DIR: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo • WRI: Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques• PRO: Belén Atienza, Mercedes Gamero, Enrique López Lavigne • DOP: Enrique Chediak • Cast: Clive Owen, Daniel Brühl, Carice van Houten
A young Spanish boy (Izan Corchero) is about to finish writing a horror story for his homework, when he and his mother (Carice van Houten) are tormented by a cloaked demon at night, while seemingly simultaneously, a young English girl (Ella Purnell) is also writing the same horror story for her homework, and she and her father (Clive Owen) get attacked by the very same monster. The monster, whom the kids have named ‘Hollowface’, wants to steal kids’ faces so it can revel in their parents love.
Quite a twisted little set-up, and from the opening sequence, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto, 28 Weeks Later…) peppers the film with some very tense and scary scenes. However, during the day the film falls apart, primarily due to the abundance of ideas floating about; everything from religion to family history to psychology to the nature of creating a myth is thrown into the mix, and it all adds up to much less than the sum of its parts.
Acting wise is mostly good, with Owen and Van Houten on fine form, young Corchero a revelation and a somewhat wasted Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds) as the Spanish family’s local priest. However, Purnell as the English girl is shockingly bad. Not only does it seem she can not act, but every line is delivered like it’s her first time trying out a Posh English Accent. When half way through the film she is rendered mute by the monster, you may actually find yourself siding with the villain.
Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Intruders is released on 27th January 2012