Intruders (2011) - This is the first time I am writing a review while participating at home with a Stream Queens Podcast usually I just follow along at home and enjoy listening to the podcast. This film though is interesting enough that here are a few thoughts on it. First off this movie was a giant bomb if you look at the numbers on IMDB. It is a 13 million dollar movie that never was shown on more than 33 screens in the US and so failed to come close to making its money back and really worldwide made no more tha six million dollars back in 2011 when it came out. The star of the film Clive Owen was several years removed from a string of good films, SinCity (2005), Children of Men (2006), Inside Man (2006) then more recent such as Shoot 'em Up (2007) and The International (2009) all making him a more known quantity to American audiences; so the fail of this movie is rather surprising. I for one don't really remember this film and maybe there was a lack of resources put into it on the marketing side. It came and went and really quickly and until it was picked for the podcast subject I really had no memory of it. Directed by Jaun Carlos Fresnadillo who also directed the pretty cool flick Intacto (2001) and then later 28 Weeks Later (2007).
Intruders is not bad with some turns that make sense after they are
revealed. The story follows two story lines with strong parallels as we
switch between each. A young boy, Juan (Izan Corchero) is terrified of night terrors featuring a character he has created called the Hollowman. This boogeyman is a character with no face who wants to steal the face of the little boy. He hides in the dark corners of the kids bedroom waiting, leaving little Juan frightened. Played with Spanish subtitles the and with short on the nose editing this story line seems like it could be happening a world away from our main story. The second almost identical tale is of Mia (Ella Purnell) a twelve year old English girl who finds the story of the Hollowman in a hole in a tree near her grandparents house. She then uses the story as part of a school project and suddenly the man is showing up in her life. Is the Hollowman real? In both stories the character seems real as can be, Juan and his Mother Louisa (Perez Lopez de Ayala) fight off the Hollowman one night so you know she and he see it. Mia and her Father John also confront the intruder in her room and fight him until he flees. So we have a belief that the Hollowman is an actual person in both stories.
Ah but that is where things change with the introduction of "Folie à deux (/fɒˈli ə ˈduː/; French pronunciation: [fɔli a dø]; French for "madness of two"), or shared psychosis,
is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief and
hallucinations are transmitted from one individual to another." Now we see that Louisa trying to get help from the local priest (Daniel Bruhl) but the priest being really skeptical. After John fights off the Hollowman he has a camera and alarm system installed in his house. This solution then shows that he also is not really fighting anyone off but is alone in the room with his daughter. He is confronted by the police, his wife (Carice van Houten), and psychologists to this fact and we then spin towards the ending Learning that Juan and John are the same person turns the movie again the story is how he had a shared delusion with his Mother and then as an adult with his daughter.
As a child Juan's terrors centered around an incident that killed his ex-con Father and the Hallowman was the reaction to that trauma. In adulthood the death of a coworker in a similar fashions triggers the rebirth of the Hollowman this time connected with Mia. The resolution is a bit off with basically the father convincing his daughter that the Hollowman is gone forever. It is a thin premise that this biy/man seems to be able to share his psychosis with his Mother / Daughter but I think the story brings it to the fore pretty handily. So much of this film depends on the editing the cutting between Juan and John story lines and not without fully giving away the twists that complicate the storytelling. When we finally see the full story that the Hollowman is really a psychological creation by Juan to deal with the trauma of his father being killed. We know that the parallel stories of he and his mother having a Folie à deux and he and Mia doing the same years later are drawn with an ending that is a bit less than satisfying. The whole construction is clever but the story lines too similar that it really feels a bit on the nose. Still this is not a bad movie there is something to take away even if the ending ties everything up in a bow. So a mild kind of recommendation for this missed horror film.
As I have done so far this year; I am doing as an experiment my Twitter
is dedicated to following and being followed by
people in and behind the scenes. Then I am also hoping some of them
follow me back. (Not really expecting that though) It really is an experiment and where I love the
community it is a way to keep track of what is going on by the people
involved in it. I am now following over 188 people while the
followers is only 31 so as you can see people in the biz do not follow
just anyone back. :)