Occupants Takes Science Fiction Theory into Found Footage Perspective
Occupants Film Details
Director: Russ Emanuel
Writer: Julia Camara
Release Date: 2017
Release Format: VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 1h 21min
A documentarian named Annie has roped her husband into a project that involves setting up cameras throughout their house. Complications arise when the cameras start showing that same couple in an alternate universe.
Emanuel’s film supports a curious viewpoint, an interpretation of parallel universes. This is not entertainment based on a wild invention. The parallel Universe /multi-verses is a theory much communicated about in the scientific community. While grounded in science it didn’t take long before YouTube became inundated with videos on the subject. These clips centered on the topic of The Mandela Effect, an urban legend spinoff from the multiverse theory.
In Occupants, the set-up to introduce the multiverse theory seems far fetched, comical rather. The average persons that stumble across their parallel selves could have had a better introduction. Yet, the perspective given does shed a new perspective on dieting.
The narrative to Occupants becomes its strong point and audiences can draw conclusions against the film’s social commentary. In my viewpoint, I feel Occupants touched on society’s deep-rooted addiction to the inter-webs. Take a stroll outside and see how the public is engaged in their mobile devices with mindlessness.
The narrative allows the capacity for a broadened franchise. Occupants has a strong area for sub plots, spin-offs and/or a sequel. The fact that the narrative appears not tied to one particular situation is a genius formula.
Found footage is an oversaturated category. In recent years there were a few that propelled the envelope on visual narrative. Yet, this movement was incited by Ilya Naishuller’s 2015 release. The use of Call of Duty camera aesthetics worked great for the film once yet and a deluge of fly-by-night filmmakers imitated the technique. Audiences will not meet this technique with Occupants.
Emanuel opts to use a stable camera to develop his tale. That’s correct, multiple cameras are set into fixed positions to mimic security footage. Public opinions divide toward this approach. I don’t favor shaky, vertigo inducing movement seen in found footage films. Am certain many Horror enthusiasts share the same sentiment. Yet, I don’t favor watching actions unfold through a fixed camera either. This idea poses limitations to Emanuel’s film. For example, tension, and atmosphere are absent. Emmanuel aimed instead for a sense of voyeurism.
The performances were satisfactory yet more was needed from the main actors to communicate realism. While lines and actions were on target, emotional content missed the mark. Evidence of this issue is discovered throughout the running time of the film. It would have enjoyed if Briana White and Michael Pugliese offered some on-screen relationship. The duo connected well in their altered forms but neglected to transmit a complementary accord in their purported real life construct.
The CGI effects were unrefined yet that should be foreseen with the monetary constraints to this or any small, independent production.
4. In Conclusion:
Occupants mature as to a steady flare. This type of developmental technique may or may not reverberate with audiences. All found footage films adhere to an ideal arrangement and Occupants is no different in this respect. The narrative is interesting with actress Briana White and actor Michael Pugliese making admirable work in parallel roles.
Although White and Pugliese did not favor well in one act their alter egos were much better combined. Robert Picardo‘s input is limited. Still, his presence is a welcome bonus to the science fiction theme presented. I would have favored seeing Picardo’s engagement in the narrative to be involved. As it remains, Picardo was constrained to web chat sequences. To jest, these scenes have Picardo as a multiverse modern version of Max Headroom.
Occupants serve as a worthwhile viewing for found footage aficionados and/or markets that favor narratives with slow developing arcs.
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