THE OCCUPANTS (2014) Reviews and overview

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‘The dead will have their revenge’

The Occupants is a 2014 American horror film directed by Todd Alcott (writer of Thir13en Ghosts) from a screenplay co-written with Holly Golden. The movie stars Cristin Milioti, Michael Rady and James Urbaniak.


Lucy (Cristin Milioti) has a new husband, a new home and a new baby, but old ghosts won’t let her be. She has dedicated her life to helping families break the cycle of abuse, so when she and her husband, Wade (Michael Rady), see the echoes of a violent family tragedy in their home, Lucy tries to help the tortured souls break free of their torment and move on. She finds, however, that these ghosts don’t want her help – they want to lead Lucy and her family to their doom…


The Occupants is a movie hampered by filmmaking decisions that knock over every building block it tries putting in place.  Part psychological thriller and part cold case murder mystery, the temperature is only lukewarm enough for a cable television movie and never anything more.  Its story of a rattled young mother losing her sanity while coping with ghostly apparitions is ok, albeit nothing inventive.” Culture Crypt

” …there are a few gratifying moments. In fact, I’ll issue applause for the final twist. It doesn’t fall into place as comfortably as writers Todd Alcott and Holly Golden had likely hoped for, but there’s enough of a surprise in store to salvage some slice of the film. The Occupants is worth a single look.” Horrorfreak News

” …the film is so loaded with clichés and questionable activities by the characters, that the audience will likely do more groaning than the ghosts, which is a shame because this film does have a very important message. As cumbersome as the mystery gets, the concept of abuse is still there, and that issue is one that is fascinating to explore in a horror film.” Influx magazine

“While the film does fine trying to find its own little step into the horror/thriller realm it is soon blown away when the spirit father shows up looking a lot like Jack Nicholson’s character from The Shining, Jack Torrance. Thus eroding any memory of what The Occupants was aiming to do and leaves you cold to what this could have been.” Horrorscreams Videovault

Image: Culture Crypt

“Guess you can say it’s more of a thriller but it’s still one that follows most of the familiar horror tropes. The movie even features some, not so very subtle, The Shining references in it, which is all too obvious, too distracting and totally ineffective. It’s actually pretty offensive that a movie of this caliber dares to reference a classic genre movie such as The Shining.Boba-Fett1138

” …once the initial jump scare is done with and the situation is established, The Occupants swiftly loses momentum and spends much of the running time appearing to go round in circles. It’s a short film too, barely exceeding seventy minutes less credits, and though thanks to a fine lead performance by Cristin Milioti it’s always compelling…” The Schlock Pit

Main cast:

  • Kristen Ariza … Clare
  • Ashanti Brown … Young Mother
  • Macey Cruthird … Ruth
  • Marypat Farrell … Mara (as Mary Pat Farrell)
  • Gail Golden … Janice
  • Toby Huss … Father
  • Arianna Jaffier … Girl
  • Katherine Kamhi … Mother
  • Callum Kelleher … Jack
  • Elizabeth Krasick … Friend of Ruth
  • Cristin Milioti … Lucy
  • Natalie Neurauter … Ruth’s Friend
  • Michael Rady … Wade
  • Gena Shaw … Kate
  • Cordelia Sonnenschein … Younger Girl


In the UK, The Occupants was released on DVD by High Fliers Films on 9 October 2017.

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Film Facts:

  • The film’s working title was Blood Relative.
  • It should not be confused with the 2015 film Occupants, directed by Russ Emanuel.

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