The home-invasion genre is one that can be enjoyable with gems like Funny Games or Panic Room. But it can also become very old very fast with titles like The Purge or The Strangers. Lately, there have been some rather good ones that have taken this concept and have done new and exciting things with it. You’re Next is one that most horror fans will recommend, but the one that has also gotten a lot of praise but not really discussed much is The Intruders.
I must make a statement before I begin this review. It’s really best to go into something like this blindly. The less you know about this movie going in, the more enjoyable it will be for you. I’m not even going to post a trailer because I’m afraid that will even reveal too many spoilers. All I will talk about right now is the main character.
Her name is Anna (Beth Reisgraff) and ever since her father passed away fifteen years ago, she has not been able to leave the house. Her agoraphobia is so powerful that when her brother dies, she is too afraid to make it to his funeral. All of her food and supplies are delivered to her by this guy named Dan (Rory Culikn), who finds out one night that this girl has a lot of cash in the house. Some of his friends find out about the money and with Anna’s agoraphobia, they decide that it’s the perfect place to rob. Will Anna be able to overcome her fears and defeat the bad guys? Will The Joker’s latest prank be the end of Batman and Robin. Tune in next week, same bat--Sorry about that, folks. I gotta little side tracked there.
Intruders is a really good movie that goes places I never expected it to go. It’s a really good modern-day remake of Wait Until Dark but instead of the main character being blind, she has a fear of wide open spaces and I don’t mean that song by the Dixie Chicks either. This is a great example of a cat-versus-mouse style plot where you become equally invested in both sides. A hero is only good if they have an equally good villain (unless you’re Deadpool) and the characters of Beth and the robbers are all really good in this. The psychopathic deranged one is actor Martin Starr who played Bill Haverchuck in TV's Freaks and Geeks.
Director Adam Schindler does a good job at developing these characters and situations at a realistic pace so that when a reveal happens, it doesn’t feel like it came out of nowhere. Writers TJ Cimfel and David White should also get praise for taking a genre in ways I have never seen before. It does take a while for things to start moving, and if you are one of those people who has a short attention span, I’m sure there are tons of commercials for you to enjoy. For those of us who enjoy a good movie with a plot that keeps unraveling secret after secret, this is the movie for you.
During its festival run, Intruders was once referred to as Shut In and I wish they would have kept that title. It makes a lot more sense once you watched the whole thing. The DVD special features offer a cast-and-crew commentary as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette.