Javier Gutierrez (Marshland) leads this Spanish thriller as Javier Munoz, an out-of-work advertising executive who can't even rely on the old boys' network to get a job.

Emasculated by his unemployment, Javier reaches breaking point when he is forced, along with his wife and teenage son, to give up his prized apartment in the nice part of town. Javier can't let go of his former abode and begins observing the new occupants, a young well-to-do couple with a small child.

Things take a turn when he begins secretly entering the apartment with a spare set of keys, then escalate further when he ingratiates himself into the young couple's world by joining the husband's AA meetings under false pretences.


The bones of the story, and its emphasis on downward mobility and material - especially architectural - wealth, initially can't help but recall Best Picture winner Parasite, but this ultimately feels more in line with the Yuppies In Peril lifestyle thrillers of the 1990s.

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A great job is done of setting up Javier's perspective, shaped to a worrying degree by the idealised conceptions of family life portrayed in the advertisements he worked on. But as he ventures further into stalker territory, he loses the audience. The plot maintains interest, although it's rarely a good sign when a deadly peanut allergy is relied upon for major developments.

The film comes from talented Spanish writer/director brothers Alex and David Pastor, whose previous directorial effort, 2013's The Last Days, concerned a global epidemic that makes people afraid to go outside. Imagine that.

The crummy dubbed version of The Occupant appears to be the default Netflix mode – so do yourself a favour and switch it to the original Spanish-language audio with English subtitles.

Cast:

Javier Gutierrez, Mario Casas,

Director:

David Pastor and Alex Pastor

Running time:

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1 43

Rating:

R 13

Streaming on:

Netflix

Verdict:

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A captivating (enough) jaunt into classic Yuppies In Peril territory via Spain.