Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank), an emergency room surgeon, is apartment hunting in New York City after she separated from her longtime boyfriend, Jack (Lee Pace) due to his infidelity. After home-hunting, someone calls her to inform that an apartment is available and invites her to have a look.
Juliet went to look for the apartment and considered herself lucky for being able to rent an apartment from the owner, Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) for just $3,800 as it was large and affordable, but with the nearby subway causing noise and vibrations, occasionally even causing objects to fall off from the table.
During her first night staying at the apartment, someone is stalking Juliet, watching her undressed, took a bath, and applied lotion. While Juliet is asleep, she hears footsteps, and she thinks someone is in her apartment. She gets up to investigate. She finds her door closed, but unlocked. She finds a bagful of basic tools at her door, and she thinks Max just came to drop her a present.
The next day, Juliet and her co-worker, Syndey (Aunjanue Ellis), talk about Juliet's previous relationship with Jack, whom she caught having an affair with another woman in their bed. She can't stop thinking about him and neither can he stop thinking of her. Sydney suggests that she should find another guy, and persuades her to come with her to a party.
Later, Juliet thanks Max, her landlord and owner of the building, for sending her the flowers, but he admits that the gift was not from him, instead it was from his grandfather.
Juliet then thanks August (Christopher Lee), Max's grandfather whom also lives at the building. August explains that he wanted to put himself in her shoes, living with complete strangers. He then states that he doesn't get much company. Juliet feels uncomfortable and leaves.
Later, at a party, Juliet bumps into Max and starts to flirt with him by asking him to walk her home.
Max and Juliet spend time talking together while Jack is stalking her from across the street.
Before saying goodbye, Juliet kisses Max. She quickly apologizes, seeming that she read the wrong signal. Max walks away, confused and unsure of himself.
Juliet and Max get along on a good start, and, after being encouraged by Sydney, she decides to ask Max out on a date, at her apartment. The date goes well. When the date ends, Max leaves but Juliet quickly tells Max to wait and she kisses him passionately, and they start making out.
The movie quickly rewinds, revealing that it was Max that was stalking Juliet at night. One day, Max brings August to the hospital, Max sees Juliet and sees her name on her nametag. Then he sees a paper, saying Juliet is looking for an apartment. So, Max makes an anonymous phone call, saying there's a apartment that is not rented yet. Max planned for Juliet to live in this particular room since Max was renovating it. He built a peep-hole and a one-way mirror to stalk Juliet. It also shows that Max has also been stalking her while she is jogging or going/leaving work. He followed her at the party and made it seem that he and Juliet bumped into each other.
Back to the present: Juliet does not go through with the sex because she still has feelings for Jack. Juliet apologizes to Max. Max, upset and agitated, brushes it off and leaves Juliet's room. The next day, Juliet and Max discuss about the previous night and Juliet decides they should just be friends, and their relationship is landlord/tenant. Max is not ok with that.
Max has constructed secret corridors, peepholes, and a one-way mirror, and uses these to observe her in secret. Also, in her absence he secretly enters her apartment to touch her clothes, use her toothbrush, and lie in her bath and masturbate. He also hides under her bed and licks her fingers while she sleeps.
Max is frustrated about the fact that Jack and Juliet reconcile and have sex in the apartment. He observes this from one of his peepholes, and since this makes Max jealous, he sedates her after Jack leaves, and touches and later rapes her while she is unconscious.
Because his grandfather August, who also lives in the house, criticizes and puts him down, Max kills him. Max follows Jack after he finishes his date with Juliet.
Near a subway, he throws Jack from a flight of stairs outside and thus injuring him.
Back at home, Juliet wakes up disoriented and feels horrified as she repeatedly overslept since living at the apartment. She tells Sydney that maybe it's her apartment that caused her being overslept. Sydney suggests that Juliet gets a new alarm clock instead. Feeling that something is not right at the apartment, Juliet gets someone to install CCTV that records her apartment.
Later at night, Max attempts to rape Juliet again, but she groggily wakes up. Max quickly sedates her before she can actually get a good look at him, and flees. The next morning, she oversleeps again but as she scans around the room, she finds a sedate cap under her bed.
