When newly married couple Dan and Jessica moved into the neglected March Carriage Bed & Breakfast Inn in New England, they believe that this will be the start of their dreams. They have plans to renovate and restore the historic inn to its former glory but it is not long before strange things start happening.
When Dan goes away, Jessica begins to feel increasingly uneasy. Who are the strange neighbours who seem to be watching her and what is lurking in the walls of the old house? Their problems only escalate when Dan returns and begins to discover the dark deeds of the inn’s former owners and the terrible events that occurred during the Salem witch trials. Can the couple uncover the inn’s secrets before the deadly inhabitants consume everything they love?
The Inhabitants is written and directed by brothers Michael and Shawn Rasmussen who previously worked on Dark Feed and John Carpenter's The Ward. The film was inspired by some of the obscure classics they watched growing up, haunting films from the 1970's like The Changeling, The Haunting of Julia, Burnt Offerings, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death and Don’t Look Now. Part melodrama, part creepy ghost story, the Rasmussen Brothers wanted to capture those atmospheric tones in a modern day film.
One of the most striking aspects of The Inhabitants is the exterior cinematography and the wintery New England setting. The Inhabitants was filmed on location inside the historic Noyes-Parris House, owned by the infamous Reverend Samuel Parris who was a central figure in the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this is one very creepy location for a film.
Elise Couture and Michael Reed are fantastic in their roles as Jessica and Dan. There was chemistry between the pair and they had an easy-going, believable dynamic. Jessica undergoes a dramatic transformation in the film and it was interesting to watch her go from animated and outgoing to reserved and, quite frankly, terrified.
Elise Couture worked with the Rasmussen brothers on Dark Feed and I do hope we get to see more of this talented young actress in future.
The Inhabitants is the type of film that prompts the viewer to seek answers to some pretty deep questions. “What? No! Why are you going into that secret passage, on your own, in the dark?” is one such question I found myself pondering, followed by “Don’t freaking hide under the bed! Why are you hiding under the bed?” and “Why is that light flickering on and off like that?”
Of course, there wasn’t always time for such questions. The Inhabitants made me scream out loud, twice, causing a certain non-horror fan to come crashing up the stairs to ensure I wasn’t being murdered. Well, I wasn’t of course, but as for the people on screen…
Creepy, atmospheric and full of scares, The Inhabitants is an excellent addition to the Horror Film season and a remarkable achievement considering the Rasmussen Brothers shot it on a shoestring budget with a handful of friends.
My only complaint about the film was that the history of the 'inhabitants’, while explained, was done so rather clinically. I would have liked to explore the psychology behind the events in more detail and connect on an emotional and cognitive level.
Despite that one reservation, I give The Inhabitants an excellent four out of five stars and would recommend to horror fans and people who enjoy having the crap scared out of them.
Released by Gravitas Ventures, The Inhabitants is available on multiple VOD platforms from 13 October 2015, including iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox LIVE, Sony Playstation, various cable providers, and more.