The Resident (2011)
I spotted this film was being shown on TV the other night. I hadn’t heard of it, but the cast looked good. It was also a production from that old standby of horror film studios, Hammer Films. So, Hilary Swank, Christopher Lee, and the reliable Jeffrey Dean Morgan; set in New York, and directed by Finnish film maker Antti Jokinen, I thought ‘why not?’.
Swank plays a doctor, Juliet Deveraux. We see her swamped at a busy ER in the city, operating on emergency cases, and admired by her colleagues. We also soon learn that she has recently split from her long-term boyfriend, and is living in a so-so hotel, trying to find an apartment. Her house-hunting doesn’t go well. Tiny studios at inflated rents, and everything too expensive, even for a well-paid doctor. Then one day, she is contacted by someone offering her a spacious old apartment, in the ideal location. She goes to view it, and meets the likable owner of the building, Max. (Morgan) His family has always owned the crumbling old block, and despite the impressive size, the only other residents are Max, and his elderly grandfather, August. (Lee)
Not only is Max affable, he is good-looking too, and the price he quotes for renting the apartment seems too reasonable to turn down. Juliet snaps it up, and arranges to move in as soon as possible. This despite the fact that the train line runs so close to the building that the rooms shake, and the proximity to the nearby (Brooklyn?) bridge means a lot of noise into the bargain. We have also seen that Juliet is very fit. We see her running a lot, around the park below the bridge. She doesn’t seem to eat much, but obviously enjoys drinking red wine, which we also see evidence of, and with good reason.
Old August scares her at first, with Christopher Lee doing his well-worn impression of a creepy octogenarian. Her former boyfriend wants to get back with her, and constantly tries to call her, or send text messages. But most of the time, she arrives home from work too tired to do anything except have a bath, (naked of course, which we see as an observer) drink some red wine, (that wine again) and collapse exhausted into bed. Max is solid and reliable, and nothing is too much trouble. He fixes up her apartment, opens up an old wine cellar, (that wine again) and helps in any way he can. He is obviously attracted to her, and she to him, in return.
With no spoilers, I am now stuck. Not much more to say really. But if you have seen any of these films, you might have some idea of what is about to happen; ‘Single White Female’, ‘Sliver’, ‘Pacific Heights’. If you haven’t seen any of those, you can come to this with a fresh mind, and ignore the generally bad reviews that this film received from the critics. You will enjoy the fact that Swank takes her part very seriously, and acts as if she is in a very important film indeed. You might enjoy seeing Christopher Lee being Christopher Lee, in a different setting. And you also might find yourself liking the amiable Jeffrey Dean Morgan as much as I did, when he was in the TV series ‘The Good Wife’.
Or you might not.
Here’s a trailer.