Wednesday 24 January 2018

Movies: The Resident *

(16, general release)

Paul Whitington

Hilary Swank can really pick 'em, and she continues an impressive run of stinkers with The Resident, a dire schlocker that bears more than a passing resemblance to Single White Female.

That 1992 Barbet Schroder thriller was no masterpiece, but it looks like the work of Sergei Eisenstein compared to this car crash.

Swank is Juliet Dermer, an ER doctor who has just moved to New York to be with her boyfriend when they break up unexpectedly and she's left with nowhere to live.

When she finds a spacious and incredibly cheap apartment with views of the Brooklyn Bridge she can't believe her luck, and her new landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) seems a charmer.

But, guess what? He's actually an unhinged stalker who groomed Juliet to be his new tenant and has constructed a labyrinth of peepholes so he can watch her going about her intimate business.

As Max's obsession grows he begins sneaking around Juliet's apartment at night and slipping Demerol into her wine so she won't wake up when he comes to visit.

And when Juliet's boyfriend Jack (Lee Pace) comes back into the picture, Max gets that funny look in his eye.

It's actually hard to make a thriller that doesn't contain a single surprise or moment that makes you jump, and in that respect The Resident is to be commended.

Writer/director Antti Jokinen doesn't even tell his story especially well, and a shambolic ending suggests he ran out of either money or inspiration.

Morgan is a charismatic performer, but he's about as scary as a stuffed toy here, and Hilary Swank is a thoroughly charmless heroine.

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