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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

INTRUDER -- Movie Review by Porfle

In the very straightforward story of INTRUDER (2016), writer-director Travis Zariwny (CABIN FEVER remake, SCAVENGERS) takes us from A to Z and touches the expected bases along the way, in pretty much a textbook example of the "woman-in-peril" thriller.

Elizabeth (Louise Linton, LIONS FOR LAMBS) is apartment sitting for a friend over the weekend, unaware that another young woman was murdered there some time before and that the killer is still at large and is now focusing his attention on her. 

What follows is so by-the-numbers that you might expect the script to begin with the words "It was a dark and stormy night..."  Only in this case, make that weekend, because Zariwny manages to stretch the suspense out for two whole days and nights.

After the SCREAM-style opening shows us the fate of the killer's previous victim (and foreshadows what may happen to his current one), we're treated to extensive sequences of Elizabeth going about her business in the expansive two-storey apartment as her feeling that someone is watching her steadily grows. 

The now-familiar "blurry figure in a black hoodie" keeps popping up everywhere--backgrounds, reflections, etc.--as though he enjoys playing hide-and-seek with his prey and gets a sick thrill out of invading her privacy in all sorts of insidious little ways. 

Eventually we start to get used to the jump-scares and musical stings whenever he appears (Nathaniel Levisay's score is heavy on the cellos, which is fitting since Elizabeth is a concert cellist).  In fact, much of INTRUDER is a big, extended tease; some parts may tend to drag for some viewers, depending on how invested they are in the story.

Still, it does a fairly good job of playing on our fears of being in a big dark house on a stormy night and suspecting that we're not alone.  At times it even feels like an overextended version of one of those old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episodes that used to seem so eerie when I was a kid.

There's a lot of mainly negligible stuff about Elizabeth's personal life to fill out the running time, with Zach Myers as her boyfriend Justin trying to convince her to stay with him and get married instead of moving to England to pursue her musical career. 

Red herrings abound.  Is the killer Elizabeth's possessive, emotional music teacher, played by none other than Moby?  Is it the comically obvious weirdo next door?  Or John (John Robinson, LORDS OF DOGTOWN), the neighborhood nerd who seems a bit fixated on her?

The cast is okay (Moby plays an especially effective creep) and the film itself is beautifully photographed, with Zariwny's capable direction keeping the suspense sufficiently taut most of the time.

When the film finally does pay off on all that build-up at the very end, it's disappointingly abrupt.  But don't leave yet, because about a minute into the end credits comes the actual ending, which still doesn't quite hit the mark.

All in all I found INTRUDER to be well-done and passably entertaining, though generally bland.  If you're looking for something to give you nightmares, you might have better luck chowing down on a big meatball sub before going to bed.

Director/Writer: Travis Zariwny
Producers: Michael D. Jones, Louise Linton, and Tina Sutakanat
Cast: Louise Linton, John Robinson, and Moby
Release Date:  June 24 in New York/Los Angeles/VOD.
Distributor: IFC Midnight
TRT: 91 minutes
Rating: The film is not rated.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I was actually laughing at movie.Like she wouldn't realise someone was following hereview around for that long? And if eating cottage cheese with your hand and bitting a apple is scary. I fast forwarded to the end because I was getting so annoyed .Dumb movie