Great film with nods to Hitchcock
Angela Wilson | Midwest | 03/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a little surprised by the lukewarm reception to The Lodger. It is so far above any modern-day Ripper film, it definitely deserves a look.
I haven't seen the 1940s film, but I have seen - many times - the Hitchcock 1926 silent film. I felt the echoes of it throughout the remake. As a fan of Hitchcock, I found it pretty cool that the directors didn't muck it up like so many do when they try to contrive Hitchcock-like scenes.
Simon Baker is perfectly cast as The Lodger. He looks a bit younger with dark hair and has this secretive way about him that lends mystery to the character.
Frankly, I didn't pay much attention to the shenanigans of the PD, which seemed to be a turn off for other viewers, according to reviews here. Let's face it: This is a PR nightmare for the department, so someone needs to hang for it - and that just happens to be Alfred Molina's character. It works well into this film and casts a glare of suspicion on officers who may or may not be the killer.
Overall, The Lodger remake keeps you slightly off-balance while trying to guess the whodunit. Most, I think, won't know who it is until the very last frame.
S.F. Foster | So. Cal. | 04/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very Suspenseful! Love Simon Baker in this. Hope Davis plays a good crazy landlady. Would have liked to see more of these two together. Lots of Alfred Hitchcock type references. I would highly recommend this movie to any Alfred Hitchcock fan."
"Everyone is Suspect"...
D. S. Thurlow | Alaska | 07/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Lodger", orginally a novel about the identity of Jack the Ripper, the 19th century serial killer who terorized London prostitutes and was never caught, has been done as a play and now several times as a movie. This latest version features a strong cast in a darkly atmospheric thriller heavy on Ripperology and loaded with suspects.
The movie opens on a rainy night in West Hollywood. A senior detective is summoned to the scene of the horrifying murder of a prostitute. As he and his rookie partner investigate this crime and a second similar murder, the parallels with the crimes of an earlier serial killer, just executed, and with the Jack the Ripper case become painfully apparent.
Elsewhere in West Hollywood, a financially strapped couple rent a room to a mysterious young man who pays cash in advance and insists on complete privacy. Ellen, the wife, interacts with the lodger. She may be mentally disturbed and we are never quite certain whether the portions of the movie we experience through her eyes are real or the product of her troubled imagination.
As the movie spins rapidly to its climax, the audience is presented with a confusing array of clues that cleverly keep all the potential suspects in play to the peneultimate scene. The plot is further muddied by the possibility that one or more of the suspects may have been set up by the real killer. The senior detective (Alfred Molina) is troubled by family issues and obcessed with the Ripper murders. The landlords Joe and Ellen Bunting (Donal Logue and a superbly haunting Hope Davis) cannot entirely account for their whereabouts. The mysterious lodger (an enigmatic, dark-haired Simon Baker) is almost too obvious a suspect. Even the rookie partner (Shane West) is not what he claims to be.
For such a promising premise and an excellent cast, the movie never quite hits its stride as a thriller. The drab production values seem more suited to a TV movie, while a polemic about capital punishment and an internal investigation into the senior detective seem awkward and stagey. Nevertheless, "The Lodger" largely succeeds as suspense and is highly recommended as worthwile entertainment for its brief (95 minutes) running time.