Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Review: "The Occupant" is an odd mixture of familiar cliches

The Occupant Review
Take Oscar winner "Parasite" mix with "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle." What do you get? "The Occupant" and sorry to say, it's not nearly as cool as it sounds.

Javier Gutierrez plays Javier Munoz, a marketer who has it all. On one bad day, he loses everything. He loses his position, his son needs to suddenly move from private school to public school. They move out of their luxurious house and the lavish lifestyle that his family became accustomed to vanished without a trace. We are then treated to montage after montage of Javier's failed job interviews and really its one shit-storm after another. Instead of persisting with his job hunt, Javier decides to get back to the top at a different angle.

He stalks a guy going to an AA meeting, a poor soul named Tomas (Mario Casas) and he strikes a friendship with the guy. Javier slowly begins to become Tomas' good friend and family friend to Tomas' wife and daughter. The friendlier Javier gets with Tomas, the more deranged he becomes which leads to a weirder and weirder movie.

If given a great screenplay, fair and balanced development of characters and a nice allowance of twists and turns, the idea of somebody just inviting themselves into someone else's family can be a good idea for a movie. We've seen good examples of this before. You have to be careful though, because they walk that fine line between serious and stupid. "The Occupant" rears too far into stupid territory. It gets way too wacky and way too unrealistic near the end. It also just begins dragging at a snails pace. I think all the actors commit to their characters, this just certainly isn't a thriller that is worth a darn. In fact, had the actors hammed it up a little bit, it probably would have been stronger. But that's not the movie that was made.

I have been a pretty big advocate for international cinema. I love seeing movies from around the world. I applaud Netflix for making international films available on their service. But if you are not into reading subtitles, then this movie will look even less appealing.


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