Reprising his long string of father figure characters Oscar nominee Clive Owen (Closer)
dabbles in a very loose interpretation of a horror film. The director Juan Carlos
Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) whom I had the opportunity to interview said this is
more of a mystery thriller. Intruders is outside the American horror system and that’s
good news for audiences who want more than blood, guts, gore, and terrible acting.
Both Intruders and Cabin in the Woods premiered at the SXSW film festival however
while not as groundbreaking at Cabin in the Woods will be hailed; Intruders is the
more enjoyable and grounded film.
Mia Farrow (Ella Purnell) wakes her father John (Owen) up in the middle of the right
to talk about a bad dream. Like any father John attempts to console his teenage daughter,
but as the routine becomes repetitive they both discover someone in her room late
at night. New security systems are installed, the block out on high alert and Mia
now even more shaken fears the night time. Mia finds a dirty note hidden in the truck
of a tree on their property that encourages her to use the narrative for her own
story at school. When she is attacked again at home and no one is visible on the
security cameras the doctors and police turn their investigations on the father.
Intruders follows the path similar thriller like Sam Rami’s The Gift or even Drag
Me to Hell using psychological paranoia to further drive the script. Arguing whether
one observation will offer a better explanation to the plot of conclusion is useless.
The goal of a film like Intruders is to offer the audience visuals, reality, fantasy
and what a good director and screenplay will do is blend these together creating
discussion for those finding enough interest in the subject matter.
Owen’s performance is moderately interesting but this isn’t the type of character
with a lot of depth or screen time to really become three dimensional. Compared to
his recent work in The Boys are Back or Trust this is one of the weaker Owen roles.
The editing for Intruders is interesting, in retrospect non-linear but also uneven.
One of the best things I can say about this film is it’s divergence from the type
of “horror” movies we have become desensitized to in America. Intruders at its core
is more interested in telling a story than catering to jumps and scares.
Final Thought – The films realism manages to elevate it higher than another cheap
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody
Dr. Donna Copeland’s
Intruders follows two children as they experience weeks of nightmares about a hollow-faced
man who gets in through an open window. The boy Juan (Izan Corchero), about five
years old, lives in Spain with his mother, who brings in priests to help him master
The girl, Mia (Ella Purnell), is twelve, and is convinced the intruder is inside
the house. Her father (Clive Owen as John Farrow) battles the faceless man, and
he institutes elaborate security measures (the police, cameras, alarm systems) to
document the incidents. Mia becomes mute after a particularly terrifying night.
This is a later time and in the US, and Mia is sent to a psychiatrist.
Scenes with the intruder are indeed very scary, with the boy going outside between
buildings in the rain, hanging on ledges, being clutched by the intruder, seeing
his mother attacked; and Mia fighting him off and her father physically battling
with him and chasing him outdoors, the roof falling in, and so on. All the characters
are well cast and convincing in their roles. There is a possibly plausible psychological
resolution to the problem, and the two stories are linked together in a way that
Although this is not an outstanding film, it is probably one that many horror fans