Double Trouble and True Terror Await Audiences in “Occupants”

Both financing and filming of features can be both delightful and daunting. It is important to select topics that both tease and truly engage movie enthusiasts. Director Russ Emanuel does develop an enticing and exciting thriller that seems only a minor few minutes in length. Occupants is the jolting journey of two couples who are similar, yet strangely different. It is an eclectic experiment into the mind, leading to our lead characters questioning their morals and mortality.

Occupants centers around the relationship between Annie and her husband Neil, who forsake their privacy and priorities for a time to participate in a documentary. Both are quite unaware that this will lead to a somewhat deadly discovery that will shake their souls. The couple shall find themselves, in some situations, being held hostage by the eyes and ears of hidden humans. This is a superb salmagundi of panic, passion and painstaking scenarios placed on a small screen.

It takes a super-size cast of characters to produce a powerful project, and Occupants beheld some remarkable beings.  Duality is not something easily displayed on or off camera, yet Briana White and Michael Pugliese manage to make it work well for them and their relegated roles. White is striking, yet subtle, in her delivery of an on-screen timid female who slowly but surely envelopes into a bitter and betrayed wife. Her acting is enjoyable to encounter, as she parallels that of many a method actor who place emotion and energy both to a fictional figure. Pugliese is engaging as well, as he is supportive and sweet, while withholding a calculated and classless interior intent. His presence brings a sense of intrigue and imagination to the character, making the viewer want to either hug or handcuff him. Nice added touch by bringing in veteran actor Robert Picardo to portray a psychiatrist, as he is old school science fiction and new age amazing in every camera shot.

To conclude, Occupants is a strong splash of science fiction that is well written and will win many an award. It combines a clever and consummate cast with plenty of plot twists and turns. It will make you wonder who is watching you behind the walls at home!

Occupants was nominated for both Best Cinematography and Best Female Actor in a Short or Feature Film at the 2017 Art is Alive Film Festival. To follow the cast and their forthcoming films, visit their website at