The arrival of your first child is a scary time for both parents. However, having a living miniature human growing inside you for 9 months is liable to leave you both physically and mentally changed. The anxiety about the responsibility can be almost crippling. Combined with the loneliness of being cooped up in the house all day with a screaming child, and the sleepless nights, it can be incredibly hard. In John Ainslie’s The Resident, he plays on these issues to produce a chilling psychological horror.
Despite not meeting the landlord, Joanne (Tianna Nori) and her fiancé Geoff (Mark Matechuk) are relieved to find an apartment they can afford to sublet. The only condition is that they don’t go into the landlord’s room. Stuck in the apartment all day with a crying child, she struggles to cope. That’s when the banging on the walls and loud footsteps from above start happening. As Geoff becomes increasingly distant, Joanne’s paranoia grows. Upon reading her landlord’s journal she discovers a familiar pattern.
The Resident is an extremely claustrophobic and creepy horror movie. Tianna Nori does a great job of embodying all the intricate psychological complexities of Joanne. Indeed, its success revolves around her performance. There are some decent scares and well-crafted scenes, but without Nori there would be little to recommend it above normal genre fayre. The Resident slowly reels you in and gradually builds-up tension until the gory denouement.
The Resident is released on DVD by Second Sight on Monday 22 May.