Intruders (2015) **
D: Adam Schindler
C: Beth Riesgraf, Rory Culkin, Jack Kesy, Martin Starr, Leticia Jimenez, Joshua Mikel, Timothy T. McKinney
Plot Synopsis: Anna suffers from agoraphobia so crippling that when a trio of criminals break into her house, she cannot bring herself to flee. But what the intruders don't realize is that agoraphobia is not her only psychosis.
Review: Intruders is yet another home invasion thriller without any distinguishing characteristics. In it, an agoraphobic woman finds herself trapped in her own home by yet another group of thugs looking for money ...yet again. The selling point is that our female heroine isn't as helpless as she appears as her house is booby trapped. Now, the tables are turned with the captors becoming the captives.
However, that's not really much of a selling point. We've seen plenty of other films take on this type of material. Last House on the Left? Or, how about The People Under the Stairs? They even borrow themes from those films such as money being capable of great good, but also great evil or that would-be victims commit atrocities in the name of survival that are as violent as the actions of the degenerate forces arrayed against them. Hence, blurring the line between protagonist & antagonist. The difference was those themes were explored with greater significance in each respective film.
There's a plot twist as well. It's the type of twist that tries to explain why the house is booby trapped. It's a groan inducing moment, because I didn't buy the twist for one minute. If you can't adequately explain something, it's better to NOT explain it all. On a more positive note, Intruders is a competently made & acted. The set design is effective in conveying that such a house, with all of these various booby traps, could exist in real life. It's clear that the people behind this understand how to stage & time a scene. This is highlighted in one particular instance in which the main character talks to an unwanted guest while one of the captives tries to make it known that they're locked in the basement. It's a suspenseful moment that kept me on edge as to how this scenario was going to unfold.
On the performance front, Jack Kesy, Martin Starr & Joshua Mikel are all credible captors who turn into captives. Even when their dialogue or motivations aren't in sync with the material, they still make you believe in the characters that they're portraying. In terms of technical execution, this is a perfectly respectable production. As a critic, this is both frustrating and enraging. It's frustrating in the sense that the people behind this have talent, but waste that talent on sub-par material. It's frustrating, because you have creative filmmakers who can't find funding to get original ideas off the ground. Yet, sub-par material like this manages to get green-lighted.
You have filmmakers with original ideas who can't get funding and you have talented filmmakers who have uninspired material. Hopefully, one day, someone will put two and two together and green-light talented filmmakers with creative concepts. [R] 90 mins.
AKA: Shut In
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