THE OCCUPANT (2020) Reviews, title change and release news

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‘Evil has been awakened’
The Occupant is a 2020 American horror film about a family squabbling over inheritance in an allegedly haunted home. Formerly known as The Whooper Returns

Written, co-produced, directed and edited by Samuel Krebs (Milk Mustache). Also produced by Heidi Scheuermann and Michael X. Schmitt.

The Patio production stars Rik Billock, Megan Bolton, David Flick, Andrew Ashbrook Freed, Dylan Grunn, Nathan Hollabaugh and Owen Miller.

Following the death of their mother, four estranged siblings find themselves fighting for their inheritance and for their lives when an eccentric stranger arrives, claiming their famous haunted childhood home was left to her…


The Occupant will be released by Devilworks on Digital platforms on March 29th 2022.

“I’m not sure the entirety of the plot made sense to me. Or perhaps the film was too dark (like, literally devoid of light) for me to understand everything that was happening. Can they remake this film with some better lighting and maybe a little tighter script? The film is really close to being something really good.” Adam Hursey

“Under the lo-fi ’70s throwback haunting vibe, it’s really a portrait of dysfunction, one that deepens the more time you spend with the family. At the same time, it’s a mournful look at how urban myths, and “based on a true story” stories, can dehumanize people, and the toxicity of possessive fandoms.” The Austin Chronicle

“The dialogue is pretty good for the most part, but a lot of it falls under exposition and can be kind of plodding. As well, the acting is decent but it doesn’t feel all that different from the in-movie acting and dialogue […] Still, The Whooper Returns has a brilliant concept and some good scares and thrills…” iHorror

“Not without some technical issues, as is typically the case for low-budget filmmaking, but nothing that can’t be overlooked, The Whooper Returns has a lot to say about horror, fandom and how the two interact and as such is well worth your time.” Nerdly

“What really makes The Whooper Returns click is the snappy and mostly believable dialogue. It’s well written and has a penchant for exquisite comedic timing and delivery by ever last cast member […] With so many great qualities, it’s a real shame that the large majority of the scenes in the house are lit so poorly and rely on natural light.” The Scariest Things

“Much of the film is very dark, to the point that in some scenes it’s hard to figure out what’s happening. It looks like it was shot with existing natural light, something that rarely works well, especially in a horror film. And while I was OK with it, the shift in tone between the film’s acts is noticeable and may throw some viewers off […] Despite that, The Occupant is an engaging and frequently surprising little film.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:
Rik Billock … Franky Schepp
Megan Bolton … Cathy Shingle
David Flick … Theo Schepp
Andrew Ashbrook Freed … Clint
Dylan Grunn … Frank Schepp Sr
Nathan Hollabaugh … Peter Schepp
Owen Miller … Vincent Schepp
Caroline Nicolian … Teri Schepp
Julia Best Warner … Dorothy Schepp

Filming locations:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical details:
1 hour 24 minutes

The Occupant trailer:


Teaser trailer:


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