What begins as a masterfully crafted creature feature ultimately falls flat on its face knocking out all of its teeth.
Directed by 28 Weeks helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the screenplay by Jaime Marques and Nico Casariego attempts something quite unique with Intruders. The film follows two separate stories, one about a boy, Juan (Izán Corchero), who is writing about being haunted by “Hollow Face”, while the other follows a little girl, Mia (Elle Purnell), as she’s also beginning to encounter this Frighteners-esque hooded creature. Juan’s story is already near its end, which interestingly builds tension for the viewer as they watch Mia’s encounters unfold. Things get interesting when both Juan’s mother and Mia’s father (Clive Owen) also see the so-called monster.
The first two acts are quite well done as they build on the mythology and really deliver on scares, although some unnecessarily heavy use of CGI hinders any of it from being believable.
And while most of the film is pretty entertaining, the third act twist is so infuriating that I could have sworn I saw a few theater patrons flick off the screen. The reason is that the filmmaking team breaks one of the cardinal rules of horror: make sure it isn’t “all a dream”. While that isn’t the actual twist, it may, as well, have been. It makes me want to pull out all of my hair simply because the movie is kind of awesome, but the ending pretty much negates anything cool that happens. It’s a shameful twist that unfortunately leaves me no choice but to advise against seeing it.
If you’re able to overlook a sh*t finale, and over used CGI, Intruders is still a pretty OK film loaded with some freaky imagery and ghostly attack scenes. It’s sort of a psychological fairy tale that may deliver enough punches for a home video audience.