The Inhabitants Movie Review
Written by Jersey John
Written and directed by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen
2015, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Released on October 13th, 2015
Elise Couture as Jessica
Michael Reed as Dan
India Pearl as Lydia
Haunted house movies are nothing new to the horror genre. From classics such as The Haunting and The Shining to more modern takes like The Conjuring and 1408, different angles have been approached to guarantee a wide variety for fans to choose from. What is it about this sub-genre that draws so many people? For me, haunted places are the perfect focal point to draw in a wide array of characters and work a vast number of scenarios that talented filmmakers and actors can make their own. With such clean slates to build an idea around (it's just a damn house) some directors and writers thrive while others struggle to form a cohesive plot and fit in scares at the same time. Michael and Shawn Rasmussen's The Inhabitants falls somewhere in the middle.
Recently newlywed couple Jessica and Dan have finally accomplished one of their dreams of owning their very own bed and breakfast in the New England countryside. What the couple doesn't know is that this once historic inn holds a dark secret that will consume one of them to the point of no return.
The Inhabitants is nothing new when it comes to ghosts possessing people in the house they're residing in. Usually affecting a person or people who happen to be so happy you want to punch them in the face, the ghost or ghosts then turn one of them into their hellish minion. It unfortunately follows this cookie cutter plot, step by step. With a very minimal cast, the lack of variety backs the plot into a corner and not much really happens in the second half of the film. Don't get me wrong, the acting is well above par and the cinematography is captivating. When it comes to haunted house movies, however, story is the backbone. Once the twist (if you can even call it that) is presented, everything from then on falls flat and I was left trudging through until the credits started rolling.
The Inhabitants has a lot of heart and good intentions for an independent horror film. The acting is on point and there isn't anything that makes the film look like it wasn't cared for by the directors. Unfortunately, the story just doesn't stand well on its own and the dialogue and plot progression suffer because of this. Who knows if adding a few more cast members would have saved The Inhabitants, but it surely may have broken up some of the monotony that weighs heavy on just the two main roles. I haven't written off the Rasmussen brothers just yet, but hopefully their next work will varying writers. Until then, I'll be sticking with Poltergeist and similar films for my fill.
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