Apr 7, 2011
Two sentences and a verdict, redux
The Resident: Recently single Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank) finds a New York apartment that's so (err...relatively) cheap she can barely believe her eyeholes. Before you can say "I bet that deal will turn out to be to good to be true", the deal turns out to be too good to be true: Juliet's landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a major creeper who doesn't take rejection well. Stalk stalk creep creep, the end.
Two sentences: The DVD box boasts "from Hammer Studios" and "featuring Christopher Lee", which will get some horror fans' tongues wagging, but The Resident is little more than a tepid (though watchable) pastiche of thrillers those same fans have undoubtedly seen before. While it looks nice enough and there are a couple of chilling sequences, the talented cast is squandered on underdeveloped characters and a limp plot that hints at what could have been.
The verdict: I am a sucka for this kind of big new apartment thriller- it's the Lifetime Movie/The Sentinel fan in me, I think- and I will watch anything featuring Christopher Lee; this does not, however, denote quality when in comes to the film in question.
The New Daughter: After his wife up and leaves him, author John James (Kevin Costner) packs up his two kids and heads to a new house out in the woods of South Carolina. After discovering an Indian burial ground on the property, surly daughter Luisa (Ivana Baquero of Pan's Labyrinth) begins acting...well, surlier. And very strangely. John tries to find out what's what and discovers there's a rather sordid history tied in with the new homestead.
Two sentences: The New Daughter is the English-language directorial debut of Luis Berdejo (co-writer of [REC]), and maybe that's why it feels so goldurned Spanish. Equal parts family drama and monster movie, this is a slow-burn flick (read: some people might find it dull) that's big on atmosphere, chills, and great visuals.
The verdict: I kind of loved it, even though the DVD box tried to convince me I wouldn't with its Kevin Costner-ness, its hokey Photoshop pictures, and its cries of "intense!" and "pulse-pounding!"