2011 Running time: 91 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3

Synopsis

In Finnish writer-director Antti Jokinen's debut The Resident, a young doctor (Hilary Swank) suspects she may not be alone in her new Brooklyn loft apartment. She's not wrong - her new landlord (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has formed frightening obsession with her and uses his knowledge of the building to spy - and worse - on his oblivious tenant. The second new Hammer production after Let Me In, this suspenser also stars Christopher Lee in his first movie for the legendary studio in 34 years.

Director

  • Antti Jokinen

Cast

  • Hilary Swank

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan

  • Christopher Lee

  • Aunjanue Ellis

Review

When casualty ward doctor Juliet Devereau (Swank) manages to land a premium apartment overlooking New York's East River, she ends up paying more than just the rent.

Exhausted from her demanding job and emotionally smarting after a painful separation, she thinks she's struck gold.

An added bonus is new landlord Max (Watchmen's Morgan), a gentle bear of a man who is fixing up the flats himself and offers Juliet one at a peppercorn rent.

The two get rather more cosy than the usual tenant-landlord relationship until a vulnerable Juliet breaks it off as her feelings are too raw. Big mistake. Max doesn't see it that way.

With the villain of the piece revealed in practically the first reel, director Jokinen has to maintain suspense by arranging for his audience to mutely witness Max's increasingly violent sexual obsession.

Ramping up the tension, Juliet's rapprochement with her cheating lover (Pace) pushes Max - now more like a bear with a sore head - firmly into psycho territory and he makes full use of a labyrinth of hidden passageways to spy on Juliet and enter her flat at will.

An efficient, solid thriller, this doesn't spring any real surprises although Swank shows she's a dab hand with a nail gun and Morgan gradually grows to resemble TV antiques dealer Lovejoy the more manic he becomes.

Christopher Lee, in his first Hammer film for 34 years, is rather wasted as Max's creepy grandad but the two leads play it admirably straight even if it's not quite the contemporary update of Polanski's The Tenant the director imagined.