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Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl, Pilar López de Ayala, Ella Purnell, Izán Corchero, Kerry Fox
Writing Credits:
Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques

The Nightmare is Real.

Though no one can see him, Hollow Face lurks in the corners, desperately desiring love but only knowing how to spread fear and hate. He creeps into the life of John Farrow (Clive Owen) after Farrow s beloved 13-year-old daughter Mia (Ella Purnell) is assaulted in their home. The line between the real and the imaginary blurs as fissures start to open within the family unit. It seems that no security measure can keep Hollow Face out. From visionary filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Intruders is the chilling story of two children living in different countries, each visited nightly by a faceless being who wants to take possession of them.

Box Office:
$13 million.
Opening Weekend
$40.746 thousand on 33 screens.
Domestic Gross
$64.727 thousand.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 7/17/2012

• “Making Of” Featurette
• “Inside Look” Featurette
• Trailer
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Intruders [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 5, 2012)

From Juan Carlos Fresnadillo – director of 2007’s 28 Days Later -comes another form of horror flick with 2011’s Intruders. A quick opening introduces us to a precocious 8-year-old Spanish boy named Juan (Izán Corchero). He likes to write his own monster stories and experiences a terrible nightmare in which a fiend in a long cloak assaults him and his mother Luisa (Pilar López de Ayala).

From there we shift to London to meet construction worker John Farrow (Clive Owen) and his 12-year-old daughter Mia (Ella Purnell). She also likes to tell scary stories and relates one about a faceless villain named “Hollowface” who stalks victims in search of a new mug of his own. She also ends up with nightmares about this character.

Or does she? We follow the dual stories in Spain and England as we see additional developments with the characters and learn whether these bad dreams might actually be real.

First of all: “Mia Farrow”? Seriously?

That odd naming choice aside, Intruders provided a reasonably interesting take on the horror genre. On the negative side, it relies too much on standard “scary movie” music for my liking. I think too many modern flicks of this sort telegraph all the potential creepy/frightening moments with excessive score, and that becomes the case here. Less can be more, and I think the chills would fare better with less music.

I also think the movie’s action scenes come in an awfully choppy manner. That’s another modern convention that doesn’t satisfy. Perhaps the filmmakers overedited these scenes to hide stunt doubles or as other aspects of “movie magic”, but the absurd rapidity with which the shots fly by tends to make these segments tough to follow.

Otherwise, there’s a fair amount to like about Intruders. Though it may occasionally remind you of other horror movies, it manages a tale that can stand on its own feet and not feel terribly derivative.

In addition, the bi-national nature of the storytelling works as a strength. This could’ve flopped, as the movie’s constant jumping from Spain to England might’ve left it disjointed, but that doesn’t become an issue. Instead, the flick connects the two well and lets us see different aspects of the same theme. It’s an unusual but effective technique.

And the movie’s able to leave us guessing much of the time. Because both Mia and Juan suffer from nightmares about the same monster, we certainly believe that Hollowface exists, but the film doesn’t spell out the “truth” of the matter in a way that puts the audience well ahead of the characters. We can follow along and come up with our own thoughts/theories as the movie goes.

At no point does Intruders threaten to become a great horror film, but I’d call it above average, especially in this day and age. Most 21st century genre flicks lack even the most remote sense of scares, so it’s good to find one with a reasonably creepy feel to it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Intruders appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The image always looked solid.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. A little softness crept into the image at times, but not frequently. Instead, the movie almost always appeared nicely detailed and distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were a non-factor, as this was a clean presentation.

In terms of colors, the movie went with a chilly blue tint most of the time, though a yellow “sodium vapor” or a mild amber also appeared. The tones consistently seemed clear and concise within those parameters. Blacks were deep and firm, but shadows could be a bit dense; some of the low-light shots were a smidgen on the dense side. Overall, the picture appeared positive.

I also felt pleased with the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Intruders. As a horror flick, creepy atmosphere dominated, but the film presented enough action to open up the mix in a satisfying manner. The various channels helped immerse us in the material and formed a smooth, engrossing soundscape.

Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess. Music seemed warm and full, while effects showed good clarity and accuracy. The track accentuated the movie in a satisfying manner.

Only minor extras fill out the set. An Inside Look featurette runs seven minutes, 39 seconds and provides comments from director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, screenwriters Jaime Marques and Nicolás Casariego, producer Enrique López-Lavigne and actors Clive Owen, Ella Purnell, Pilar López de Ayala and Daniel Brühl. “Look” covers story/themes, locations and cultures depicted, cast and characters, and the director’s approach to the material. We don’t get much depth here, but “Inside Look” provides a decent promotional piece.

A second Behind the Scenes featurette goes for 19 minutes, 49 seconds and offers notes from Fresnadillo, Ayala, Casariego, Marques, López-Lavigne, Owen, Purnell, director of photography Enrique Chediak, VFX supervisor David Heras, costume designer Tatiana Hernandez and actors Izan Corchero and Carice Van Houten. This show looks at story/thematic issues, characters, cast and performances, effects and the depiction of the movie’s monster. The piece suffers from some clumsy Spanish-to-Englush text translation, but it still comes with enough good material to make it worthwhile.

The disc opens with ads for Bernie, Little Birds, Rampart and Red Lights. These also appear under Previews along with the trailer for Intruders.

Nothing about Intruders dazzles, but it manages to use the horror genre in a manner clever enough to involve us. The film offers an interesting dual-nation emphasis that creates something unusual and it comes with enough scares to make it effective. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio but lacks substantial supplements. Horror fans should give this one a look.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
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