Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Resident

Molesting Landlord

The Resident joins the ranks of films featuring creepy landlords who have only one sick objective in mind - to bed that single woman tenant who had just moved into the apartment, through any despicable means possible. If formula is what you ordered, then formula is what you'll get in this Antti Jokinen directed film, co-written with Robert Orr that didn't bring much to the table, other than to offer what would be a half baked romance in the front, followed by plenty of voyeuristic adventures that culminates in a terribly rote finale.

Hilary Swank falls prey to the Oscar curse, having won that statuette for Million Dollar Baby, then struggling to find that one film to reinforce her stellar performance. Films such as Freedom Writers, The Black Dahlia, The Reaping, P.S. I Love You and Amelia are as varied a genre as she can possibly get involved in, but with her role in The Resident, you know she's in for quite the rough ride in her career looking for that next big hit. As the doctor Juliet Devereau at the Brooklyn General Hospital, she thought she got herself a good deal with a rustic looking apartment with a great view to move into, despite having to put up with the creepy looking aged owner August (Christopher Lee) and a stalking ex-boyfriend Jack (Lee Pace).

As a side incentive to move in, the owner's grandson Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is the handyman and focal point for the apartment, and being incredibly good looking means new opportunities in the romantic front, although having a landlord-tenant relationship tended to be tricky. As the adage goes, if it's too good to be true, then it probably is, because Max hides a deep dark secret in having to retrofit all the rooms in the apartment with secret peepholes, two way mirrors and passageways to feed his obsession and perverse pleasures, and not to mention being the recipient of all the wrong signals as sent out by Juliet.

So remember girls, control yourself during a rebound and not give the wrong ideas to strangers, because you really do not know if they're mental, and when they'll snap. The first half of the film made this look like a typical romantic film, before being spurned at the last moment made Max go over the edge and filled the second half with plenty of eerie moments of constantly having someone watching over you, showing how one can be the ultimate voyeur after being dangled a carrot made unattainable, with the finale being one really long drawn out affair complete with fisticuffs and a nailgun, showing that Hilary Swank can kick arse if necessary when put into survival mode.

Should you still decide to go ahead and watch this, then may you be warned the local version is terribly censored, since lingering scenes of Swank's body got unceremoniously snipped off, whether she's pleasuring herself in the tub, or in loose garbs highlighting the contours of her rather muscular physique. Granted there's nothing much to see, but a slip here and a see through there got frowned upon (hey it's in the bathroom after all), and got left on the cutting room floor. Violence in the last act is ok, but sensuousness is an absolute no-no.

If mediocrity is your cup of tea for a film, then The Resident should be right up your alley. For those who prefer a little bit more complexity and intelligence in their film, then skip this altogether, you'll not be missing anything.

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