The Resident review

WHEN Hammer Films announced their return to film-making there was a collective response of ‘meh’ as people wondered whether the house of horror had a place in 21st century cinema.

The Resident is one of the first major productions to be released under the Hammer banner – not counting Let Me In, in which they partnered a whole host of other companies – but that’s where the comparisons end between this release and previous classics of the 1950s and 60s.

Casting Christopher Lee in one of the roles – regardless of how little screen-time he gets was an obvious move. Getting in a heavyweight actress in the shape of Hilary Swank was a good move.

As for Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Well, he isn’t having much luck with the turkeys he stars in.

Swank plays Juliet Devereau, a doctor who has gone through an acrimonious break-up and she’s looking for a new apartment.

Her search brings to an old building run by landlord Max (Dean Morgan), who coincidentally lives with his creepy (surprise!) elderly grandfather August (Lee).

Things start out well for the new tenant – and it’s not long before she has struck up a friendship with Max. He’s always happy to help her when needed and seems to be perfect.

After a kiss that turns into an awkward “I’m not in the right place” scenario with Juliet, she soon begins to notice certain things in her apartment that just don’t sit right with her, but convinces herself that it’s just her mind playing tricks.

It’s at this point in the friendship things spiral out of control.

Without spoiling anything or giving away major plot points – and possibly saving you your hard-earned cash – if you’ve seen films like Single White Female, Unlawful Entry or the likes then you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Pacing is poor, there are no real Hammer-style chills or shocks and horror legend Lee is wasted in a film where he was never really needed. In fact screen time is so limited he would have been in the film more had he been scenery.

When Juliet’s ex Jack (Lee Pace) appears it would have been the perfect chance to up the ante, alas nothing changes as The Resident plods along to the inevitable conclusion, but by that time interest in what happens will be lost.

If things for Hammer have started off so badly, then there’s hope things can only get better…but that hope is diminishing fast.

For anyone contemplating going to the cinema, approaching the front desk and asking for tickets, just hope no-one is home.

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