30 March 2012| No Comments on Intruders     by Sean Chavel


Silly boogeyman story with pretentions and without fun. Intruders is a movie that has been made where its director, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“Intacto,” “28 Weeks Later”), had some imaginative visual ideas but decided to shoot them without putting a story in place. Clive Owen (“Inside Man”) is the major star here as John Farrow, the Londoner father of 12-year old Mia (Ella Purnell), who is haunted every night from her closet. There is a parallel story of a boy haunted in Spain (the provincial dialect demands English subtitles) – you wait ninety percent through the movie to see how these two threads connect. The finale is supposed to explain everything, but instead it just huffs and puffs to tie up loose ends.

Hollowface is not mere apparition, he comes to life. Sort of. He attacks Mia and that other Spanish boy (whose name is uncertain). By an early guess, Hollowface is trying to take over the bodies of the young. The trick photography is certainly spooky – the looming phantom seems to have no face, just a dark crevasse. I’m guessing some CGI was also at play to make this monster move so spookily languid. Whatever the case, the dark shadowy visual work is at times stunning.

Naturally, John tries to mend his daughter’s anxieties by his own ideas of a wicka spell. But soon enough, seeing is believing. John breaks into his daughter’s room just in time, while she’s screaming, and goes mano-a-mano with Hollowface. If there’s anything horrible, however, it’s the undercooked writing of the mother of the household who just doesn’t believe in the fears of her own husband and daughter.

Actually, “Intruders” has repetitive scares on top of its repetitive ideas of therapy. When the psychologists get involved, none of them believe any of this boogeyman, i.e., Hollowface nonsense. Even the cameras make John and Mia look crazy. In the role, Owen is an idealistic and protective father as he’s proven before, but in this scenario, he’s the idealistic father who is vaguely accused of having a dirty attachment with his daughter. So, of course, the good dad is the one thrown out of the house. But with no king in the castle, that’s when Hollowface brings out his bag of most expensive special effects. The bigger the special effects, though, the cheesier.

100 Minutes. Rated R. In English and Spanish, with English subtitles.


Film Cousins: “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968); “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984); “Candyman” (1992); “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006, Mexico).


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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