Silent Resident

"Silent Resident" is meant to be cutting-edge creepy but plays as dull-witted pastiche.

With:
With: Brigitte Hobmeier, Johanna Wokalek, Xaver Hutter, Martin Wuttke, Walfriede Schmitt. (German dialogue)

A muddled futuristic thriller in which a schizophrenic on the run from an abusive husband sinks into madness within the walls of a massive apartment block, “Silent Resident” is meant to be cutting-edge creepy but plays as dull-witted pastiche. Helmer Christian Frosch’s attempt to blend social criticism with elements of “Repulsion” and “Persona” fall flat in a pic whose theatrical prospects beyond German-language territories are nil, with ancillary quiet as well.

Moving into the flat of a recent suicide in a highly regarded complex, Hannah Schreber (Brigitte Hobmeier) settles into her job at the Citizens Bureau of Internal Security. In her free time, she encounters all manner of strange neighbors, but is drawn to local firebrand Anna (Johanna Wokalek) and compassionate cop Hauks (Martin Wuttke), whom she beds. But Hannah hears things, and sees things, and soon she begins to crack. Both Hobmeier (“Identity Kills”) and Wokalek (“Barefoot”), fine actresses both, seem unsure what’s expected of them here. Tech package reps a similar misfire, with garish set design more flea market than future. Pic was shot on location at the digitally massaged Alt-Erlaa residential complex outside Vienna.

Silent Resident

Austria - Germany - Luxembourg - Hungary

Production: A Kranzelbinder Gabriele (Austria)/Amour Fou (Austria)/Mediopolis (Germany)/Minotaurus (Luxembourg)/Eurofilm Studio (Hungary)/Neue Vision, Weltfilm (Germany) production. (International sales: Bavaria Film Intl., Geiselgasteig, Germany.) Produced by Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu. Directed, written by Christian Frosch.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen),  Busso von Mueller; editor, Michael Palm; music, Andreas Ockert; production designer, Giovanni Scribano; costume designer, Alfred Mayerhofer. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Visions), Sept. 6, 2007. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Brigitte Hobmeier, Johanna Wokalek, Xaver Hutter, Martin Wuttke, Walfriede Schmitt. (German dialogue)

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