Your landlord wants to suck your fingers (and kill you): “The Reisdent”

March 29, 2011

I love Hilary Swank. I really do. I think she’s great. It’s not just that she has that weird, rangy/horsey/sexy thing going on. I have genuine respect for her as an actress. To prepare for her role as Brandon Teena, she had her Midwestern cousin record tapes of himself talking for her and listened to them incessantly to get the accent down. You have to admire that. Plus she generally doesn’t make stupid movies. Generally. But a girl’s gotta make a living while waiting for the next Million Dollar Baby. And so while we wait for an Insomnia to come along we have to sit through some swill like The Resident.

Okay, I don’t want to belabor this and further embarrass my probable potential future wife (only a matter of time before she reads all those love sonnets I e-mailed…). The Resident is your basic stalker flick. Swank plays a surgeon looking for a new pad after a bad breakup with her ex boyfriend Lee Pace. She finds a great prospect in a Brooklyn loft being renovated by hunk-ay owner Jeffery Morgan. She’s like, ”I could never afford that” and he’s all cool and sensitive and “Rent’s only, like, five bucks,” and so she moves in. The only other tenant is Morgan’s grandfather played by Christopher Lee. Yeah, nothing suspicious about a massive, too-good-to-be-true patch of real estate in New York inhabited by Saruman.

Well, in short order Morgan is revealed to be a total whackadoo who has rigged the apartment with plenty of peepholes and a humongo crawlspace where he can watch her bathe and burp the worm in spacious comfort. When the boyfriend moves in, Morgan kills him and stashes the body in his spankatorium. Finally, he starts drugging her wine and raping her in her sleep (gah!) Unfortunately for him, Swank has rigged the place with cameras and gets discovers his plan just in time for him to go totally Charlie Sheen on her.

The movie was released by a relaunched Hammer studios. Hammer was a British studio that made a bunch of movies in ‘70s about lesbian vampires in Victorian England that all starred Lee. It ain’t exactly a triumphant return to form. The only element of this movie that offsets the crushing predictability is the sheer number of Did I just f—ing see that? moments. Let’s examine a few of them, shall we?

DIJFST 1: About a half hour in we learn of Morgan’s nefarious plan in a quick-cut-loaded flashback which shows him 1) noticing Swank across the room in the hospital, 2) reading her name badge from a good fifty yards away, 3) finding her wanted ad for a new apartment, 4) completely renovating his apartment, and 5) slathering the block with ads for his place to lure her in. Sure seems simple when you look at it that way.

DIJFST 2: We get a sense of Morgan’s psychological damage when he cares for kindly old Saruman, who tells him, apropos of nothing, “Your mother was a wonderful woman, who married a weak man. And gave birth to another.” Then he gives Morgan the most feeble, little girl slap. Seriously, my cat has whacked me harder when I tried to sponge-bathe her. It looks like it was a script read-through. Mommy Dearest this is not.

DIJFST 3: To establish Morgan’s whackadoo bona fides, we see him creep Swank’s place while she’s at work, finally coming upon her toothbrush with all the reverence and awe of Indiana Jones finding that gold idol. The creeeeeepy music builds to a shattering climax as he…brushes his teeth with it. That’s it. Just good oral hygiene set to horrifying music. He doesn’t even, I dunno, massage his nads with it. Which would have been no more ridiculous than…

DIJFST 4: Morgan lies down in Swank’s tub and clears the snorkel. Seriously, Morgan spanks the monkey an awful lot in this movie. I can only imagine how his agent pitched this script: “Jeff, baby, it’s a great role. You get to be the hot, love interest, and then go totally psycho! You totally get to show range! Now, there is some masturbation involved…have some more blow.”

DIJFST 5: After drugging Swank for the first time, Morgan slooowly slides out from beneath the bed where Swank is passed out, one arm dangling over the edge, and…wait for it…suckles Swank’s dangling fingers like a nursing calf! Really, what do you say to that?

Lutbons si fah moment: Swank seduces Morgan (while still thinking he’s an okay dude), only to recoil, whining, “I can’t…I can’t stop thinking about him [ex-bf]. I can still smell him…feel him…” And it’s  back to the spankatorium for him. Okay, who’s the true psycho in this movie?

And finally there is just the massive head-scratcher of how Swank–a flippin’ surgeon–continually stabs Morgan in non-vital areas that allow him to keep fighting. Really? You couldn’t have found an artery once, doc?

And that’s The Resident. Man, I hope that next Insomnia comes soon. And Jeff, you aren’t exactly spending that Watchmen good will wisely (coughTheLoserscough).

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