“The Occupants” is an US-American no-budget mystery-thriller starring Cristin Milioti (HIMYM, The Wolf of Wall Street, Once – The Musical). It was released recently and just turned up on my radar as I was searching for more movies and shows with Cristin Milioti.
Lucy (Milioti) is a social worker and a recent mother. Together with her husband Wade she’s living in a big house. But their idyllic life cracks when both he and she start having weird dreams about the estate’s former owners and see their ghosts wandering around the house. While questioning her own sanity, Lucy tries to find out more about the spectres in order to help them. But maybe they don’t want to be safed…
The filmmakers clearly understood how horror-film tropes work (and also included a visual nod to Kubrick’s “The Shining“!), and they played a little with those clichés. Instead of one character only seeing the paranormal phenomenons, they have both lead actors see the intruders. So it can’t be a mind thing. But even though they tried with braking those stereotypes, they still used them at the end. Which is why the last few minutes of the movie make not much sense.
This is quite a shame, for the rest of the film is surprisingly quite good. The film is unmistakingly no-budget as viewers can tell from the look of the film. But the lighting is good, and beside the look the photography works. The acting is solid, and even though some scary scenes become laughable after a while, there is some creepiness around the plot.
I would recommend the movie, it’s entertaining and has some good acting. It’s no masterpiece storywise, but it manages some smaller scares and leaves the viewer thinking.