"The Resident" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

2/11/2011 Posted by Admin

"The Resident"

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

Directed by Antti Jokinen, written by Antti Jokinen, Robert Orr and Erin Cressida Wilson, 91 minutes, rated R.

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover.

It makes perfect sense that "The Resident" is Antti Jokinen's first film after a long career making music videos for the likes of Korn and Celine Dion. What doesn't make so much sense is how he managed to trick such an otherwise talented cast into appearing in this dreck.

"The Resident" is your typical, dull psychological thriller/horror film--hints are dropped often and early about our antagonist, the protagonist is a seemingly weak-willed, maternal young woman and everything is exactly as it seems. The gist is that Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his grandfather, August (Christopher Lee), own a beautiful old apartment building that is in the midst of renovation and therefore, they're offering leases that are literally too good to be true.

Enter Hilary Swank as Dr. Juliet Dermer, a young woman who's fresh out of a long relationship with a guy who cheated on her because she worked too much. In case you didn't know this was a horror film, Dr. Julie likes to explicitly mention to anyone who will listen that she got a deal that was "too good to be true" on her new loft. You know, as if there was some kind of catch to getting a Brooklyn loft with a terrific view for a little under $4000 a month. A catch like, say, a psychotic landlord. Hint hint, nudge nudge.

And since this is Hollywood and no mainstream movie is complete without a romantic angle, Swank's particular psychotic landlord has a crush on her and she at first has a crush on him and for a brief moment it looks like they'll get together. Instead, Swank goes back to her whiny ex who, amazingly, also happens to have been stalking her. There's even a little side story where grandpa August is into Dr. Julie and buys her things and awkwardly hits on her. Because Jokinen thinks we viewers are total idiots, he even tries to trick us into thinking August is the one who's actually sneaking around in Dr. Julie's room at night without her knowledge.

Which, really, would have been a little more interesting. Imagine: this outwardly harmless but still slightly creepy old man, played by Christopher Lee, of course, has been spying on his hot female tenants all these years, building a maze-like infrastructure that doubles as a voyeur's paradise and maybe he's taken his grandson in as his apprentice, so that a new creepy old man can inherit the building. It'd be both lovable and unsettling, a family film if you're family happens to be full of creepy old voyeurs.

Instead, "The Resident" is as dull as an old knife--and half as effective. Jokinen has created a film that's pretty but lifeless, with all the subtlety and tension of a Lifetime original movie and none of the hilarity. Its message seems to be that men are bad, sure, but women are stupid and deserve to be ogled and groped and maybe even raped once or twice for loving them. Morgan in particular gets stuck with a role far below his skillset, though he tries his best to inject it with a little something something. Swank is her usual wooden self and Lee's role is far too minimal for him to even begin to reward us with some scenery chewing. "The Resident" is so bad it's just bad, with none of the camp shenanigans or accidental hilarity you find in movies that are outright fiascos.

If all is right in the universe, the only good that will come out of "The Resident" is its murder of Jokinen's career before it even starts.

Grade: D

The film (*cough*) didn't receive a theatrical release in the States.  Instead, it's being released solely on DVD/Blu-ray on March 29, 2011.

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