Jack texts Juliet telling her they can have dinner at her place at 7. Jack goes to her place to place some champagne bottles. As he enters the apartment, Max is in Juliet's room masturbating over Juliet's gown. Taking Jack by surprise, Max comes up behind Jack and kills him.
Juliet has her blood and urine analyzed, which shows the sedation. She quickly runs back home, leaving Jack a message warning him not to go to her apartment. She gets home and finds her gown on her bed, which wasn't there before she left.
Moreover, when she checks the security video, Juliet witnesses the rape. She doesn't get a perfect view of the rapist, but it was Max alright. as she shakily absorbs the truth, Max knocks open her apartment door and casually greets Juliet with a drugged wine that Jack brought, but Juliet evades drinking it as she suspected Max to put some drug in it.
Undaunted and determined, Max then tries to sedate her, but when he stabs her with the needle, Juliet stabs Max with a small kitchen knife.
The chasing ensues around the apartment. After Max emerges from the one way mirror in the toilet, Juliet finally realises that there are peepholes and secret hallways that Max uses to spy on her. Max keeps chasing her around in the hidden corridors, but she defends herself with his nail gun and in passing discovers Jack's bloodied body. After failing to make Max cease harming her, Juliet finally kills him.
it's hard watching a film that depicts someone that you really like as the beastly antagonist. Jeffrey Dean Morgan got me from the first grin as Denny Duquette in Grey's Anatomy. and though he was a flop in the Watchmen, I like him still. as for the Losers ?, hell yeah.
but unfortunately, this movie doesn't gel well with me. first of all, i these days choose my battles wisely. and watching a thriller, i somewhat reserve myself from being too connected emotionally with the protagonists/victims. in this movie, i don't have to. instead i felt inclined to be emotionally attuned to JDM's perverted character, Max. let me tell you, even that falls flat.
i disagreed with some of the scenes:
- a doctor won't be to0 easy to sacrifice the communication factor. i mean, as an ER surgeon, you probably need great phone reception in case you'll be called for emergency. Our Dr Juliet with no hesitation whatsoever sacrificed hers. mula la bila emergency takde line nak mintak tolong!
- at first Juliet used the fridge to block Max from entering thru the kitchen door. yet when she escaped thru the kitchen wall, she the puny miss can break the door, instead of Max the burly Alpha Male, pelik kan? power lebih plak minah ni, the perks of jogging regularly kah?
- Juliet manages to physically bring Max down by kicks, punches and whatnots. don't you realise that the puny Juliet can take Max down, twice her size? that is magic, really :sarcastic: quite effeminating Max as in person. plus, i don't understand why she had to run away everytime she knocks MAx down. hello, finish the job ok! or is it the way for the film producers to prolong the chasing scenes? dah la the nail gun isn't actually a practically death-causing tool. cuba la meat cleaver ke apa ke, no wonder Max keeps coming back like a never ending nightmare.
- how does Juliet know what antidote to take? dah kena sedation pun bleh ber-adrenaline lari ke sana ke mari.
- it is impossible to swallow the fact that not for once ever did that Juliet notices the visible movements of the bulky Max. i mean, he's behind every wall and practically under your bed, should have been easier to hear his breathing!
- when the toilet mirror breaks as Max attacks Juliet through it, not even one iota of the broken mirror hurt her. i mean, in real world, she must have at least be hurt by the glass shards and whatnots. but maybe that would be too horrendous, and thus nope, she's not hurt even in one bit.
- no plausible excuse is given to make us understand why Max is being the pervert he is. Except for the glimpse of the paper excerpt that his father killed his mother before committing a suicide, leaving him for years with his belittling, harsh, schizophrenic grandparent. adoi la. more reason please! that one only works for a teenager, not for grown Alpha Male who can just walk away and leave the house, hokay! this story is like a sinking Titanic times ten, too many waterholes.
last but not least, i feel the deal breaker was the fact that the movie doesn't pace itself well. i as one of the viewers felt that the plug was pulled so soon in revealing Max's true identity. perhaps the movie should linger on how good he is, his smiles oozing charms all the way back and more. but then the trailer had summed all the movie up. so... watch the trailer = watch the movie :)
yup, being generous: 2.5 star je. sori beb. not my kind of story.