Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan head up the small cast in this thriller that mixes in a bit of Sliver with Pacific Heights without the “so dumb it’s a bit fun” factor of the former or the genuine quality of the latter.
Swank is a young nurse, Juliet, who is looking for a fresh start after finding out that her boyfriend cheated on her. She finds an apartment that she likes and also gets on with her new landlord (Max, played by Morgan). In fact, she gets on with him a little too well, which could make things a little bit awkward between landlord and tenant. Things start to get complicated as Juliet realises that she may not want to get involved with her landlord . . . . . . . . . and also gets the feeling that she’s being watched in her own home.
A standard psycho thriller movie with occasionally enjoyable stylistic flourishes (including a moment that rewinds events to show things from the perspective of another character), The Resident would have been greatly improved by two things. Firstly, keeping things ambiguous for longer would have helped. When the real danger is shown the movie loses its edge and viewers can do nothing but sit back and wait for the inevitable final confrontation. Secondly, avoiding all of the thriller clichés that fill up the second half of the film would have really helped.
The acting is fine. Hilary Swank isn’t on top form but she’s saddled with the role of potential victim, Jeffrey Dean Morgan fares better and Christopher Lee has a nice little extended cameo. There are other people onscreen but nobody else makes much of an impression.
Finnish director Antti Jokinen (who co-wrote the movie with Robert Orr) does well with the first half of the film and then ruins everything with that decidedly thrill-free second half that leads to a finale full of moments that will make you want to shout at the screen.
It will pass 90 minutes for an undiscerning viewer (as I was when I watched it) but it’s nothing above average and remains inferior to many polished thrillers released over the last 20-30 years.
DIRECTOR: ANTTI JOKINEN
STARS: HILARY SWANK, JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN, CHRISTOPHER LEE
RUNTIME: 91 MINS APPROX