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Is ‘The Occupant’ Based on a True Story?

March 25, 2020
3 min read

Many psychological thrillers feed on the universal fear of home invasion. At first, ‘The Occupant‘ may not seem like most other movies of the “home invasion” sub-genre, but it eventually does tread that path while bringing in some twists and turns of its own. The film unfolds itself from the perspective of a man named Javier who was once a very successful advertising agent. But after an unknown event, he ends up losing his job and forced to downsize his luxurious lifestyle.

With his wife’s support, he is able to leave his old home behind but mentally, he still finds it hard to accept the reality of the situation. Determined to get his old life back at any given cost, he decides to sabotage the lives of the new occupants who live in his old home. Given the film’s representation of a psychopath, one can’t help but wonder if it is based on a true story. Well, if the film’s portrayal of its main character got you thinking the same, here’s everything you need to know.

Is The Occupant Based on a True Story?

As you might have already figured out, ‘The Occupant’ is not based on a true story. Its main character, Javier, has not been inspired by any real-life psychopaths, but there are many aspects to his personality that very well make him a convincing psychopath. And this itself plays a key role in adding a layer of realism to the film’s storyline. The entire film is presented from the perspective of the main character who subtly begins to lose track of his own morals as a human being and then embarks on a dark path just to fulfill his own sense of gratification.

Just like a typical psychopath, he masterfully manipulates the people around him, shows a lack of empathy or any kind of feelings in that matter, refuses to be responsible for any of his previous actions, and also seems to have a superficial charm that fools everyone who crosses his path. He first uses this charm on his wife to make her believe that he’s just an innocent, hard-working man who’s willing to do anything for his family. He then targets Tomas and befriends him by making him empathize with him.

And then finally, he uses his charm to make Tomas’ wife fall for him. Throughout the runtime of the movie, without showing any feelings remorse he just relentlessly destroys the people who try to come in his way. Some twists and turns in the movie are a little over-the-top, especially the scene in which Javier kills the gardener after he blackmails him. But the other credible situations of the movie make up for these. Apart from the obvious themes of the movies which revolve around envy and the study of the inner workings of a psychopath, other minor sub-plots of the movie revolve around family dynamics and how one’s addiction to alcohol can have major consequences.

Tomas was once an alcoholic and after drinking and driving, he also almost killed his family in the past. Even after he completely gives up on alcohol, Javier uses his old addiction to haunt him again and uses it to completely shatter his relationship with his family. In conclusion, ‘The Occupant’ is not based on a true story but it still manages to evoke a sense of realism through its somewhat accurate depiction of a psychopath. The performance of the lead actor, Javier Gutiérrez, adds more heft to this as he makes you believe that he’s an actual psychopath. 

Read More: The Occupant Ending, Explained

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