Intruders stars Clive Owen as a protective dad of a daughter who believes there is a monster in her closet. The daughter finds a story of a monster with no face “Hollow Face”. After Reading the story she believes there is a monster hiding in her closet. In Madrid, the same story is playing out, a young boy believes that “Hollow Face” is out to get him. Hollow Face hides in the shadow and has no face, he can get a face but has to take it from a child, he sneaks in through open windows. Like Owens character, the mother believes that the son believes and tries to help. She tries to get a priest to exercise a demon, but the priest just thinks that both the mother and son are crazy. Same thing in London the “authorities” believe that the daughter and father are having a shared delusion. Even video tape backs up the story that there was no intruder (singular, not plural as the title suggest.
The movie is successful in that most movies spend too much time on the monster and its appearance. The use of Hollow Face in the Intruders movie is done sparingly and you never get the full vision of what is after its intended victims. Other movies that have done this well were The Mist, and Monsters. Super 8 and Cloverfield had great marketing campaigns prior to the release of the films, but once they show the monsters in the film the mystery is gone and the thrill is taken from the films (just saying).
When you have a movie that has more than one genre, the focus can be distorted. Intruders (silly name) suffers from this, in my opinion. Is it a children’s tale that the children “think” is true? Is it a children’s tale that “becomes” true because the children believe? Is it a supernatural film where the “Big Bad” feeds off of scaring kids and steals their faces? Is it a demon that does need to be exercised? Is it the parents that are inflicting fear, either on purpose or because of a delusion? Is it an outside force, like the Spanish priest that is terrorizing the mother and son? Or is it just a mix of everything? To me it never becomes clear to what or who Hollow Face is.
Intruders (there are not hollow faces just Hollow Face) is a thriller regardless of the genre. The characters are genuinely scared of something and the acting does support this, and done well. Unfortunately the viewer, me, never really felt the thriller part, just observed. The production is not bad with some great camera work, it just never got scary or thrilling to me.
What are you watching?