‘Intruders’ categorizes itself as a horror film, but I would say it’s more like a psychological thriller; because it has very few scares in it. The film develops in a mysterious way and creates a lot of suspense, which works well. The problem is that when it unwinds although it explains the plot, we are still confused instead of being scared to death. What I like most about this movie is that it’s bilingual; it is half in English and half in Spanish. It has two stories that develop simultaneously which help the public to get sucked in. But, unfortunately it doesn’t reach the goal that it sets to achieve.
The plot of the film focuses on two children, Juan (Izán Corchero) who lives in Madrid, and Mia (Ella Purnell) who lives in London. Both are haunted by a nightmare of a man “hollow face”, who visits them at night coming out of their closets. Mia’s dad, John (Clive Owen) desperately tries to help his daughter, after he himself sees this man who he thought was in his daughter’s imagination. The story is not as simple as it seems and the more it develops the more mysteries it reveals.
When director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo told me in our interview, that he wanted to make a global film, with characters that faced their fears, I immediately understood what he meant because that is something that he clearly accomplished. I have to give him credit for developing the same story in two different countries, with two diverse languages and cultures because he did this in a fluid and organized manner. To me it was a little strange to see Owen playing this kind of semi-vulnerable character, although without a doubt his best characters are always mysterious like this one. One thing we have to mention is the fact that having a big time Hollywood actor in a movie directed by a Spaniard in a bilingual film as the main actor is wonderful, this continues to show the importance and influence Hispanics have at a global level.
The twists in the film are interesting; the psychological part works because it takes the story to a level further than a kid’s story, the same goes for the background of the story. The problem is the connection between these; although it was well formulated they don’t give the necessary explanation or satisfaction.
Very few images in the film are scary, I can think of only two that are creepy, besides that the mystery in the story is what takes it forward more so than the scary scenes. I think Fresnadillo had a good idea and story, but he missed a connection, or explanation or something along those lines for the story and the public to have closure, because they are going to go home scratching their heads considering the contradictions it has. There’s no doubt that this film has good elements to become a good thriller, but it doesn’t have enough fuel to complete the cycle that would make it successful.