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IMAGE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Antti Jokinen
Cast:
Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Aunjanue Ellis, Sean Rosales, Deborah Martinez
Writing Credits:
Antti Jokinen, Robert Orr

Tagline:
She Thought She Was Living Alone.

Synopsis:
Juliet (Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank), a beautiful doctor, has found the perfect New York apartment to start a new life after separating from her husband. It's got spacious rooms, a spectacular view, and a handy, handsome landlord. But there are secrets behind every wall and terror in every room as Juliet gets the unnerving feeling that she is not alone. She is being watched. She is being stalked. And no one is safe when she discovers the relentless horror on her doorstep. But how do you stop an evil that you can't see ... until it's too late? Jeffrey Dean Morgan and screen legend Christopher Lee costar in this pulse-pounding shocker from famed horror studio Hammer Films (Let Me In).

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $29.97
Release Date: 3/29/2011

Bonus:
• Trailer


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The Resident [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 28, 2011)

It always seems odd to me that reasonably big stars show up in movies that go direct to video, but it happens with moderate frequency. Hilary Swank suffers this fate via the 2011 horror flick The Resident.

After NYC ER doctor Juliet Devereau (Swank) separates from her husband, she needs to find a new place to live. She struggles to locate an affordable place and thinks she’s struck gold when she finds a gorgeous loft in Brooklyn. It’s relatively cheap – and comes complete with a handy, handsome landlord named Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

She finds out there’s a catch: she has a stalker. Someone takes too intense an interest in Juliet, so she has to deal with creepy aspects of her new living arrangements – and more, as the situation escalates along the way.

While some films would like to keep the identity of Juliet’s stalker a secret for quite a while, Resident doesn’t really bother with obfuscation. Oh, it briefly sets up some red herrings, but these are half-hearted attempts at suspense. The movie reveals the stalker only about one-third of the way into the story, which means it disposes with “who is it?” tension and attempts drama via other methods.

Other ineffective methods, unfortunately, as Resident moves slowly and doesn’t provide a particularly engaging journey. Much of the running time simply shows the stalker’s stalking. (Yeah, the movie makes it obvious who’s after Juliet – heck, the friggin’ artwork tips us off – but I’d rather not divulge the “secret” here.) The obsessive sulks around Juliet’s apartment in a variety of ways – he hides under her bed, he pleasures himself in her tub, he uses her toothbrush, etc.

All of which depict what we already know: he’s super-focused on Juliet and more than a little nuts. I guess the filmmakers thought these sequences would depict the extreme nature of his fascination, and they do, I suppose.

However, they tend to feel more like filler than anything else. Resident barely hits the 90-minute mark, so the presence of any flab becomes more evident than it would in a longer movie. Rather than convey mood, the endless scenes of the stalker just make a tedious movie even less interesting.

That’s a shame, as Resident had some potential. It certainly boasts a good cast, and the theme could’ve induced some heebie-jeebies. I think that’d be true especially for women – they’re obviously a lot more vulnerable to threats like this – but I believe anyone could identify with the risks involved in apartment living. Landlords/superintendents have a lot of access to our lives; it only takes one bad apple to create problems. Though I suspect cases like the one depicted here are rare on the side of non-existent, it’s a scenario that could hit close to home.

If only the filmmakers did anything with it. By the time the movie devolves into the inevitable action, it’s too little, too late – a whole lot too little, really. It pursues the standard horror movie clichés and does nothing with them. We don’t feel scared or anxious at any point because we just don’t care; the preceding moments lost us, so the weak attempts at action fall flat.

All of which leaves The Resident as a surprisingly dull thriller. It lacks creativity or originality, and it fails to explore its themes/threads in a satisfying manner. All of that ends up as a slow, draggy 91 minutes of movie.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

The Resident appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer provided a satisfying image.

From start to finish, sharpness looked nearly immaculate. Only the slightest hint of softness affected wide shots, and those examples occurred too infrequently to cause problems. Instead, the film looked concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.

In terms of colors, the movie often featured a natural palette that favored a slight golden tone, though when we dealt with the stalker, hues tended to become more stylized; they’d then favor garish reds and other more extreme tones. Across the board, the colors looked positive; within the stylistic choices, they showed nice clarity and breadth and came out well. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows were generally a good; a couple of them seemed a little thick, but those were minor distractions. Overall, this was a strong presentation.

I thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Resident seemed fine. Given that we didn’t find a lot of action here, the mix tended to keep things spooky and atmospheric. It threw out the occasional jolt but mostly stayed with environmental material. That became a big stronger than usual, mostly because Juliet lives next to a train track; those sequences rattled the room well. Otherwise, the mix didn’t have a ton to do; it opened up the settings well enough to give it a little punch, though.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B“ and matched the movie’s mood.

The Blu-ray opens with clips for The Reef and Chain Letter. It also includes the trailer for The Resident.

With a notable cast and an intriguing theme, The Resident had the potential to turn into an effective thriller. Unfortunately, it moves slowly and fails to deliver any real scares or drama. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and solid audio but includes no substantial supplements. Skip this forgettable horror flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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