The Inhabitants is a genuinely creepy horror film that’s infinitely much better than most genre films released on screens. Writer-directors Michael and Shawn Rasmussen have crafted a wonderful low budget fright-flick that really deserves to be seen. The Inhabitants follows the tried and tested formula of having a young couple (Elise Couture and Michael Reed) move into a new home only to discover that things go bump in the night.
The Inhabitants uses its New England locations to its advantage and the murky setting drenches the movie in moody atmosphere. The real-life house used in the film is one of the oldest in the area and its steeped in a history that takes in the Salem witch trails. This seeps into the film’s aesthetic and helps add an additional layer to the eerie chills that the Ramussen’s have built into their film.
The Ramussen brothers broke onto the horror scene with their screenplay for John Carpenter’s The Ward. They went on to direct Dark Feed and The Inhabitants shows another move forward in their progression through the genre. They clearly know what works in a horror film and they can mix and match elements to make them suit the fabric of the overall piece. The score by John Kusiak and P. Andrew Willis also adds to the slow burning tension. Horror films are rarely commended for their acting but Elise Couture and Michael Reed deliver strong work. Couture in particular has to do a lot of the heavy lifting, spending a lot of the film’s running time alone on screen.
The Inhabitants riffs on a lot of classic horror movies (The Changeling is a particular touchstone) but it works as its own film. The film is heavy on atmosphere and it will give you the chills. I watch a lot of horror movies – and it creeped the hell out of me.