River Of Grass
Cozy and Lee go on the lam after an accidental shooting in Kelly Reichardt's debut feature
On Film4: 4 Sep 1:00AM
An attractive doctor suspects she may not be alone in her new apartment. Could her landlord be stalking her? Or perhaps it's his creepy grandfather? Horror with Hilary Swank.
An unashamedly straightforward film, The Resident offers us only a handful of characters in a limited number of locations and lets its actors do the rest. Hilary Swank is characteristically believable as a doctor who following a bad break up moves into a too-good-to-be-true apartment with wonderfully low rent and wonderfully high ceilings. Unfortunately, the mirrors aren't exactly one way, and the whole place is fitted out with more peep holes than an entire sex shop's worth of trashy lingerie.
Oddly, it's almost like Swank's character knows she's being watched. She takes long opaque baths in what looks like milk, puts clothes on before rubbing moisturiser on her breasts underneath her top, and never once squeezes a spot in the mirror. Just once, it might help the realism of such films to stalk a woman who does normal things like bleach her moustache hair while watching Countryfile, read the newspaper while having a poo, or masturbate while... ever.
But who's playing peeping Tom to Swank's soft-focus parading? We know it must be one of two characters: gorgeous landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) or his creepy grandad (Christopher frickin' Lee), because they're basically the only characters, unless you want to stretch a point and imagine Swank's sassy best mate of a nurse is somehow involved (she isn't). Is Handsome Max too good to be true? Is Creepy Grandad too creepy to be anything other than the most unashamedly crimson-hued herring? It's sort of fun finding out, and everything is stylishly shot by Guillermo Navarro, though the climax is pure generic stalk and slash.
Yet another psychological thriller to capitalise on contemporary surveillance society creepiness, the second release from the reborn Hammer Films production arm isn't exactly groundbreaking stuff, but if you're looking for Friday night thrills, The Resident should do the job.
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