By Brett Mullins
Directed by Henry Miller; Written by Jonathan Brett
Occupant is a psychological thriller/1408-esque film. When Danny’s Grandmother dies from a heart attack, he has the opportunity to take over the lease of the three bedroom, three bathroom New York City rent controlled apartment. With the help of a creepy doorman and a dismissive lawyer, Danny barricades himself inside the apartment until the legal matter is resolved.
This film has a decent premise and even at the halfway mark the audience is wondering if there is a monster living in the closet, a crazy stalker is playing games, or if the apartment is being haunted by the devil. The sad truth is that we will never know exactly what is going on, because, instead of being mindbending, Occupant is jammed packed with vagaries and unexplored plot twists. The acting is also shaky at best. As a result, it is often difficult to determine the mood of many of the scenes.
The film features creative title sequences, however, that segment the story into days. This breaks what’s left of the tension well and provides a good formula for the film’s high and low points. Other than a few spooks, this is the highlight of the film.
Occupant is a confused thriller that ends with a rather disappointing bang.