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THE RESIDENT is one of those very well made (directed by Antii Jokinen), well photographed (cinematographer Guillermo Navarro), well scored (music by John Ottman), well cast films that just doesn't manage to get off the ground. The idea for the film is OK but the script written by Robert Orr and director Jokinen is so slim that the film could have been a successful short: everything you need to know is in the trailer. A thriller it is not, but the people in the film are so attractive that much is forgivable.

Hard working ER Doctor/Surgeon Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank - who also is executive producer here) is bruised by a broken relationship: Jack (Lee Pace, well remembered for his role in 'A Soldier's Girl') betrayed their relationship. Juliet needs a change and looks for an apartment in New York City, eventually finding an affordable gorgeous space being renovated by owner Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, handsome and charismatic). Max is strange but pleasant and goes out of his way to please Juliet. Max lives in the apartment house as does his grandfather August (Christopher Lee), and when the emotionally vulnerable Juliet is attracted to Max, Max is the one who shuts down. But the chemistry has begun and Max spies on Juliet, stalking her, making videos of her in bath, obsessing over her etc. Juliet meanwhile reconnects with Jack, a fact that motivates Max to change the direction of his approach to Juliet. What follows is a series of strange incidents that the audience will know about ahead of time and the ending just sort of happens - without much suspense or caring from the viewer.

Swank is up to par in her professionalism and both Morgan and Pace are interesting to watch. The film has some nice effects and the cast is attractive and maybe that is enough for a no-brainer film. Pleasant but non-involving. Grady Harp, March 11
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VINE VOICEon May 14, 2011
Format: DVDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Normally I don't try to reveal spoilers on my book and DVD reviews but I owe a favor to anyone who might consider renting, buying or viewing this horrible piece of movie making (and calling it movie making is an exaggeration).
Hilary Swank, an Oscar winning actress had taken quite a career tumble as she portrays an emergency room doctor seeking an apartment in NYC. She comes across a huge apartment at a bargain rate. (Warning one-If you get an amazing bargain in NYC, something bad is about to happen!)
She rents the apartment from Jeffery Dean Morgan (who I wail always remember as "dead Denny" in Gray's Anatomy which spoiled that entire series for me forever) is the landlord and as the viewer finds out early in the movie he is a combination stalker/pervert/peeping tom/sex addict/psycho/killer who spends more time sneaking around Hilary's apartment than she does. He also has multiple viewing areas into the apartment which allow him to view Swank at his leisure. He can watch her as she bathes, cooks, sleeps and drinks. (which is part of her problem. ER doctors need to be careful about drinking too much)
Christopher Lee is totally wasted in his role as the grandfather of Morgan who starts off as a spooky old man and ends up as a dead one.
Lee Pace is Swank's ex boyfriend who manages to rekindle his romance with her and anyone who has ever seen a suspense cum horror film knows what happens to that kind of person. No surprise here.
The last 20 minutes of this film is tediously filled with Swank taking down her landlord in a knock down drag out ridiculous physical battle and him rising again like Michael Myers in the Halloween films. I get so tired of heroines who never watch one of the films over the last 50 years where you knock the bad guy down, run away and have him pop up again in the most unlikely spots. Eventually Swank prevails, the bad guy is dead, the old man is dead, the boyfriend is dead and the movie simply ends. Unfortunately not fast enough and the viewer is left wondering what they could have down with the 90 minutes they have wasted watching this waste of good celluloid.
The one good thing I can say is thankfully I got this movie as part of the Vine program so the only thing I wasted was time. Whew! You owe me big time Ms. Swank!
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VINE VOICEon April 16, 2011
The first three-quarters of this film are suspenseful and somewhat innovative. "The Resident" attempts a sort of Rashomon-like recursion from different points of view.

First we see life from Hilary Swank's character's point of view. She's a busy ER Doctor who responds to an ad for an improbably large, inexpensive Victorian apartment unit in New York. From the start, she's a little suspicious of what lies behind the complex, creviced spaces in the old building. She's a little unsettled by the atmosphere of the place and the things that go bump in the night.

Then the film figuratively rewinds and we see the same progression of events from the stalker's point of view, from the point of view of the person who is in fact creating those unnerving little rustlings from the rafters, from behind the lathes of the apartment. We see how he originally crossed paths with the Doctor and how he launched his campaign to "get" her.

