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Occupant – 5

Director – Henry Miller

Cast – Van Hansis, Cody Horn, Thorsten Kaye, Jamie Harrold

Release Year – 2011

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Occupant marks the 1,357,983th film that I was really excited to see thanks to what seemed to be an awesome plot, but in the end made for an experience I wish I would have skipped.  The atmosphere is great and things start off very well, but Occupant eventually succumbed to poor writing and equally poor execution.

When his grandmother dies and leaves him a nice rent-controlled apartment, 25 year old Danny Hill must stay locked in the apartment for 12 straight days to attain legal standing to secure it in his name, however he may not be the only occupant.

The idea of Danny being locked in an apartment with a hidden horror really appealed to me, and at first it seemed the film was going to provide me with what I wanted to see.  It came off supernatural and quite creepy during its first act, but once things got going my interest slowly faded as things became more and more bland and annoying.  For one, the “occupant” in the film was not a supernatural occupant at all, and for the sake of spoilers I cannot say exactly what the “occupant” is, but as soon as I figured out what was going on I thought “great, it’s this idea again”, and was not suprised at my distaste for this storyline in the end.  In addition to that the story does get bland and repetitive, which was an indicator of poor writing but was not unexpected.  When you set a film in a single location, in this case Danny’s grandmother’s apartment, you must throw in unique ideas and keep the viewer engaged to make up for the lack of setting movement, but that was not the case with this story and the film suffered greatly because of that.

Director Henry Miller (Anamorph) did a decent job with this one at first, giving us great atmosphere and throwing us into what I was expecting to be a pretty creepy film given his awesome musical score.  Of course, once the storyline changed his direction changed too, which seemed to mimic the storyline in every fault as we were given poor execution once the story began to cave into its mess.  The acting performances could have been better as well, although I applaud Van Hansis’ performance as Danny Hill given his character required that he portray numerous different emotions as the film pressed on.  As far as the horror goes there are no worthwhile scares, and most of the horror proves to be psychological more than anything else.  The horror is OK if you put yourselves in Danny’s shoes, but even then it should have been much better.

Overall, Occupant is another film that fails to live up to expectations and instead provides for an experience I cannot recommend.  The overall storyline is cool, but it suffers greatly once things get going, and sadly the direction suffered with it.

Rating: 5/10

  1. March 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Espacio de MANON.

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