I started watching a 2010 movie, The Resident, with high hopes. It’s a short thriller from Hammer, starring that very appealing actress Hilary Swank. She plays a doctor who does a lot of running to exercise her mortification at having split up with her philandering ex. She decides to move apartments, and finds a new home that is full of character and remarkably cheap.
There is a ‘but’, of course. As soon as we meet the owner of the building, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, we somehow suspect (for this is scarcely an original situation) that, for all his superficial likeability, he may well turn into a deranged killer. This impression is confirmed when we find that his strange granddad is played by – yes! - Christopher Lee.
Short the film may be, but I’m afraid that for me, it was still too long at an hour and a half. I thought the screenplay was clunky as well as predictable, with a long-winded flashback killing suspense quite early on, and although visually the film is quite effective, with the weirdness of the building well evoked, overall it was a dreadful waste of the talents of three excellent actors.
Aspects of the story are salacious, voyeuristic, and gory, and although very good films can be composed with such elements The Resident is too crassly put together to survive its flaws. It hasn’t received generally good reviews, and even some of the indifferent notices strike me, I’m afraid, as rather on the generous side. Very disappointing.