The Resident (2011) starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace, Christopher Lee, Aunjanue Ellis directed by Antti Jokinen Movie Review

The Resident (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Hilary Swank in The Resident (2011)

Obsession is Nine Tenths of the Movie

"The Resident" is a movie with a problem and it's called expectation. Here is a movie which stars Hilary Swank, the Oscar winning actress but in a role which doesn't test her at all and more relies on her attractiveness. What we also have here is a modern Hammer Film production but one which doesn't live up to the horror expectations which come with that name. And so as such because what you expect is not what you get "The Resident" ends up disappointing yet in truth it is a well made and visually stylish thriller.

Having struggled to move on with her life after she caught her boyfriend cheating, Dr. Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank - Amelia) decides to find a new apartment in the hope it will help her move on from the past. It is how she comes to meet Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - The Losers) the owner of an apartment which is ridiculously good value, to good to pass on. But whilst she finds Max great company along with his aging grandfather August (Christopher Lee - Star Wars: Episode III) she finds the atmosphere in her new place creepy as if someone is watching her.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Resident (2011)

So yes with "The Resident" we are in another movie where a young single woman finds herself being watched in her own apartment. But it isn't just about a voyeur as we also have an obsessed man storyline as we discover that Max had seen Juliet prior to her moving in and planned the whole thing. Both elements are frankly standard ideas used in tens of hundreds of other thrillers over the years and so there are no great surprises when it comes to how things play out.

But whilst from a story perspective "The Resident" is quite ordinary visually it is impressive. In many ways the quality of the camera work is so good, is so stylish that it is frustrating that it is wasted on such a routine movie. Although it has to be said that whilst the blood and guts scenes as we see Juliet operating in ER are impressive they do seem forced, thrown in to provide the expected dose of blood and guts.

As for the acting well Hilary Swank is good as Juliet but it isn't a role which seems to stretch her as she has to play it sexy, scared and for quite a bit of the movie walk about in her lingerie or emerge from a bath in a cloud of steam. In the same way playing Max doesn't stretch Jeffrey Dean Morgan as he does big and likeable with such ease but also does mean and moody just as effectively especially with the great use of lighting to emphasise his darker side. And then there is Christopher Lee who whilst solid as Max's grandfather August seems to be more cast for the novelty of having the iconic Christopher Lee in a modern Hammer movie.

What this all boils down to is that "The Resident" is solid and stylish but because of who is in it and who made it it never lives up to your expectations.