February 2, 2013 by CINEfaction Movie Review.
Intruders is an ambitious drama which masquerades as a simple low end horror movie. From the trailer we can discern that the film, with its vague supernatural villain, will continue the recent home invasion trend with cheap thrills and hazy mediocrity. Inturders actually aims much higher than this; ‘Intruders’ is a rare breed of movie as it hangs its entire runtime on the emotional, allegorical catharsis at the films end.
The film concerns two children from different parts of the world both experiencing the same harrowing nightmare concerning a faceless and merciless intruder. The films horror set pieces are effective enough although the initial scenes of ‘hollow face’ features some needless and ropey CGI. Tension is built well and it has a feel of a low rent Guillermo Del Torro movie which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problems come with the ambiguity and repetition of the intrusions, exposition is hinted at but never realised until the aforementioned sumptuous final reel. This lack of clarity will leave some audiences a little cold as sequences come and go with little or no sense or emotional credence given to them. The disparate locales are also confused until the reveal, the two separate stories trundle along with little or no attempt to link them other than obvious intruder element. It is fine to leave the audiences guessing and asking questions but this should not be to the detriment of the movie minute to minute. There is also needless use of voice overs and ‘story-telling’ peppered throughout which develop little and add even less, it does also manage to give the film an odd ambiance that seems off kilter to the rest of the films grounded aesthetics.
Clive Owen is typically likable in the patriarchal role. He looks oddly relaxed and comfortable as the doting father and equally strong and menacing with the advent of the intrusions. I am a fan of a lot of Owen’s work and he continues to pick out interesting if slightly flawed films and directors. Intruders wont be a landmark role for him but it wont do his cause any harm. Also, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is director of great promise his work on the excellent 28 Weeks Later showcased his eye for effective set pieces and actor interaction both of which he employs here to lesser effect. I must say also that the editing is tight and effective, by the end of the movie you never feel cheated by the exposition and this is surely testament to the tidy workmanship.
As previously stated the movie really hinges on the last 20 minutes or so and if you can stick it up to that point you’ll get a real kick out of the films ending. Therefore, the film is a mixed bag, its never entirely successful as a horror movie nor is it entirely successful as a drama of dread and regret. But it is pleasing to see a film and a director who is prepared to be bold with his storytelling and someone who isn’t afraid to make something a little offbeat and daring within an increasingly strict and lifeless genre.