The Resident, also known as The Sublet, is a 2015 Canadian horror film directed by John Ainslie & starring Tianna Nori, Mark Matechuk and Krista Madison.
Joanna (Nori) & Jeff (Matechuk) are a couple moving into a new apartment that they are subletting from an absent landlord. The couple have recently had a child, something that Jonna is not coping well with. Part of the problem is that Jeff is absent a lot of the time focusing on his career as an actor.
His lack of help puts real pressure on the relationship & Joanna resents his friendship with his ex-girlfriend, Alex (Rachel Sellan). While it’s not specifically pointed out, it becomes clear as the movie goes on that Joanna might be suffering from postnatal depression.
It’s these issues that mean Jeff is fairly dismissive when Joanna begins to experience odd occurrences. She hears knocking on the walls, the living room furniture keeps getting moved around & a locked room that they weren’t supposed to go in, suddenly opens.
In there she finds items & furniture from a family that lived there long ago. Joanna discovers a diary that details a situation that is eerily similar to her own. As she reads on & begins to lose track of reality she begins to believe that the apartment is haunted.
The Resident is a story that is part paranormal & part mental health. Mixing the two together to leave the viewer guessing up to the bloody & violent finale. It’s not a particularly original story & the paranormal side is lacking but with some nice surprises & great acting it turns out to be a decent horror flick.
The movies strength lies in just how good Tianna Nori portrays a mother at the end of her wits. While it never really delves deeply into her issues in the apartment, her changing behaviour is a well told story. She is moody, unreasonable & dangerous at times resulting in the movies strongest point, its finale. While somewhat predictable it doesn’t lessen the impact.
Elsewhere though, the movie fails at telling a decent supernatural story with tired clichés & boring jump scares. The lack of coherency in this side of the story really hurts what is an interesting take on mental health. Unfortunately rather than leave things up to the viewer to decide the movie instead makes sure you know that it was all supernatural based, something that is incredibly disappointing.
The Resident aka The Sublet has a lot of interesting things going for it. It’s just a pity that it chooses to focus more on the supernatural elements. Worth watching for the acting & bloody finale.