The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Image Entertainment - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: : Drama, Horror, Thriller
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Starring: Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace
Directed by: Antti Jokinen
Music by: John Ottman
Written by: Antti Jokinen, Robert Orr
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 29, 2011
"She Thought She Was Living Alone."
Juliet (Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby), 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 (Grey's Anatomy) and screen legend Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings) costar in this pulse-pounding shocker from famed horror studio Hammer Films (Let Me In).
The structure of 'The Resident' had it all wrong. Mid-way through we are treated to a flashback montage that "spills the beans" on who is stalking our lead, Juliet, played by Hillary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don't Cry). I have a real pet peeve for these types of reveals, which are becoming more and more in fashion these days. Do we need to replay the film from the 'stalkers' perspective? Was this supposed to blow our minds? So the montage is a waste...well, unless it is amazingly clever, which this is not. Worst of all, it was obvious who was stalking her from the get go, just look at the cover!! This was just laughable to me. I will forgo my own re-cap of the plot as there is nothing to add to what is in the studio supplied synopsis above. However, if I could edit it I would take away this statements- "pulse-pounding shocker". If anything I felt like I was on Valium, trying to keep my eyes open, waiting for the inevitable long winded showdown where the unstable-stalker-killer-guy gets 'killed' to only pop up again for one last quick fight. Ya. We didn't see that one coming.
I did enjoy the cast here, though I felt Christopher Lee was wasted as the grumpy and semi-spooky grandfather of Juliet's landlord, Max, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen). What killed the film the most was watching him stalk Juliet. Hiding under her bed, watching her through the wall, and even (yes really) masturbating on her after his nightly ritual of dosing her wine to knock her out. I guess this weirdness could have been effectively disturbing, but I laughed through it all.
After really enjoying "Let Me In", I was excited to see the legendary Hammer Productions back in the film making ring, but this release sure did burst my bubble. The only positive was the films look. I did enjoy the contrast between the dark and slightly over saturated look to the apartment scenes and the florescent lighted blown out look of the hospital where Juliet works. A tweak in the structure and a bigger emphasis on the mystery might have taken 'The Resident' from bad to mediocre. I wish the producers/directors realized an academy award winning actress isn't enough to make something work.
R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Like I mentioned, 'The Resident' was a looker. The Hospital scenes have a nice over-blown-contrast look and the apartment scenes are rich with an intentional golden hue. I wish the plot was as nice as this video. It was filmed in 35mm, and had the requisite grain a movie filmed in this medium should. Details on tile, wood-work and flesh stand out nicely and blacks are deep, though they do occasionally crush, which I suspect was due to lighting. The DTS HD Master Audio track is quite effective as well. The track is very aggressive, with a booming score, some ballsy LFE and surrounds that were mixed to really suck us into the film (unfortunately all the tricks in the trade cant accomplish that feat). This soundtrack is what kept me minutely engaged.
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
Final Thoughts:'The Resident' is a good looking transfer from Image Entertainment but there are no included special features. I found the film unengaging and predictable, and it was down-right silly that we were expected to find any shock, surprise, horror or suspense in this one. I don't see how Hilary Swank got roped into this one, and hope these bad horror flicks (The Reaping anyone?) are not not going to be more frequent in her career. At least it is a very good looking and sounding blu-ray, but that doesn't save it from the world of the close-out bin and a blemish on some great careers.
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Reference Review System:
Marantz SR5005 Receiver
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Artison Portrait Fronts and Artison LRS Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Dynamo 500 Subwoofer