Lodger, The (2008): David Ondaatje’s Remake of Hitchcock’s Silent

A terrifying adaptation of the book by Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes on which Hitchcock’s silent classic is also based, The Lodger stars Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Simon Baker, and Donal Logue.

Written and Directed by David Ondaatje, Produced by Michael Mailer and David Ondaatje, Scott Putman is Executive Producer. Cinematography is by David A. Armstrong. Production Designer is Franco-Giacomo Carbone. Edited by William Flicker and music by John Frizzell.

When a ruthless killer begins slaughtering prostitutes along West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, Malcolm Slaight (Simon Baker) arrives at the home of Joe (Donal Logue) and Ellen Bunting (Hope Davis), expressing interest in renting their secluded guesthouse.

As a married woman who is struggling to preserve her fragile marriage after plans to start a family ended in tragedy, Ellen is at first relieved to find a renter who pays in cash but soon becomes enamored by the charm and eccentricities of the mysterious Lodger. Meanwhile, police detective Chandler Manning (Alfred Molina), shunned by both his daughter Amanda (Rachael Leigh Cook) and his suicidal wife Margaret (Mel Harris) as a result of his single-minded dedication to police work, teams up with unlikely rookie partner Street Wilkenson (Shane West) to track the killer.

It soon becomes clear that the murderer’s grisly methods are identical to that of London’s infamous 19th century psychopath Jack the Ripper–a relentless serial killer who was never caught by the police and who was notorious for removing the internal organs of his victims.

The discovery is especially troublesome for Manning, because earlier in his career he brought a killer to justice who also mimicked Jack the Ripper with the same level of diabolical detail.

With the same type of killings starting again, Manning soon comes under the suspicion of Los Angeles police Captain Smith (Phillip Baker Hall) who suspects that Manning may have planted evidence that led to the conviction and execution of an innocent man. However, all hope is not lost.