Directed by David Ondaatje
A lodger gets mistaken for a serial killer.
“A good cast can’t save The Lodger,” said Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. Alfred Molina and Hope Davis lend their support to this suspense thriller from first-time writer-director David Ondaatje, who foolishly tries to re-create Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent film. In this “utterly wrongheaded” remake, Molina plays a detective hunting down a serial killer who models himself after Jack the Ripper. It’s bad enough that Ondaatje meddles with Hitchcock’s first masterpiece, said Kirk Honeycutt in The Hollywood Reporter. What’s worse is that he adds so little. Besides being the third film to be based on Marie Belloc Lowndes’ 1913 novel, The Lodger is the “umpteenth film” inspired the Jack the Ripper crimes. Ondaatje barely updates the spooky story, except to move it to present-day West Hollywood and “deconstruct the narrative into levels of reality and illusion.” The director’s “strained, empty effort” fails as both homage and update, said Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times. The “biggest mystery” of this lifeless thriller is how it ever got made in the first place.