The Resident (2011)
Directed by Antti Jokinen

Starring Christopher Lee Hilary Swank Jeffrey Dean Morgan Lee Pace

The last horror film Hilary Swank hade made when she made this New York-based fear film for the recently re-constituted Hammer Films had been the awful “Sometimes They Come Back … Again” way back in the 1990s.

This film isn’t much better, even though it features Christopher Lee in what amounts to a cameo as a creepy neighbor in an apartment building that Swank’s independent woman character moves into, after a breakup with a sleazy boyfriend (Lee Pace). Another resident in the building (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) takes a liking to Swank’s doctor character. What starts initially as a rebound romance devolves into a stalking scenario, with Morgan’s unbalanced character breaking into Swank’s apartment, using drugs to knock her out at night, and carrying on with a physical relationship with her unconscious body. Anyone that gets in his way is murdered off, including his grandfather (played by Lee) and the former boyfriend.

Going for Hitchcockian thrills that never materialize, director Antti Jokinen doesn’t even offer up any gore or T&A (Swank is too much of a class act for that), so all that we horror fans are left with are a few lines from Christopher Lee. Swank doesn’t seem very convinced by the material either, sleepwalking through the role when her character isn’t actually just sleeping (while her neighbor makes the moves on her). Worst of all, Morgan comes across as way too nice to be a psycho. They should have cast someone like Crispin Glover in that role. The film would have benefited from a higher body count too. Some more of Swank’s normal friends should have bene killed off in the carnage.

To make a long story short, this “Resident ”should be evicted from your Netflix queue. A bad movie -- and hopefully not an omen of what we can expect going forward from the new Hammer Films.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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