“Quality Horror Well Worth a Watch”
Known elsewhere as THE SUBLET, which is a better title for this really, especially as it avoids confusing it with the limp Hilary Swank - Jeffrey Dean Morgan Hammer picture of 2011, director John Ainslie’s far superior horror picture gets a UK DVD release courtesy of Second Sight.
Joanna (Tianna Nori) and Geoff (Mark Matechuk) move into a grim apartment with their baby, Porter. While Geoff pursues acting jobs (and possibly his obnoxious ex-girlfriend Alex), Joanna has to put up with banging on the walls, the furniture being moved around, and her baby only calming down when it is placed in a room that should be locked.
When Joanna discovers an old diary, she begins to learn of the fate of one of the apartment’s former residents, who went insane and killed both her baby and her abusive husband. As Geoff becomes increasingly distant and occurrences in the flat become increasingly weird, Joanna finds it more and more difficult to differentiate between reality and the disturbing fantasies that either she or the apartment is creating for her.
A very pleasing mix indeed of the atmospheric weirdness of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper plus a dash of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle that gradually builds to a reality-bending blood-soaked finale, THE RESIDENT is reminiscent of the best (and most unnerving) dramas in the 1970s BBC TV PLAY FOR TODAY series. The story is essentially limited to one location and few players, and we have no idea whether Joanna really is going mad or if there is something much stranger going on until we reach the thoroughly satisfying finale.
Director John Ainslie, working from a script by himself and Alyson Richards, proves there’s still plenty of life in our dear old low budget horror genre, and anyone who has despaired at the prospect of bland and tedious modern horror product like the soon-to-be-released ANNABELLE 2 should give this a watch to reassure themselves that there are still film-makers out there who can deliver an unnerving, well made, picture.
Second Sight’s DVD offers no extras. Don’t let that put you off. For something very low budget this is really rather good.
THE RESIDENT is out from Second Sight on DVD, On-demand and Download from Monday 22nd May 2017