The Hammer Films studio we all grew loving died in 1984 with the television series Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense. The new Hammer Films began in 2007 and it really is Hammer in name only. Now, they do have a really cool logo to kick off their movies and they are doing better with each film to pay homage to the original Hammer. But we need to go into these modern Hammer films knowing that they aren’t the original so our expectations are appropriate. After an online Myspace release for Beyond The Rave in 2008, the first proper theatrical release was Let Me In. I went into that movie questioning why we had to have an English language remake of Let The Right One In and was blown away by the performance of young Chloe Grace Moretz. It wasn’t the Hammer I grew up with but they seemed serious about wanting to move forward and produce quality films. Next up for release was The Resident. It was actually filmed in the summer of 2009 before Let Me In but didn’t see a DVD release until March 2011, which is usually never a good sign. However, the small cast has some impressive credentials, so I dived in with some hope and I wasn’t overly disappointed.
Two-time Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby) heads up the cast as emergency room surgeon Juliet Devereau. She’s suffering from a broken heart and looking for a new apartment in New York City as our movie begins. Enter new landlord Max, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen and television’s Supernatural). Turns out he’s been stalking her and playing her life like a chess game to lure her into his apartment complex. When their relationship doesn’t develop as hoped and she reconciles with an old boyfriend, Max spins out of control. What follows is series of events which leads to a final confrontation between the two. Nothing that original or that we haven’t seen before. However, Hilary Swank is a great actress and I really like Jeffrey Dean Morgan. We also get the legendary Sir Christopher Lee in the role of Max’s grandfather August, who apparently knows what kind of man Max is but is too old to do anything about it. It is kind of sad to see Lee here because he is really beginning to show his age. The movie was enjoyable at times and had a general creepy atmosphere. It didn’t blow me away and I don’t think it is necessarily worthy of the Hammer name, which is probably why is went straight to DVD. However, it’s definitely worth a rental, especially if you have a spouse or significant other who likes suspense but hates the bloody horror.