The Resident (2011)

“The Resident” (2011)

IMDb

space by the numbers

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First works are always delicate matters for the makers. Should you take high chances? or should you just try to be competent and leave higher rides for later? The beginnings of great filmmakers doesn’t give a better insight on this. Welles or Godard started of groundbreaking approaches. But the Coens or Kubrick started working with deliberately conventional narratives, learning the skills, exploring mapped territories, before breaking the rules. Starting in a relatively high budget production like this, in the middle of the Hollywood pit of money makers makes it worse for those trying to do interesting stuff. You’re left with trying to perform well the clichés of the genre you work on.

That’s where this film stands. A minor product of a large industry, featuring a well known name, a star, who produces apart from starring the film, and that certainly allowed for this to move on. The producers take no chances. None. This is filmmaking by the numbers. Step by step, from the Saul Brass inspired initial credits, into every predictable development of the plot, we know exactly where we are and where we should go, at every moment. It is moderately competent. The suspense is wooden, the acting is merely tolerable, but the arc is made as it should, making this a competent time filler.

Two concepts might have been interesting, but they blew them: one is how Christopher Lee is handled. This is a guy whom we associate to a certain role. He Is what we recall him to be. Placed as he was from the beginning of the film, one might guess the twist (him being innocent), but how that would be revealed to us should have been a high point in the film. But no, he simply Is there… until he ceases to be. Shameless, to place Lee here just to place him, just to include him.

The other thing is the lost opportunity to make architecture a part of the texture. The apartment, the place in the city Is seductive. The building isn’t specially good, but it’s guts Are made interesting by the camera. But space plays absolutely no role in the plot. And it should play… trust this: acting is important, editing is fundamental. But you can’t create effective lasting suspense without considering the physical space of the actions. It’s a matter of engaging the audience and placing them In the scene. This failed here, and the worst part is that we feel that it nearly hit the spot.

My opinion: 1/5

This comment on IMDb

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