Intruders - Blu-ray Review

'all theme, no plot, the central narrative threads just not providing enough interest for Fresnadillo to get all of his ideas over to the audience'

For a film with the amount of ideas Intruders has behind it, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's horror fable should be much better. An examination of how early terrors evolve, the film considers parents' fears of their children growing up, plays around with a child's eye view of 'monsters' and even hints, on a couple of occasions, that there's something behind it dealing with parental abuse. In the end though, the film is all theme, no plot, the central narrative threads just not providing enough interest for Fresnadillo to get all of his ideas over to the audience.

It doesn't help matters that the director splits his narrative in two; Clive Owen and daughter Ella Purnell in one half, Pilar López de Ayala and son Izán Corchero in the other. The latter of these narratives is firstly, difficult to care about and secondly, not scary, the creature's otherworldly, badly-computer generated, associations made plain from the very first scene. This has a knock on effect in Owen's narrative. The hint that the man in Purnell's room might not be a man after all but a harmless CGI fiend proving enough to limit the villain's ability to terrorise. Intruders is infinitely scarier on the one or two occasions it manages to convince you everything is happening in the real world - note the first time Owen's character sees the antagonist. It's probably the film's scariest moment and there's little CGI to be seen.

Elsewhere, plot elements go nowhere with increasing frequency. Daniel Brühl's priest, anonymous himself, brings in an older clergyman for help who mutters a couple of lines and then departs. In John's (Owen) work life a great tragedy may or may not have happened. Fresnadillo makes great play on it and then fails to bother to let us know the outcome. The ending is similarly ill-defined and not in an attractively ambiguous way.

The film eventually boils down to being something of a non-entity, lacking in any single element to recommend it, not horrendous enough to pan it entirely. On a side note, Clive Owen does punch a demon/man in the face repeatedly, which is, at least, something.




This post in association with Zavvi.

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