When a trio of ruffians breaks into what they think is an empty home, they are confronted by a young woman suffering from severe agoraphobia. What they aren’t expecting is for her to turn the tables on them in a series of events that will have them questioning who is victimizing whom?
Intruders was directed by Adam Schindler and written by T.J. Cimfel and David White, both of whom penned the VHS: Viral segment ‘Vicious Circles’. It stars Beth Reisgraf (TV’s Complications), Jack Kesy (TV’s The Strain), Martin Starr (Dead Snow), Rory Culkin (Scream 4), and Leticia Jimenez (Jake’s Road). You can check out my exclusive interview with Leticia right here.
I was really, really hoping that this was going to be a worthy successor to the far superior You’re Next but it simply is not. The attempt at a twist in this film (if you can call it that) is predictable and terribly pedestrian. The who is victimizing whom angle is interesting but it overstays its welcome and becomes tedious very quickly. It has been done before and it has been done much better. If Intruders had either handled that piece more effectively or focused less on that aspect and more on making even one of the film’s leads likable or identifiable to the viewer, this could have been a better film. I can set aside a lot of things if I identify with one of the leads but when I can’t find a single person that’s onscreen for more than five minutes that I care anything for, I have a tendency to detach.
There are a few good scares throughout the course of the film; there are some semi-effective uses of the quiet, quiet, loud trope; and there are even a couple of decent kills. But nothing about this feature is profoundly memorable. I feel like I will forget most of it by next week and by next year, I won’t remember anything more than the fact that I anxiously anticipated it and didn’t particularly care for it.
In addition to the cast not being likable, there is no standout character that really learns anything about themselves or grows or does really anything worthy of note. There is no final girl or final guy transformation. The film’s entire runtime is spent following a group of people that never put themselves in a position to be sympathized with and the viewer is left to wonder who the worst of the bunch really is? Most of the film’s problems stem from lackluster scripting. With a bit of retooling, this could have been a much more entertaining and enjoyable picture.
The DVD release is a step above bare bones: It includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and a commentary track with the cast and crew. The picture and sound quality are above average.
If you like your horror on the existential side, you may find something to like about this picture but I was pretty disappointed and really put off by the fact that it squanders an interesting premise. The film is available on DVD today, March 1.
This review originally ran in concert with the film’s VOD release but has been updated to include a critique of the home video edition.
WICKED RATING: 3/10 [usr 3]
Director(s): Adam Schindler
Writer(s): T.J. Cimfel and David White
Stars: Beth Reisgraf, Jack Kesy, Martin Starr, and Rory Culkin
Release: January 15, 2016 (Limited theatrical and VOD)
Studio/ Production Co: Phase 4 Films
Length: 90 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Home Invasion