Friday 4 August 2023

Horror Film Review: The Inhabitant (2022) ★★★★★

On August 4th, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were found dead in their home, brutally slaughtered with an axe. The main suspect was Lizzie Borden, Andrew's own daughter. One hundred and thirty one years later, I decided to watch The Inhabitant on exactly the same day.

They say that violence runs through the Borden family bloodline and that descendants of the Borden family continue to live in Fall River, Massachusetts, unaware of their dark lineage. Tara (Odessa A'zion, Hellraiser) is one such descendant. The teen field hockey player begins to experience disturbing nightmares and visions, convincing her that she is going to kill her family.

When people start disappearing in Fall River, including both Tara's main field hockey rival and a woman Tara babysits for, local police begin to zone in on one suspect.

Can Tara escape the Borden family curse?

With themes of mental illness, family legacy, and inescapable fate, The Inhabitant is the story of Tara's journey to the edge of darkness.

Directed by Jerren Lauder (Stay Out of the F**king Attic and written by Kevin Bacher (Jaws: The Inside Story), The Inhabitant is an unexpected teen scream triumph.

Odessa A'zion is mesmerising in her role as Tara. She commands her every scene and I liked that the viewer only gets to know as much as Tara knows. Dermot Mulroney and Leslie Bibb star as Tara's parents Ben and Emily and Lizze Broadway is Tara's best friend Suzy. Together they lead us down the garden path, deceiving the viewer as each in turn gaslights, manipulates and lies to the others.

It's not often that a horror film manages to mislead me to such an extent but The Inhabitant absolutely did and I was thrilled to get to the end and realise I'd been completely and effectively conned.

The Inhabitant is visually lush with great production design by Meg Cabell, cinematography by Brian Sowell and custome design by Summer Moore. There is a great use of light and shadow, giving the impression that scenes occur both in 1892 and present day simultaneously.

There is no time, only darkness, evil and mental decline

There is a feeling of disquiet as the film progresses and the viewer struggles to pinpoint what type of horror this is. Supernatural, psychological, slasher? This serves to make the film genuinely scary as you're never sure what to expect.

I give The Inhabitant an excellent five out of five stars. Highly recommended if you like unpredictable, and misleading independent horror. I enjoyed Jerren Lauder's direction / misdirection and very much enjoyed the ending.

The Inhabitant is coming to digital download from 14th August and can be pre-ordered on Apple Store here.

The Inhabitant (2022), dir. Jerren Lauder


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