Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank) is a doctor at a New York hospital who has recently suffered a break-up with her long term partner, Jack (Lee Pace), and cannot face living in the apartment they used to share before she made him move out. So she has decided to move out herself, and sets about house hunting, but everywhere she sees is either far too pricey or simply not appropriate - or desirable for that matter. However, one day she hears from a landlord (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who has seen her ad that she is seeking somewhere...
And naturally in the realms of apartment horror, this place is too good to be true, realms which take in such trials of modern living suspense pieces as Pacific Heights and Single White Female. But this was a later entry into that genre, and notable for fright fans as it was one of the low-to-medium budget chillers produced by the revived Hammer films, back for the twenty-first century and if not quite as high profile as their heyday, then not embarrassing themselves with their choice of material. Not that The Resident was perfect, but it was fair enough.
Fair enough that was was those seeking straightforward tension in the framework of the rather hackneyed, but always popular, woman in peril movie. The woman was played by Oscar-winner Swank, who didn't quite convince as a completely vulnerable individual, as the amount of time the camera spends lingering over her toned body you begin to wonder if this is less to make you worry who might be watching her and more to make you simply wonder - at what great shape Hilary was in. Did she have a workout video released in conjunction with this?
If she didn't, she should have, but there could have been another reason for all those shots of the Swanker in states of undress, and that would be to make her look like the type of woman who would drive a man wild with lust. Whether she was that kind of woman is a moot point, and there are plenty on the internet who would contest it, but for the purposes of this she was one of the most precious jewels of womanhood you ever did see. With the set up of the audience as the voyeur, watching Juliet as she went about her business, you might be contemplating if this was going in the direction you expect.
And the answer to that would be, why yes, she is being stalked, but not by a conventional obsessive (if there is such a thing) as he has an advantage that other creepy late night phone callers and unwanted shadows didn't have. You discover what that is by and by, but for the first half hour director Antti Jokinen opted for subtlety, a refreshing change from what passed for this type of thriller in its contemporaries. Sadly, that did not mean that when we finally got our horror sequences that they would be anything particularly new, although the implications of one scene were certainly sickening, but it did build up to the runaround you might have seen coming from the moment the big twist was revealed - a third of the way through, not leaving much else, plotwise. Still, it was nice to see Christopher Lee as the grandfather of the landlord in his first Hammer flick for decades, and as far as it went The Resident was serviceable entertainment. Music by John Ottman.