I love reviewing foreign horror films. I always feel like I’m watching an international sports event like soccer. It’s interesting to see how foreign film-makers create movies, and the differences and comparisons that can be made between technique and story-telling styles. The Inhabitant, from writer/director Guillermo Amoedo, is the latest international horror film that I had a chance to see. From Mexico, to Canada at Toronto After Dark, to my computer screen in New Jersey, this one’s making the rounds and it won’t be long before you have the chance to see it, too. The film follows three sisters who break into another family’s mansion, only to discover that the family is far from helpless and they’re hiding a sick, disturbing, and sinister secret in the basement. Maria Evoli, Vanessa Restrepo, Natasha Cubria, Flavio Medina, Gabriela de la Garza, Carla Adell and Fernando Becerril star star in The Inhabitant. Once you’ve entered, it’s already too late!
I wouldn’t consider The Inhabitant to be a home invasion thriller. The sisters aren’t so malicious, just down on their luck, and this film definitely falls into the supernatural horror genre. I didn’t want to spoil what’s hiding in the basement, but the poster and trailer gives it away. Hello demonic possession and exorcism. Because The Inhabitant relies on these two story-lines, it gives strong doses of action, drama, and thrills before hitting you over the head with horror. Writer/director Guillermo Amoedo brought a terrifying vision to life with producers Rodrigo Bello, Victor Hugo Pujol Lopez, Jacobo Nazar and Rodrigo Trujillo. The story, the performances, and the production quality make this film a standout in its market while also breathing life into a subgenre that was becoming complacent and predictable. Following my viewing, I can confirm that this movie forges its own path and took several surprising turns that caught me off guard and brought something new to the world of evil entities entering your body.
Time and time again, foreign film-makers prove that Hollywood isn’t the go-to location for movie production. The Inhabitant looks great on screen thanks to cinematographer Erwin Jaquez and was pieced together with precision thanks to editor Diego Macho Gomez. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though. Sometimes certain scenes didn’t reach their full potential, resulting in parts that came off as comical instead of serious. This can be seen with a scene involving a character throwing up blood. I found it quite funny in a film with such dark material due to its execution during principal photography. But hey, if you can get through a few failed attempts and having to read subtitles, The Inhabitant is pretty great. I’m glad that it’s seeing different releases around the world, and I encourage you to check this one out if you like foreign horror or a twisted exorcism movie. The cross might be upside down, but this movie gets two thumbs up! Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.