Random movie review “Occupant” 2011


I enjoy watching “scary” movies that are not too mainstream.  I often browse Netflix or Hulu searching for something scary to add spice to my day.  Such was the case with Occupant.

Warning: spoilers

This film begins with an older woman, in her bed, dying…apparently afraid of something.  Cut to a scene of a man who is in New York being filmed by a complete stranger for a vlog.  He tells her that he is on his way to identify the remains of his grandmother.  He tells the girl to stop filming him, and then tells her where he works and other random details about his life.  He identifies his grandmothers remains…stating that he didn’t really know her.  Enter Joe.  Joe is a doorman for the building.  He tells Danny to get a lawyer because the apartment is huge and rent controlled and the lawyer can fix it so that he can live there for the same low rent.  Danny meets with lawyer, and the lawyer tells him it will take twelve days to get the court order…so for twelve days he cannot leave the apartment or they will kick him out.

He moves two duffel bags full of stuff and a cat into the apartment and suddenly things get weird.  Not only do they get weird…but the viewer is left much of the time just scratching her head.  There is a man who is not Joe, but who is dressed as a doorman, who comes into the apartment and leaves a Bible.  This is never explained.  Danny starts to hear strange noises coming from the closet, and discovers a hole in the wall of the closet.  He staples wallpaper over it and it appears to breathe.

Then, out of nowhere the chick with the vlog shows up.  She apparently had gone to his work where his boss just gives her his address.  They have a spontaneous dinner…followed by spontaneous sex…which she films…and she gets up in the middle of the night to snoop around his apartment.  She pans the camera and the viewers see a human figure in a doorway…this is never mentioned or shown again…after that she is attacked by something which her camera does not catch.  Danny wakes up in the morning…notices the chick is gone…but figures she left during the night.

Later though he finds her camera, watches the footage…does not seemed bothered that she filmed them having sex…and sets the camera up on a bookcase, hoping to capture something on film. The next day the camera is found on the floor…broken

Meanwhile, Joe is buying his groceries, his grandmothers shoes keep disappearing and reappearing, the cat acts strangely, and the landlord threatens to have him evicted.

There is one part of the film where Joe brings Danny painting supplies…tells him to make it his own.  He begins to paint the bedroom….incidentally there are three bedrooms in the house yet he chooses to sleep in his grandmothers bed…where she died.  Anyway the paint is bright red…and he paints about 5 feet of the wall and is distracted by a noise.  The hole in the closet is back.

He never returns to painting…so there is just a big red splash of paint on the wall for the rest of the movie.  He shuts the closet door and pushes a dresser in front of it.  His eyes start to look tired…he is irritable…and he is paranoid about the landlord kicking him out.

Then there is a scene where a painter falls to his death.  This is never explained or revisited.  Danny tells Joe about the noises and then Joe calls an exterminator. The exterminator shows up and tells Danny it will take an hour.  Danny apparently falls asleep.  The exterminator finds the cat in its crate and goes to spray him…to kill him.  The viewer is led to believe that the cat dies…but the camera view switches.

Then Joe wakes Danny up and asks if the exterminator is still there.  Danny takes a look around his apartment and finds the exterminator dead in the closet, with his feet in the hole in the wall.  His mouth is covered with yellow foam, indicating that he was killed with the exterminator poison. Not wanting to deal with police, he wraps the body in a carpet and drags it down the stairs…leaving it in the stairwell.

On his way back into his apartment he runs into his neighbor, who says something like “funny seeing you twice in one day”  this confuses Danny who doesn’t recall seeing this man before.

Later we see Danny feeding his cat…not dead after all.  There is a scene where Danny is talking to himself in the mirror…giving himself a pep talk about how they were not going to get to him.  Then he looks away…but the reflection is still looking straight ahead.  This is also never explained.

Later Danny goes to feed his cat, and cant find him.  He does find a bloody claw and then goes crazy, hacking a hole in the red part of the wall because he thinks his cat is in there.  Then the doorbell buzzes and it is the neighbor with a cop…telling him to keep the noise down.  They ask him what the smell is…and he says dinner.

He goes into the kitchen, opens the oven and pulls out a casserole dish which contains his cooked cat.

After that he goes a little insane.  He asks Joe for wire and cutters, and places wire all over the apartment.  He makes crude weapons, and barricades himself inside the wire fort.

The twelfth day arrives, but Danny cannot get a hold of the lawyer…and because he has gone insane in twelve days, decides to kill himself by placing nails in a plank of wood, suspending it in a doorway, and just before he impales himself he has flashbacks…him with the girl…him with the cat…him in the apartment…and a scene of his grandmothers death.  Then he cuts the rope and dies just moments before his lawyer delivers the court order.

Then a new family moves in.  A boy finds the camera, and the laptop, plugs the sd card into the laptop and watches the video.  We see Danny dragging the body of the girl down the hallway, the he sees the camera and throws it.

This leaves the viewer with a few answers…but more questions.  Apparently Danny is a sleep walker.  He killed his grandmother, as that is the only explanation for why he flashed back to her death, he also apparently pushed the painter, killed the girl, and killed the exterminator when he tried to kill the cat…but then he himself killed the cat…all while asleep.

This does not explain the weird guy with the Bible, the mysterious hole in the wall that appears to breath, or the deal with the shoes.

In conclusion it is a slow movie with a few scary parts, it leaves the viewer unsatisfied and filled with questions.  The acting was mediocre.  This critic gives it 2 stars.

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