FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

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.

"Gurl, please."

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!"


Christine Hadden said...

Just watched The Resident last night, am in the process of writing a review as we speak and quite honestly, you said everything I wanted to in two sentences. I have no idea what to say.

And for the record, I would prefer The New Daughter over the boring Resident as well...

Stacie Ponder said...

By the time it got to chase chase chase, I thought...really? This? It was just so...done a zillion times before, and they added NOTHING new or noteworthy.

There were hints about the landlord's past, etc etc that were left to wither on the vine. By the time we saw on security footage what was REALLY going on in the night- which was nauseatingly, awesomely repulsive- it just drove home what the movie COULD have been. Hilary Swank tried her best, but geez. This was some raw potato and it needed to be twice-baked!

I'm not really sure what that means, but I had a potato for lunch today, so...

Hannah said...

So, what WAS going on at night? Can someone say, between those "spoiler" brackets or something? I'm really curious now, but in no way curious enough to contemplate sitting through the whole movie just to find out now that I've read THIS review :D

Stacie Ponder said...


He was drugging and raping her, and she found out when she was watching security cam footage.

Hannah said...

Wow, that IS creepy. Thanks for telling me, I just made a very scary horror movie in my head with that little scenario (starring me), which according to your review seems to be more than the actual makers of this film seem to have done (and they had Hillary Swank! such a missed chance).

Chris Hewson said...

I will always watch a movie with Christopher Lee. The man is the king of horror!
One of the great things about Lee is that he's appeared in so many movies, you can easily find so many movies he's in that you've probably never seen before and are a hidden delight, like Jaguar Lives, a Eurospy film that stars not only Lee, but also Donald Pleasance, Joseph Wiseman, Barbara Bach, John Huston, Woody Strode and Capucine! Doesn't that just sound like the greatest B-Movie cast ever assembled!

deadlydolls said...

Didn't know The REsident went straight to DVD. I thought this was supposed to be the poster child for the new Hammer Studios. Hm.

zombivish said...

i think Hammer are going with Wake Wood as their new poster child. From this review I'd say they made the right choice.

The new Daughter i was going to see regardless as i loved Rec. Curious that after such a visceral film like Rec that Berdejo went with the slow burn.
And yeah, that cover is awful!

Nothing on there makes me want to see it. I'm a bit surprised there's not some terrible "From the co-writer of the original Spanish version of that one film Quarantine!" type blurb.

StuartOhQueue said...

I wasn't that fond of "The New Daughter" myself. **SPOILER** The "mud people" didn't really do it for me.

Too bad about "The Resident." I'll probably have to see it anyhow. As mentioned, the "Hammer Studios" and "Christopher Lee" tags are too much for me to resist.

Bloodbath said...

omg i was all about The New Daughter last year.
Mentioned it on my blog, and will probably mention it again as it follows a mysterious ending theme i'm tinkering with.
(My mention of it: