The Resident Review

Film Still
Trailer
  • The Resident film still

Score

The Resident will do nothing to restore the glory to the Hammer name, but everything to confirm your faith in the power of the guilty pleasure.

Where to begin? With what one can only imagine is a last-ditch effort to divert attention from the jaw-dropping mediocrity of the film itself, the promotional shot for The Resident desperately brandishes a shadow-framed portrait of Hilary Swank.

Yet not even the star-muscle of a Hollywood luminary, nor the retrospective glory of the Hammer legacy, can rescue The Resident from its near-inevitable status as the most laughable and crassly executed film of the year.

In a loud, chaotic Emergency Room sequence, we are introduced to a blood-spattered Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank), a photogenic surgeon, who, recently separated from her adulterous boyfriend, is in need of a new home. Stumbling upon a vacant apartment in an imposing period building, Juliet swiftly snaps up a newly-decorated pad from the seemingly innocuous Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Because shy Max makes up for what he lacks in social competence with an appealing measure of stubble, it is not long before Juliet, encouraged by her caricatured, finger-clicking African-American girlfriend, begins to consider him as a rebound option. But when a romantic evening is aborted by Juliet’s residual attachment to her cheating boyfriend, and she decides against igniting a new flame, Max’s sociopathic crush unfurls. Unfortunately, for Juliet at least, it knows no bounds.

The next 60 minutes witness Max performing a variety of derivative stalker-cum-sociopath activities in Juliet’s apartment, to which, as her landlord, he handily has unlimited access to. He fondles her dresses with fetishistic fixation (Psycho); he expresses disproportionate levels of hurt at Juliet’s rejection (Fatal Attraction); he uses her electric toothbrush in an erotic ritual (a bizarre and wonderful innovation all The Resident’s own).

And yet somehow the sheer absurdity of all this is sufficiently hilarious to sustain a degree of inverse-enjoyment that at moments feels almost joyous.

From the unfathomable insertion of symbolic imagery scenes to connect events (clouds for the passage of time; and a train, quite unbelievably, for sexual invasion); to the casually racist tokenism of Juliet’s best friend; to the sounds of Max heavy breathing whilst hidden beneath his victim’s bed, The Resident will do nothing to restore the glory to the Hammer name, but everything to confirm your faith in the power of the guilty pleasure.

Anticipation

Christopher Lee signals Hammer pedigree.

3

Enjoyment

So shockingly bad, it is really, extraordinarily good.

3

In Retrospect

Proffers at least a day’s worth of revisiting the terrible dialogue.

3
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View 2 comments

Jack Bottomley

3 years ago
I was actually expecting as much and am to be honest looking forward to watching The Resident.

Duncan

3 years ago
Why oh why did they have to give everything away only 30 minutes into the film; it ruined the building atmosphere. After that there were no surprises or shocks left to be had. And I was so excited about Christopher Lee being in this, only for him to have such a small part. To be honest, it hardly seemed worth it for him to be there in the first place.

I would have to award the film:

Anticipation - 3
Enjoyment - 2 (at most)
In Retrospect - 2 (again, at most, and being very generous)

Unfortunately I sat through the last hour (after all had been revealed) very bored, and watching the clock. Incredibly derivative and not at all original, I'm glad I watched it, if only to support Hammer and hope that their next effort is a lot better!
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