A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
Film archivist David (Rupert Evans) has been having a rough time lately, as he suspects that his wife Alice (Hannah Hoekstra) has been cheating on him with Alex (Carl Shaaban), one of her ... See full summary »
In Madrid, the boy Juan is terrified by the monster Hollowface and his mother is unable to protect him so summons Father Antonio to exorcise the monster from their lives. In London, the construction worker John Farrow is very close to his teenage daughter Mia. One day, Mia is spending the day at her grandparents' house in the countryside with her mother Susanna and she finds a box with the story of Hollowface hidden in a tree. Soon Mia sees the monster Hollowface in the closet of her bedroom and John defends her. When they are attacked for the second time, the security camera that John has installed does not show any intruder. Are Mia and John delusional? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
No smoke is visible when Susanna extinguishes the fire from the "nightmare doll" her husband and her daughter were burning. See more »
The shadow monster woke up. It saw the boy in the pot and said:
[making his voice gruff]
"Mmmm. I'm starving. I'm going to eat you up."
So the monster opened his mouth wide and swallowed the little tailor whole. The boy fell and fell into a dark cave filed with slime...
Is that it?
That's all I could come up with.
Well, you'll think of something tomorrow. Let's go to bed.
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Besides One Really Clever Plot Twist, "Intruders" Lacks Shock Value
A supernatural creature terrorizes a child, and the adults in that child's life either dismiss the child's fears as nightmarish, or assume the child has some sort of psychosis. This plot line has been done so many times that it's amazing that adults in present-day movies don't second guess themselves more often.
"Intruders" has a bit more of a clever twist to this tired horror movie story line in that the terrorized child, 12-year-old Mia (Ella Purnell), at least has an ally in her father John (Clive Owen), who has actually seen the being trying to harm his daughter.
The being, known to Mia as Hollowman, wears a dark hood and cloak that moves mysteriously in the air like something out of "The Matrix" (1999). The mysterious spirit has the shape of a man, but its face is completely obscured by its hood, making it look a lot like Bruce Willis in the underrated "Invincible" (2000).
The unwelcome visitor does not speak, but Mia somehow knows it does not have a face, and is willing to steal one from a child. Also, despite the plurality of the movie's title, there is only one intruder: this one.
Mia is apparently not the only child haunted by this creature. A much younger Spanish boy named Juan (Izan Corchero) also receives visits from it. The film intersects between the nightly terrors of Mia and Juan, and it makes you wonder what the connection is between these two children. Why did this spirit choose to haunt these two children in two different European countries (Great Britain and Spain), when there are millions of other children in this world whose face (or faces) he could steal? The way these two children's stories intersect is revealed late in the film in a twist I honestly did not see coming. Because it was so clever, I can't ruin it for you, the reader, either.
Unfortunately, it being a horror movie and a suspense thriller, the moments that were supposed to be shocking, and scary, weren't either. The film made the fatal mistake of making the music, which gradually got louder as a scary moment or a "gotcha!" part was approaching, ruin the overall suspense. By the time the mysterious hooded person appeared from out of the dark closet, the score felt more like a great opening act for a weak headliner.
The shock value of this film, or lack thereof, is even more unfortunate when you consider the superb cinematography and great acting from just about everyone involved. Clive Owen rarely fails to disappoint, and fortunately plays a parent who actually believes his petrified daughter.
I especially liked Ella Purnell, who is the kind of child actress who guys in their 20's look at and say, "In five years, she's going to be really hot!" Besides being strikingly beautiful, Purnell looks genuinely scared during the scenes with the creature in the hood, and she is very convincing as Owen's daughter in other less-intense scenes.
I also thought every scene with Corchero, as Juan, and his mother Luisa (Pilar Lopez de Ayala), scary or not, was done incredibly well. They played in good contrast to scenes involving John and Mia. Whereas John believes his daughter's problems are more than nightmares, Luisa believes her son, but uses words of comfort almost in vain. She tries to tell her boy it's only a bad dream, when she's really trying to convince herself. It's a fascinating paradox.
Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is best known to American audiences as the writer & director of "28 Weeks Later" (2007), the well-received sequel to Danny Boyle's acclaimed "28 Days Later" (2003). He definitely knows his horror films, which is why it's so disappointing that "Intruders" didn't live up to his previous effort. While great acting and a dark, eerie atmosphere strengthened this movie, it wasn't enough to scare me.
Putting it another way, I consider a great horror film one where my hands are covering my entire face except one eye, and two of my fingers are on standby to affix over that eye should a scary moment present itself. With "Intruders", throughout the scary parts, my hands remained at my sides.
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