It isn't a radically different perspective, but we catch more subtleties of angle and expression the second time around. The stalker, who comes across as being simply so handsome, so charmingly self-effacing in the first reel - expresses a more dangerous intensity in the re-play. We catch the flash of cold appraisal and calculation that crosses his face when Hilary Swank's back is turned. We understand the level of his peeping, peering obsession better.

Although this situation is hardly novel in the suspense/thriller genre - these lead actors are so beautifully caressed by the camera, it would be a pleasure to see them in any context, acting out the flimsiest of plots. There are some beautifully sensuous nude scenes included as well.

Unfortunately, the last quarter of this film turns into utter cliché, betraying much of the film's early promise.

SPOILER - SPOILER
In that last quarter, the stalker turns predictably ulta-homicidal and the film devolves into a gory, blood-sport combat between stalker and Swank - with Swank displaying her Million Dollar Baby fighter's fitness in the fray. Once, just once, I would have liked the stalker to turn out to be not quite so mad - and for him and the object of his affections to get together and live happily ever after. Now THAT would have been innovative. I almost thought this movie might break new ground in that direction. Too bad.
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on July 21, 2011
Just saw this and have to say it was vastly underwhelming. Swank is a greatt actress, and the rest of the cast was decent as well, but they just had nowhere to go. What could've been a highly suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat thriller was marred by terrible dialogue, extremely predictable situations, and every cliche of these types of films in the book. And one of the saddest things was how Christopher Lee was wasted. The whole thing was painful to watch. Yeah, the camera work was a bit above par, and the reverse sequences were interesting, but the first went on way too long after we all got the idea. Hopefully, Hammer will improve.
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on August 6, 2011
Why is there a horse in the lead?(No Pun),makes for a good movie but we have seen these plots before,predictable and repetitive.Did I mention Hillary Swank?She leads on some guy in the movie,and turns out the guy is pretty demented,and of course by the cover you can tell what happens next.Christopher Lee is Great but The return of Hammer Films could have been better.
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on April 11, 2015
I am a big Jeffry Dean Morgan fan and I normally love Hilary Swank, but this film was so implausible that neither could make it work. How many of us have spaces in our walls so wide we can walk around in them and peek in at people? It was beneath these two fine actors to make a silly film like this.
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on April 24, 2011
This is your classic "B" grade peeper movie with high priced actors. Hillary Swank plays an ER doctor looking for an apartment. She finds the idea place with a good looking landlord. The drawback is that Christopher Lee also lives there. The movie then shows you blurred views of Hillary naked from camera angles that make you think she is being watched. It also makes good use of shadows and noises to add to the effect that someone is in her apartment. Unfortunately this doesn't last long as the peeper/creeper is revealed way too soon, and it is not Eric Roberts. The movie short changes us on the nudity/sex scenes normally in a B grade movie and opts to give us some groping. They attempted to create a first class peeper film, but fell way short. I can't believe Hillary Swank isn't getting better movie offers.
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Reviving the legend of Hammer films certainly seemed like a great idea. Renowned for their creepiness and monster mayhem, Hammer was one of the most influential horror players in the film industry for approximately four decades (most relevantly, perhaps, in the fifties and sixties). Their 1958 version of "Dracula" with Christopher Lee is still considered by many to be the definitive film version of this oft told tale. Well, Hammer is back in the game! Their first release was the contemplative vampire remake "Let Me In," a terrific film that owes far more to its Swedish predecessor than to the mystique and allure of Hammer. Their follow-up film "The Resident," however, is pure Hammer--unfortunately, it's late period schlock as opposed to something that's going to reinvigorate the legend.

Hilary Swank, with her two Oscars firmly in storage somewhere, plays a New York doctor seemingly defined by the male relationships in her life. After a difficult break-up, she does what any single lady would do--she rents a cavernously creepy new apartment and begins a tentative flirtation with her landlord (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). In a bit of casting fun, Lee is even on hand as Morgan's grandfather--but, in reality, he has very little to do. This is the type of film that is entirely reliant on the fact that someone could be four feet away from you in your creaky old flat and you wouldn't notice. You see, Swank is being watched and the unknown assailant has full access to her apartment. Amidst the copious scenes of peeping, (look, here's Swank bathing and here she is applying liberal amounts of lotion to her breasts--did I mention she had two Oscars) things start to progress to more intimate aggressions.

The set-up, when revealed a third of the way through, is fairly preposterous as the entire plot is predicated on about 48 random decisions coinciding exactly. There are several big leaps of faith. Swank feels slightly uneasy--one second later, she has a state of the art video monitoring system installed (there are several large transitions that defy logic) and her pursuer neither notices the new system or the big computer that indicates when video has been shot. The big finale plays out pretty much along expected lines as well. This is an easy film to watch, I suppose, as a brain dead creation. It might have been better served, however, without the baggage an A-list cast brings. After a promising beginning, however, it's hard to take much too seriously here. There have been countless films with exactly the same premise that have preceded "The Resident" with varying degrees of success. The film doesn't offer much uniqueness to distinguish itself--and modern audiences seeking a horror product will likely be disappointed that this is more of a cheesy thriller. Watchable, but forgettable. KGHarrs, 3/11.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Reviving the legend of Hammer films certainly seemed like a great idea. Renowned for their creepiness and monster mayhem, Hammer was one of the most influential horror players in the film industry for approximately four decades (most relevantly, perhaps, in the fifties and sixties). Their 1958 version of "Dracula" with Christopher Lee is still considered by many to be the definitive film version of this oft told tale. Well, Hammer is back in the game! Their first release was the contemplative vampire remake "Let Me In," a terrific film that owes far more to its Swedish predecessor than to the mystique and allure of Hammer. Their follow-up film "The Resident," however, is pure Hammer--unfortunately, it's late period schlock as opposed to something that's going to reinvigorate the legend.

Hilary Swank, with her two Oscars firmly in storage somewhere, plays a New York doctor seemingly defined by the male relationships in her life. After a difficult break-up, she does what any single lady would do--she rents a cavernously creepy new apartment and begins a tentative flirtation with her landlord (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). In a bit of casting fun, Lee is even on hand as Morgan's grandfather--but, in reality, he has very little to do. This is the type of film that is entirely reliant on the fact that someone could be four feet away from you in your creaky old flat and you wouldn't notice. You see, Swank is being watched and the unknown assailant has full access to her apartment. Amidst the copious scenes of peeping, (look, here's Swank bathing and here she is applying liberal amounts of lotion to her breasts--did I mention she had two Oscars) things start to progress to more intimate aggressions.

The set-up, when revealed a third of the way through, is fairly preposterous as the entire plot is predicated on about 48 random decisions coinciding exactly. There are several big leaps of faith. Swank feels slightly uneasy--one second later, she has a state of the art video monitoring system installed (there are several large transitions that defy logic) and her pursuer neither notices the new system or the big computer that indicates when video has been shot. The big finale plays out pretty much along expected lines as well. This is an easy film to watch, I suppose, as a brain dead creation. It might have been better served, however, without the baggage an A-list cast brings. After a promising beginning, however, it's hard to take much too seriously here. There have been countless films with exactly the same premise that have preceded "The Resident" with varying degrees of success. The film doesn't offer much uniqueness to distinguish itself--and modern audiences seeking a horror product will likely be disappointed that this is more of a cheesy thriller. Watchable, but forgettable. KGHarrs, 3/11.
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on May 26, 2015
I am a JDM fan, therefore I feel it my duty to watch everything he has done. It took me a long time to watch this because I have a hard time buying Morgan as a stalker type and there were parts that were difficult to see. Even after watching, I still don't fully buy Morgan in this role the way I should, but I am glad I finally bit the bullet. Many people wrote that this was well-acted and well-shot. I agree. It's such a shame that they didn't take their time with this. Someone described Swank's character as one dimensional and it's true. I admire her loyalty to her relationship and even though it's hard to imagine turning down someone who appears to be as sweet and handsome as Morgan's character, Max, I did get it. Loyalty can really bind people. But there should have been more to show why she so easily went back to her cheating boyfriend. I mean it was easy to see how vulnerable she was, but there should have been some deeper discussion between them. It would have helped add some dimension to her character. The biggest missed opportunity was with Morgan's character and his grandfather. You got a superficial understanding about what messed up Max, but his behavior clearly has more behind it and it was left to the viewer to figure that out for themselves. You could see the grandfather had a lot under the surface that should have been explored more. I suppose the producers simply wanted us to be on the side of the victim, but how about giving me the full picture and leaving that up to me?
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