Occupants, Found Footage Film With Solid Sci-Fi Theme


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  

Genre:  HorrorSci-FiThriller 

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.


1. Overview:

DecayMag.com Russ Emanuel Occupants
Briana White and Michael Pugliese in Occupants

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.

2. Pros:

DecayMag.com Russ Emanuel Occupants
Briana White in Occupants

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.

3. Cons:

DecayMag.com Russ Emanuel Occupants

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.

DecayMag.com Russ Emanuel Occupants
Michael Pugliese in Occupants

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:

DecayMag.com Russ Emanuel Occupants
Briana White in Occupants

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.

Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive

DecayMag.com Russ Emanuel Occupants
Robert Picardo in Occupants
70 %
70 %
Originality / Redefining
80 %
80 %
Practical Effects
5 %
Scare Factor
5 %
5 %
Special Effects
10 %
Viewing Experience
70 %
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Ken Artuz is Co-Owner of Meca Ex Studios LLC. Artuz is a New York City Based Photographer with proficiency in Photoshop. His digital artwork was featured in exhibitions SOHO, NYC, twice. Artuz is a graduate of The Institute of Audio Research where he earned his degree in Audio Engineering and Record Production. He also earned certification in Television Production and Field Recording at Lehman College. For Horror Artuz Favors French Extremism and Indie productions. He is a novelist, and screenwriter listens to EBM, Industrial & Witch house and is an avid MMA sports fan. Ken Artuz will create a media empire built on the DecayMag Brand.



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