Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Hillary Swank sure is fit. I know that probably isn’t the best way to start this little article on this completely mediocre thriller ‘The Resident’ from the newly resurrected Hammer Films but Ms. Swank sure does take great care of herself. True enough the woman is a Hollywood movie star and the majority of them are in pretty damn good shape, I mean it’s not like they have a lot else to do with their spare time except workout, but there are women on the Jamaican sprint team that probably marvel at Hillary Swank’s level of physical fitness. Regardless, Ms. Swank lends her award winning pedigree and abs of steel to this movie ‘The Resident’ which wasn’t all that bad. But it wasn’t all that good either, to be honest with you.

Juliet Devereaux (Swank) is a hard working New York City ER doctor whose living arrangements are in a bit of a flux right now. Juliet at the present is staying in hotels, but not by choice. Apparently Juliet’s scurrilous fiancée (Lee Pace) didn’t have the good sense to fool around behind Juliet’s back at motels, rest stops or in the back of cars. Nope, this asshole chose to do this thing right there in the couple’s bedroom. That, my friends, is a lack of respect. Player rule number one is always show your woman maximum respect by cheating on her in a way that she will hopefully never find out about it. Asshole.

Now Juliet needs a new place to stay. You might not be aware of this but dwelling prices in New York City can be a bit oppressive. So how lucky is Juliet that she managed to find a high rise, spacious loft, newly renovated with a great view for a rock bottom price? What a shock, she’s not so lucky at all.

It started out swell. Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Juliet’s new superintendent, has been caring for this place for his entire life and he’s done a fine job of it. There are odd sounds, footsteps, and shadows that flow across the room on occasion, but it is an old building. Besides, Max is charming, handsome, he can cook, has a taste for the arts… Max is the man! His grandfather who he has been looking after for the last couple of years is a little weird, but he is played by Christopher Lee so what else would he be? In

fact, Juliet just might’ve found the perfect rebound guy. Even her best friend Sydney (Aunjanue Ellis) thinks Juliet should let Max taste that cookie. One particular evening things did get a little hot and it was looking like Max was about to tear that cookie up, but the feeling wasn’t right for Juliet who we think still loves her scurrilous fiancée who shows her no respect. Now Juliet just wants to be Max’s friend. Max doesn’t want a friend. The truth of the matter ladies is that none of us are really interested in being your friends, but most of us don’t have issues like Max has issues. Issues like you would not believe. I’m not trying to say anything but if Juliet is fortunate enough to survive this movie her first order of business should be firing her best friend Sydney because girlfriend gives out some lousy advice. That’s all I’m saying.

You know we’ve been down with Hillary Swank since ‘The Next Karate Kid’. I mean me and Hill go way back. See how I called her ‘Hill’. Only those tight with her, like me, can call her that. But when I opened this little article by calling ‘The Resident’ mediocre, I was not being flip because it is definitely a mediocre thriller and that includes Hill. You see there’s not anything particularly ‘wrong’ with this movie. Director Antti Jokinen directs with a firm hand, all of the things you would want to see in a creepy thriller are in place from the eerie atmosphere to the weird sounds to folks suddenly flashing across the camera like they do in most thriller type horror flicks. Everything is in place. Great actress in the lead, popular up and comer as the creep… Odd calling a forty five year old cat who’s been acting for the better part of twenty years an ‘up and comer’ but right now Jeffrey Dean is on fire right now. Plus we have a legend in the background. And believe me when I tell you, Christopher Lee is definitely in the background in this movie. He’s so deep in the background he’s not even really in this movie.

The problem is that this movie hasn’t done anything that any other thriller hasn’t done a thousand times before it. It’s tired. Hillary Swank doesn’t do anything that any other super fit actress with ten percent of her talent couldn’t have pulled off, Jeffrey Dean was okay at being crazy but not exceptionally so and Christopher Lee, as we have already pointed out, didn’t do anything. The film follows the thriller convention almost to a fault and thus it offers no real surprises or shocks. The only real surprise in this movie was that Aunjanue Ellis didn’t die. I know that’s a little bit of a spoiler but I thought for sure she’d find some silly excuse to go over to that apartment and get her blackness killed all up. But Ms. Ellis was pregnant in this movie and for all I know she might be pregnant for real so maybe it would’ve a little too bold killing off a pregnant lady. But boldness is exactly what this movie needed.

‘The Resident’ is well done, looks great, sounds great, has a great cast all wrapped around a very tired concept that none of these great elements could lift of above the level mediocre. Oh well.

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