31 Days of Reviews: Intruders (2011)

When two children are terrorized by a hooded figure that appears to be something straight out of their nightmares, it’s up to their parents to protect them.

This is another movie that was recommended to me by Netflix. I had no background on it at all when I started, and I was interested to see what it would be like.

My initial thoughts while watching Intruders were positive. I really liked the concept. A creature seems to be created by nightmares, brought to life by its essence on the pages of books penned by a child’s imagination. That’s my type of story. I couldn’t help thinking that I may have written something similar.

The movie begins with a single mother and her son in Spain. The dialogue is in Spanish. The boy, Juan (Izan Corchero) has a nightmare in which a faceless, hooded figure, known as Hollow Face, comes after him in an attempt to steal Juan’s face and use it as his own. After an intense struggle between Hollow Face and Juan’s mother Luisa (Pilar Lopez de Ayala), Hollow Face continues to terrorize the mother and child on a daily basis. As the movie progresses, the lives of Juan and Luisa are severely affected, causing others to refer to them as crazy.

At the same time, a young girl in England named Mia (Ella Purnell), discovers a creepy box in a tree. Within the box is the story of Hollow Face, which she starts to continue writing herself. As her imagination creates new situations for Hollow Face, he seems to enter her life for real, hiding in the closet like every child’s worst nightmare. She seeks out her father (Clive Owen) for help, and he soon finds himself interacting with Hollow Face as well, much to the dismay of Mia’s mother (Carice van Houten), psychologists, and the police.

Throughout the movie, it appears that no church nor security system can prevent Hollow Face’s relentless pursuit. The viewer alternates between stories, switching between Spanish and English dialogue.

While the special effects in the movie aren’t the best, they made me feel very nostalgic. At first glance, Hollow Face’s movement is very fluid. I found that very creepy. It follows the formula that I use for creepy creatures: It looks like ‘x’ but moves/sounds/acts like ‘y.’ Hollow Face looks like a man in a rain coat, but moves like a flying snake. Very effective. As the movie starts to show more of him, however, I was consistently reminded of creatures from early 2000’s horror, such as the Tooth Fairy in Darkness Falls and the creature in Boogeyman. The appearance is definitely below average from what we’re accustomed to seeing today.

I will admit that, although I enjoy the concept of Intruders, I found myself pausing the movie many times and doing other things. As the movie went on, it became less interesting. It definitely slows in the middle.

Some people feel that the ending was a let down, but I feel like it was pretty typical, and it definitely made the movie make more sense to me. It could have possibly been handled better, but I’ve seen worse endings, so I wasn’t really bothered.

Overall, Intruders is a pretty average psychological thriller film. I like the concept, but it does tend to drag, and it doesn’t really differ too much from a lot of other movies in the same genre.

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