Resident, The (2010) 
Blu-ray Mystery-Suspense
Written by Noah Fleming   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011

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“The Resident” comes from an acclaimed horror production house, Hammer Films.  However, this film seems much less like a horror/thriller and more like an uninspired suspense, without the suspense.  It is difficult to discuss this film without giving away the one little secret that it has.  However, given that the secret is obvious it will be divulged here.  If you prefer not to know about the film, skip to the Blu-ray tech specs section.

“The Resident” stars Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, with a brief appearance by Christopher Lee.  Without more than two real principle characters in the film there is no suspense as to who means what to the plot.  Hilary Swank portrays Juliet, an ER doctor that recently divorced from her husband because he cheated on her.  Been there done that.  Okay, what’s next?

Juliet finds an apartment that is called perfect, but the place is pretty dumpy and $3800 a month without utilities is not cheap, especially for the apartment’s location.  That aside, she moves in.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan is Max, the landlord of the building and a seemingly nice guy at first, but we all know that can’t last.

We soon discover that Max is a pervert, crawling through the walls and spying on Juliet.  He quickly develops an obsession with her.  It is like the film was trying to follow the path “Sliver,” but without any of the suspense.  The film gives up the fact that Max is the one that is creeping around in the shadows of Juliet’s apartment and driving her nuts way too soon.  Once the shadowy figure mystery is gone there is nothing to really keep of us interested.  The only way that reveal would work would be if it were to through you off track.

Eventually jealousy sets in and Max begins to realize that he needs to get Juliet’s ex-husband out of the way.  Don’t ask me why Juliet was so easily taken in by her ex-husband after she was so disgusted with his cheating.

“The Resident” simply fails to impress on most levels.  Swank delivers the best she can for such a trivial role.  Take it from me, this is not one of her best films, and it isn’t for a lack of trying that’s for sure.

The film comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p encode and 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  The image is typical of the “horror” genre.  The image is filled with lots of shadows and near pitch-black sequences.  Unfortunately, the shadows don’t hold up the greatest.  Crushing occurs in nearly every non-lit scene.  There is some banding in the dark sequences as well.  Film grain fluctuates based on the lighting requirements.  However, the changes in grain are not really that distracting.  The image is generally soft.  Details are decent, but far from great.  There seems to have been a bit of post-production tinkering with the color timing.  The orange and yellow highlights of the interior apartment sequences become a bit strenuous on the eyes.  Shadow delineation is not the best I have seen in the genre.  While many of the image issues are transfer related, it all stems from the original source production and the stylistic choices by the filmmakers.  Still, this image fails to truly impress.

The audio track is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD MA.  The audio’s dynamic range is not as pulse pounding as many of the horror films.  The John Ottman score is a bit loose.  There is no cohesive tie.  This is not a transfer issue, just an observation.  The dialogue is generally clear but lacks the finer details in terms of stable frequency range.  The budget doesn’t seem to have allowed for a lot of post-production sound time.  The surround channels are hit or miss.  The score can fill the surround nicely or they can be completely empty.  Ambience and reverberation can nicely fill the surrounds or they might not.  Discrete effects in the rear channels don’t have the greatest panning and directionality.  There are numerous train screen passes and yet the train near fully moves to the rears.  The panning suffers from spectral splitting between the front and rear soundfields.  The audio track is good, but lacks the definition needed to truly support the genre of film.  My biggest gripe with the transfer is that the high frequencies have been pushed a bit too hard.  All the sounds have a bit of a crush in the higher frequencies that is easily irritating.

Image Entertainment rushed to get this film out on Blu-ray as there are no special features other than a theatrical trailer.

“The Resident” contains satisfactory audio and video qualities, but the film doesn’t make this a rush out and get it title.  If you think you might the genre then give it a rent.  Otherwise, you probably can let this title go.
Studio Image Entertainment
MPAA Rating R
Starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace
Director Antti J. Jokinen
Film Release Year 2010
Release Year 2011
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Running Time 1 hr. 31 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • Spanish
Special Features Theatrical Trailer
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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