Starring Elise Couture Stone, Michael Reed, India Pearl, Edmund Donovan, Erica Derrickson
Written and directed by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen
Why do we horror fans keep going back to the haunted house movies? We’re no different from the fictional characters who keep going down into the dark and dank basement, even when they know they shouldn’t. The lure of knowing yet not knowing what’s down there is as scary as it is compelling.
There are all kinds of different haunted dwellings. Some of them are shiny, modern and new, and others are more obvious: like the one in The Inhabitants, which is actually one of the oldest houses in New England and was home to the Salem Witch Trial children. The Noyes-Parris House (c. 1669) was owned by the Reverend Samuel Parris, who was the father of Betty Parris and uncle to Abigail Williams, the two girls who made the initial accusations that led to the infamously bloody and brutal witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts. To say the setting is atmospheric is to say the least.
In the story, written and directed by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen (who are known for writing John Carpenter’s The Ward, which was released in 2010), a young couple gets more than they expect when they buy an historic bed and breakfast to renovate and turn into a money-making showplace. That’s the idea, anyway, before they discover that the ancient abode is hiding a deep, sinister secret within the patina of its walls… and, of course, down in the basement.
Jessica (Elise Couture) is the first to fall prey to the evil and angry spirits. At first her husband, Dan (Michael Reed), has no idea what’s going on – Jessica just seems to be not feeling well (even though she’s practically catatonic and dead-eyed), but eventually dimwitted Dan decides to wander into the basement where he, too, finds unexpected inhabitants. It’s a veritable CNN down there, with tons of TV monitors showing live feeds in every room. Plus there’s recorded footage of previous bad goings-on, which lead the hapless hubby to think maybe his wife is possessed by more than just a flu bug.
The Inhabitants is beautifully shot, and the music and sound are both crisp, clear and captivating. The acting is a bit uneven (though the two leads are solid), and the story is standard issue. The pale-faced phantoms are not especially scary. It’s an okay movie; really nothing overtly wrong with it, but it’s predictable.
The Inhabitants is worth a look if you’re feeling cozy-lazy some late night and you’re in the mood for a slow and steady supernatural story.
Gravitas Ventures will release The Inhabitants digitally on October 13th, 2015. The film will air on multiple VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox LIVE, Sony Playstation, various cable providers, and more. The film is also currently available for pre-order on iTunes.