The Resident (Antti Jokinen, 2011)

posted in: Duane, Review | 0
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The Resident – the first film under the newly reformed Hammer branding, clearly has some pretty big shoes to fill. That is if those responsible are even remotely interested in rejuvenating the once great studio to even a fraction of its former glory. From their current track record this doesn’t seem to be the case, although they did feel the need to plaster a humongous Hammer logo across the screen incorporating imagery from the classic Hammer poster artwork as soon as the film starts. “Maybe a good sign?” I think to myself. But how can it be so? Hilary Swank is the lead female character, so already the notion of some gorgeous nubile young up-and-comer crammed into a bodice and corset goes out the window. I suppose when your lead actress is also one of the Executive Producers and is willing (insisting?) on getting naked in the film one tends to go with the flow. Granted she’s not pulling full frontals or anything but it’s about as sleazy as you’re going to get from an “a-list” star… and there is an oddly uncomfortable anorexic pubes-through-the-panties shot plus some ample side boobage. Add a fairly tame bathtub masturbation scene in for good measure and you have a Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, The Black Dahlia) fan’s wet dream… all three of them. Swank’s performance is solid enough save for the absence of the aforementioned spank material. It also bears mention that her shoes are unremarkable – I dare say ugly – but as evidenced by her weird looking Sasquatch feet this is essentially a moot point. The red toenails were a nice touch but sorely not enough. Swank seems to have an alright body… I think with maybe the right shoes (some solid black slingbacks could subdue those flippers) and a bag over her head she’s got a shot for a one night stand at least. For sure a titty fuck.
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The Resident has a very familiar plot. (Newly) single woman moves into an apartment in New York that’s evidently a steal of a deal, her new landlord is charming and attractive and she’s ready to begin life anew. But something’s not right. Could there be something strange and nefarious going on while she’s sleeping? It boggles the mind! Yeah – it’s pretty much Psycho. Although familiar and in fact quite played out already, the story moves along at a decent pace and the landlord (played effortlessly by a reasonably creepy Jeffry Dean Morgan [Uncaged, Dead & Breakfast]) has some interesting kinks (I really enjoyed the scene where he was under Swank’s bed while she was sleeping, sucking on her fingers). Also making a small appearance is Hammer staple Christopher Lee (The Wicker Man, Scars of Dracula), who plays creepy landlord’s frail and judgmental grandfather. Lee at this point looks like he’s ready to keel over – I’m sure he appreciated the scenes where he was confined to bed with an oxygen mask. Needless to say, creepy landlord sucks, molests, rapes and generally terrorizes lady until she clues in and fights back – with predictable results. There are some decent scenes of violence and some mild (non-CGI) gore involved as well.

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The film is shot competently and there was one segment in particular where they “reveal” the true nature of creepy landlord (this is not a surprise… a retarded monkey could have figured it out based on the poster artwork alone) that I thought was somewhat clever in which time seems to dial back and the initial hospital segment is revisited with the addition of creepy landlord and his obvious obsession. Clever, yet already done ad nauseam with the Saw franchise.
A quick FUCK YOU to Alliance for releasing this as a DVD/Blu-ray combo on what is known as a “flipper disc”. If you’re not familiar with these they’re essentially 2 discs glued together so that they can be included as one piece. These are cheap as hell and they can cause problems in a lot of players. Clearly Alliance was trying to get this one out on shelves as cheaply as possible – and it shows. The picture quality of the Blu-ray is acceptable but not stellar.  I didn’t feel the need to take a look at the DVD side – after all, what sort of luddite would bother playing the DVD side anyway?
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In essence, I had really low expectations and was reasonably entertained. Here’s hoping once this new Hammer gets the unnecessary foreign film remake and Harry Potter in a haunted house phases out of its system it may be able to approach the greatness that it used to be. There’s promise, but this seems to be solely driven by the almighty dollar. On that note:

 

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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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