Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Written by Nicolás Casariego & Jaime Marques
Starring: Clive Owen, Carice van Houten and Izán Corchero
Two children living in different countries are visited nightly by a faceless being who wants to take possession of them.
This was another sleeper I hadn’t heard of until I saw it available through my cable’s OnDemand service. I didn’t google it, read any reviews, I just took a chance and went in blind. It’s a great feeling to stumble across a film like this. I loved everything about it. I never saw the twist at the end and couldn’t put the connection together until the last minutes of Intruders.
Intruders is heavy on charming and talented child actors, which is usually a sure thing for me. I loved everything from Stand By Me, The Goonies, and Super 8 most recently. Horror in particular can be so very effective with a talented kid as the protagonist. This film follows two kids, a 12-year-old girl, and 9-year-old boy who are being visited by what I can only describe as a malevolent spirit who is connected to these children. The movie switches back and forth between the two kids and their respective families as they try to make sense of the terrifying occurrences. Clive Owen does a remarkable job as the father of the young girl. He finds his sanity tested as much as the kids. A young priest spends his time trying to help the boy and his mother, even trying to get his mentor to administer a fake exorcism rite just to east the pain of what might be a simple mental breakdown. Both the family and the priest are tested as the truth slowly emerges.
Intruders is packed with ambient terror, challenging the viewer and characters to decide what is real and what could be a symptom of trauma. The acting is top-notch, with Owen clearly delivering the star performance. The direction is flawless, creating an impending sense of gloom and anxiety that I could feel even on the safety of the couch. The evil that permeates the film is an original one. The dark force is explained clearly and definitely – we’re not left with a million questions at the end, and that’s a good thing for a horror film. I spent so much trying to connect everything, and I was wrong at every turn. I didn’t see the twist coming, nor did I even realize there was a twist in store. Loved it. Intruders flows easily, establishing the family vibe, or lack of depending which family is on-screen. They do a great job of showing the impact on the families as they try to make sense of it all. In the end, it pays off so well. I would recommend Intruders for some late night viewing – the creepy atmosphere sells this film. Rent or buy this one, kids. Great film.