Directed by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen
Ah, the dream of owning your own bed and breakfast. If you’re a people person who doesn’t want to work for “the man”, such an opportunity might be right up your alley. However, you may want to do some research into the history of the house, or it might cost you your life and/or sanity. Such is the case for Jessica and Dan, the main characters in today’s movie I’m reviewing, The Inhabitants. Special thanks go out to Shawn and Michael Rasmussen for giving me the opportunity to watch and review their latest directorial effort. Shall we begin?
As I previously mentioned, Jessica and her husband Dan have taken over the March Carriage B&B, which is a dream come true for Jessica. Things are wonderful at first, until the night that the couple are awoken by the previous owner of the B&B, Rose Stanton, who felt the need to sit in the rocking chair next to their bed. However, it turns out that Rose is the least of their worries, as we soon learn that Dan and Jessica aren’t the only inhabitants of the b&b (see what I did there?) As the spiritual force soon attaches itself to Jessica, Dan must figure out what is happening and what can be done before it’s too late.
It’s not an easy task making a haunted house/ghost story these days, as there isn’t a whole lot that hasn’t already been done. And not having a large budget can hinder a director’s vision as well at times. The Rasmussen brothers have done considerably well in this regard, however. There is a simplicity in the making of The Inhabitants that, in my humble opinion, has actually elevated this movie above many others in the same vein. The minimalistic makeup effects were very appealing to me, and there was very little blood; which for this movie was completely fine, as I saw no benefit or even any real place for excessive blood or gore. While the movie isn’t completely cliche free, there are some major cliches that aren’t present: the foreign housekeeper who just knows the house is evil, and the asshole male skeptic who refuses to believe something supernatural is happening until late in the movie, are two examples that weren’t used here. So kudos for that.
Add to all that the great performances from Elise Couture Stone and Michael Reed, as well as Judith Chaffee, who played the very creepy Rose Stanton. Elise and Michael played off each other very well; at least, while times in the b&b were happy. Afterwards the tension between them was ramped up to the ceiling.
One of the aspects I noticed the most was the lighting in the movie. Dark scenes were for the most part lit just enough (either by flashlight or other sources) to let you see enough of what was happening, while using the shadows to give a somewhat oppressive feeling. Not to mention a few scenes where someone – or something – gradually appears into the shot from said shadows. It was reminiscent of one of my favorite shots from John Carpenter’s Halloween, where Michael Myers’ mask slowly came out of the shadows just before he attacked Laurie Strode near the end.
The location was very beautiful, and I like that they shot it late in the year to give the forest around the b&b the bleak, foreboding look. The house itself was very beautiful inside and out, and I learned that in real life it is The Noyes-Parris House. This house is noteworthy for being the home of Dorothy Noyes who, after marrying Reverend Samuel Parris, became a major name involved with the Salem Witch Trials. So I thought that was some pretty neat trivia there.
The Inhabitants might not appeal to everybody. Anyone who is short of patience might not be able to handle the slow pace throughout, and you’ll have to go elsewhere to get your gore fix. But if given the chance, The Inhabitants may just give your inner horror fan the satisfaction it’s looking for. It’s due for a VOD release on iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox LIVE, Sony Playstation, various cable providers, and more. So there is no excuse to not check it out. Now if you’ll excuse me, there is a fresh grave that’s in need of an occupant. Until next time, rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3.5 out of 5 tombstones.