Intruders (2011)

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A spooky drama from director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo with an international cast, Intruders is a creepy drama that contains a lot of potential it, sadly, never lives up to. It’s certainly not an unwatchable movie but I was really hoping for something more from the director and cast.

A mother (Pilar Lopez de Ayala) and her son (Izan Corchero) find themselves understandably disturbed after their home is invaded by a dangerous presence, an entity with no face that tries to snatch away the young boy. Sadly, nobody can help the mother and son. A kindly priest (Daniel Bruhl) tries to come up with some solution but the evidence suggests that the entity may have been nothing more than the result of troubled minds.
Running alongside this storyline, we have another family in trouble. John Farrow (Clive Owen) is angered and afraid when his daughter (Ella Purnell) convinces him that she’s seeing something in their home, something called Hollow Face – an entity with no face that may want to snatch her away.

The most frustrating thing about Intruders is just what a great waste of talent it is. The last time I watched Clive Owen was in the superb Trust so I was hoping that we’d see more good work from him after that great performance. That’s not the case. He’s not terrible here but it’s a big step down from his better performances. The same goes for Daniel Bruhl and Kerry Fox, who are both at least saved by limited screentime. Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Izan Corchero, Ella Purnell and Carice Van Houten all do quite well but you can’t shake the feeling that they would have the potential to REALLY impress you if working with better material.

Fresnadillo makes many moments work with his style and image composition but the script, by Nicolas Casariego and Jaime Marques, always rears its head once again to stop things from improving so much. The writers probably thought that they were being intelligent and interesting and mature with their ideas but it turns out that most of what they have thrown into the pot is either tired (having been done elsewhere, on numerous occasions) and/or just quite random and illogical, to put it mildly. I’ll be very surprised if people don’t watch this movie and feel cheated at one time or another, which is never a good thing for a movie to do.

It’s not a complete waste of time. Intruders has a few excellent moments here and there, I admit that one of the central ideas is interesting (if unoriginal) and the first half was full of promise before everything started heading downwards to a very disappointing, and sadly quite boring, finale. Maybe not one to blind buy but don’t rule our giving it a viewing if it’s not going to cost you anything. Just don’t expect too much from it.

Intruders comes to Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 21st May here in the UK. The discs feature half a dozen deleted scenes, a few lightweight featurettes that run for a couple of minutes each and a lengthier “making of…” that’s, sadly, in line with everything else on the disc – little actual information but plenty of praise given by those involved to everyone else involved. A disappointing selection to accompany a disappointing movie.

DIRECTOR: JUAN CARLOS FRESNADILLO
WRITER: NICOLAS CASARIEGO, JAIME MARQUES
STARS: CLIVE OWEN, ELLA PURNELL, PILAR LOPEZ DE AYALA, IZAN CORCHERO, DANIEL BRUHL, CARICE VAN HOUTEN, KERRY FOX, MARK WINGETT
RUNTIME: 95 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: USA/UK/SPAIN

Film Rating: ★★½☆☆
DISC Rating: ★★½☆☆

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