SXSW Film: Intruders Review
The best horror films remind us about how terrifying the mundane world can be. There is horror in the unknown, but greater horror when things reside within the realm of possibility. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders tips its toe between the supernatural and ordinary to nice effect in what has definitely been my favorite SXSW horror film (Suck it, The Tall Man. *Didn’t see Cabin in the Woods).
The film stars Clive Owen as John, a construction worker and father living in England who has a close bond with his daughter, Mia. However, before we get to them we’re treated to a parallel story line that features a young boy in the midst of writing a scary story to entertain his mother. The same night the boy comes up with the story’s climax an intruder makes it’s way into their house and the audience is left uncertain about how much of the incident was merely the product of the boy’s imagination. Mia is also tormented by the same intruder, which both kids refer to as Hollowface for his empty face. The film then spends the rest of the run time trying to sort out whether or not these children and their parents are insane or whether they’re really is something haunting them.
Clive Owen does a nice job as a father that tries his best to ease his daughter’s worry over her Hollowface nightmares and the scenes between him and his daughter hanging out and torching a scarecrow invest you in their relationship and pays off towards the end when things go south for the two. The stars of the film though are definitely the two youngest actors, Ella Purnell as Mia and Izan Corchereo as Juan who perform their roles with minimal melodrama and send you back to that age where what you can imagine is just as powerful as what’s actually there.
The scares aren’t very frequent and not of the type to make you jump out of your seat although the Hollowman is pretty interesting visually. With an ending that makes sense, but caught most of the audience by surprised you should definitely feel satisfied with where this tale ends up. And if you can’t sleep for a night or two well lucky you for having a rad imagination.
—Andre, nice guy extraordianire