‘Intruders’ Movie Review
Two children living two very different lives with seemingly no connection other than their vivid imaginations are being stalked by a faceless entity. As far as concepts go, this would seem to be classic horror movie fare. But to call Intruders a horror movie implies a level of gore and violence from which the Spanish filmmakers wisely steered clear. No, this is not a horror movie. This is a thriller. Because what truly terrifies us is not always what we see in front of us, but what might be lurking in the dark, waiting for us.
Clive Owen plays John Farrow, a typical bloke with a beautiful wife, a daughter just approaching her teen years and a nice mortgage on a house in the suburbs of London. His life starts to unravel, though, when his daughter begins to get terrifying visits from an unknown intruder. Meanwhile, in Spain, a young boy’s sleep is continually interrupted by similar visits. Both children’s lives are in danger, but their parents seem unable to do anything about the intruder.
To say anything more would give away the wonderful twists in this deeply psychological thriller. Suffice it to say that if you are able to make it through an arguably slow build-up, the final pay-off is quite worth the wait. I measure all plot twists against The Sixth Sense and I would have to say that this movie gets about two-thirds of the way to that level of surprise. Some people might see it coming; others will be caught off guard.
Switching back and forth between two stories could have made the film an unwatchable mess, but director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo interspersed the duel plots almost seamlessly. There was never a moment when I was confused as to where I was in either story, and it wasn’t just because half of the film is in Spanish. The threat in both worlds is the same, but the level of tension builds at two completely different paces, thanks to the excellent efforts of the international cast.
If you walk into Intruders expecting blood and guts, you will be disappointed. This is not a hack and slash film. In fact, if not for one scene of female nudity, the movie might have squeaked by with a PG-13 rating. I have my suspicions that the scene in question, which seemed totally out of place and almost unnecessary, might actually have been thrown in simply to ensure an R rating. PG-13 “horror” films don’t tend to do that well.
I would recommend Intruders if you like a film that makes you jump and makes you think at the same time.
Intruders hits limited theaters today, March 30th. You can watch the trailer here.