Blu-Ray Review: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilary Swank Take Up Lodging in ‘The Resident’

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CHICAGO – “The Resident” is one of those thrillers in which you’re never supposed to be quite sure what the hell is going on and the deceptive description on the back of the box makes it sound like it could be a ghost story (as does the involvement of horror icon Christopher Lee). From the beginning, you’ll be asking yourself, is there something supernatural involved or is this more like “Sleeping With the Enemy” or “Psycho”? The answers come quickly and not in a very satisfying way.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

Considering the fact that the back of the box tries to sell “The Resident” as a supernatural thriller (“…an evil you can’t see…until it’s too late”), one could consider what’s to follow a spoiler, but it’s so obvious from minute one and revealed well before the halfway mark that I’m not sure too much of a warning is necessary — the theme of “The Resident” is quite simply “Don’t trust a real estate deal that’s too good to be true.”

The Resident was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 29th, 2011
The Resident was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 29th, 2011
Photo credit: Image

“The Resident” is yet another cautionary tale about a woman living alone in the big city. A beautiful doctor named Juliet (Hilary Swank) finds out the hard way that a gigantic apartment with a gorgeous view is going to have a few drawbacks. When she first meets her new landlord (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), she assumes that he’s a nice, normal guy and just what she needs after leaving her cheating husband (Lee Pace). The two have a brief flirtation but it doesn’t develop into anything and she tries to dump him while also considering getting back together with the man she left. Small problem — her new landlord is closer to Norman Bates than anyone deserves.

The Resident was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 29th, 2011
The Resident was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 29th, 2011
Photo credit: Image

“The Resident” has some truly creepy moments. The idea that a guy could be hiding in the walls of your apartment, watching your every movie, and even going as far as to drug you in the middle of the night and committing sexual assault, is absolutely terrifying. There’s one scene in which Juliet partially wakes up during a truly traumatizing night that nearly makes the movie worth a rental and Swank delivers during the moment when she finally sees the evidence of her true horror. Overall, the talented cast nearly saves what is a pretty generic script. Swank underplays it when she needs to and makes a believable heroine. Morgan, on the other hand, works well in the first half, but is forced to do some pretty embarrassing work when he starts hugging Juliet’s clothes and weeping. Pace and co-star Christopher Lee aren’t bad but are under-utilized.

It’s odd that a film with a two-time Oscar winner couldn’t get a theatrical release in Chicago and so I was expecting a true disaster when I popped in “The Resident.” It’s not THAT bad. There are worse films playing on thousands of screens right now. Having said that, it is a pretty generic, forgettable affair that’s really only for diehard fans of the stars or domestic thrillers in general. The studio clearly forgot to put “The Resident” on their release schedule. You can probably forget it too.

This is where we usually list special features but Image has committed the ultimate Blu-ray sin in 2011 — not a single minute of bonus material. Maybe they forgot that too.

“The Resident” stars Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace, and Christopher Lee. It was written by Antti J. Jokinen & Robert Orr and directed by Jokinen. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 29th, 2011. It is rated R and runs 91 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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