hare and Season of the Witch. He needs to kill his agent. In bed preferably…

If the re-formed Hammer Films company want to stay re-formed they need to start being innovative and appealing to a wider audience. Literally nothing in The Resident appeals. It is not a hilarious disaster or an angering mess, it merely has absolutely no redeeming features.

Do not see The Resident unless you need a really good sleep. I had tears in my eyes at one point, I was so upsettingly bored. Seriously avoid.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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