The Resident (Blu-ray Review)

Hammer Films through Image Entertainment has brought us The Resident starring Hillary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and the great Christopher Lee on Blu-ray.  As far as I know The Resident is a direct-to-video affair.  Even big name actors have to do these every once in a while, I guess.  Hammer Films has been around for years and years and have offered horror and thrillers for the masses since the 30’s.  It makes sense that Christopher Lee would partake of The Resident since he’s been in many Hammer Film productions over the years.  How does The Resident on Blu-ray stack up to its “thriller” contemporaries out there?  Please follow us into the abyss and read for yourself. 


The Resident is the story of Juliet (Hillary Swank) who is an overworked ER doctor that has recently separated from her husband and just wants to move on with her life.  During these trials and tribulations she finds a beautiful apartment in Brooklyn and takes to it immediately.  Immediately after meeting the landlord, that is.  Sure, the apartment needs a bit of a facelift, but it gets taken care of early on.  The rent is also really cheap for such a spacious unit.  What could possibly go wrong?

Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the landlord, oversees the grand apartment building that has been in his family for many years.  Along with taking care of the building’s needs he must care for his elderly uncle August (Christopher Lee).  He may look it, but Max is not a “player” in the traditional sense.  One would think that Max could get any girl he wanted based on his appearance and station in life.  Not so.  He’s got plenty of issues of his own to deal with.

I found myself enjoying The Resident more than I should have.  What’s there not to like?  All of the actors are really cool and I just happen to be a really big fan of all them.  Yes, even Hillary Swank.  I was into The Resident as soon as the opening credits started to roll.  It was as if I was watching an Alfred Hitchcock film.  For being a DTV film, the production values are all top notch.  You’ve got John Ottman (Superman Returns, The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) composing the score, and the great cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy & Hellboy 2) lensing the picture.  I think Hillary Swank even acted as executive producer.  The film, aesthetically, looked great!

This is the part where I will tread lightly.  The first half hour is flawless, in my opinion.  You’re with it, you’re following along, etc., and then right at the twenty-ninth minute the film shifts gears and launches us forward.  It’s because of this that I can’t give it a higher score.  There was absolutely no reason for the story (or motivations) to have been literally sped up like they were.  It just makes me want the film to be even longer, because character development goes out the window.

Certain scenes in the film are really creepy to the extreme, and I can see how if you’re a single woman living alone in a big apartment could freak you out.  Hell, as cool as that apartment was, I don’t want to be there alone.  I think Swank’s character should have been given room to breath a little.  There are scenes where the character has to qualify herself way too much it borders on parody.  Who qualifies themselves that much in real life?  She’s not a square.  She’s fairly attractive, successful, so I don’t believe that she would be that much of a social zero.  The same could be said of Jeffry Dean Morgan’s character.

I will say that you probably have never seen Morgan play a character like this.  Yes, he’s even creepier than he was in Watchmen.  The Resident wants to be voyeuristic, and succeeds, but it’s not very consistent at it.  The film is very fragmented, and the ending is very abrupt.  Take that as you will.


The Resident is presented in 1080p 2.35:1 widescreen.  As I previously said, from the opening credits, the viewer gets sucked into this world and it is a feast for the eyes.  Colors are bold and beautiful, and the scenes in the park are very clean and crisp.  The low light scenes in the apartment building are very subdued and give off a sense of misleading comfort. Flesh tones look natural. I didn’t notice any instances of DNR or edge enhancement anywhere.  The Resident is a fine looking Blu-ray.


The Resident is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  The Resident on Blu-ray BUMPS!  This is a near reference track and you will see that during the opening credits.  The bass is clean and tight with no hints of distortion or echo.  There are scenes in The Resident that made me think I had rats in my own place!  The rear channels are very aggressive and you’ll hear every creak, footstep, and little critters scurring about in full detail.  I was floored! The Resident sounds awesome!

Special Features 

  • Trailer for the The Resident

Final Thoughts 

The Resident isn’t a great film, but it’s not a bad film either.  Suspense-thriller and horror fans should get a kick out of it if only to see Christopher Lee and Jeffrey Dean Morgan do their thing.  Hillary Swank was cool too.  I do wish the film hadn’t rushed through certain scenes, but what are you going to do? Make it two hours next time.  For a lazy night indoors I do recommend The Resident for some night time viewing.  It looks GREAT for a DTV feature.  Remember ladies, lock your doors!

Order The Resident on Blu-ray!


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

2 Responses to “The Resident (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I guess I will be checking this one out!

  2. Gerard Iribe

    You may like it, Brian. It’s a great looking film. I’m curious to see how much was spent. It’s pretty self contained for a “low budget” film.