Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Beth Riesgraf, Martin Starr, Rory Culkin, Jack Kesy, Joshua Mikel, Timothy T. McKinney, Letitia Jimenez
Writers: T.J. Cimfel and David White
Director: Adam Schindler
Distributor: Momentum Pictures/Entertainment One
Release Date (theatrical and VOD): January 15, 2016
INTRUDERS – not to be confused with the 2012 horror/fantasy of the same title – has a good cast and a decent premise that gets somewhat undermined when one character has to deliver a boatload of third-act expository dialogue. The movie is reasonably creepy and weird, but it isn’t quite creepy and weird enough on the one hand and doesn’t entirely grab our sympathy either in the manner that seems intended.
Beth Riesgraf (formerly of LEVERAGE) stars as Anna, a young woman who dotes on her dying brother Conrad (Timothy T. McKinney) in the huge, isolated house they share. Anna’s biggest contact with the outside world is with friendly food delivery guy Danny (Rory Culkin), who seems to have a little crush on her. When Conrad dies, Anna’s agoraphobia is so intense that she cannot bring herself to go to the funeral. But that’s exactly where she’s expected to be, so three burglars (played by Martin Starr, Jack Kesy and Joshua Mikel) show up, planning to steal the fortune they imagine is hidden on the premises. They’re not expecting Anna to be home. They also have no idea of exactly what she’s been doing in the house all these years.
Riesgraf is innately likable and the intruders are pretty appalling, especially the brutal Perry (Starr), with leader JP (Kesy) a little more rational but still someone we want to see thwarted. The balance of power flows and shifts with some suspense, but the secrets are all piled up on one side of the story, and both their nature and the manner of their revelation are less than graceful.
The construction of the house is intriguing, with surprising spaces and unexpected attributes. Director Adam Schindler and writers T.J. Cimfel and David White make good use of an environment that is at once claustrophobic and versatile. However, the way the characters are revealed is uneven. Anna has hidden depths but her visitors don’t – they proceed in much the way we anticipate from the start.
There are some decent jump-scares and some moments of startling violence, but the gore level is less intense than, say, YOU’RE NEXT, which is broadly in the same subgenre.
INTRUDERS is a bit nasty, a bit scary and a bit inventive. It’s not wholly satisfying, but if you’re in the mood for some fierce cat-and-mouse action played out by humans, it’s an okay way to spend ninety minutes.
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