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The Intruders (2015)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 2/24/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 2/23/2015
In our fast-paced world of cell phones, internet-shopping, streaming movies, and online-banking, everybody wants everything immediately. (Ironically, I always end up sitting in traffic behind the person who want look up from their cell phone and missing the green light.) Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore and people want to get everything done at once. So, wouldn't it be a great time-saver if you could watch a movie that would eliminate the need to watch any other movies? If that's what you are looking for, then you need to check out The Intruders, as it packs in nearly every horror movie cliche that you can name.
The Intruders opens with Rose (Miranda Cosgrove) and her dad, Jerry (Donal Logue), moving to Chicago from California. As her mother has recently died, Jerry is very concerned about Rose, who has taken a leave from Stanford. He wants her to stay on her medication and remain in the house while he works at his new job. Rose can't help but notice that the girl across the street (Jenessa Grant) seems to be abused by her father (Tom Sizemore). Rose befriends a handyman, Noah (Austin Butler), who is working on renovating the house. After hearing some odd rumors about her house, Rose begins to research the previous occupants and learns that they disappeared under mysterious circumstances and that her neighbor had been questioned for a crime concerning a girl who once lived in the house. At the same time, Rose begins to find strange objects around the house and see people in the various rooms. Is the house haunted or Rose succumbing to the stress in her life?
Today, it's very easy to call a movie unoriginal, as seemingly every idea has been trotted out on-screen. But, The Intruders seems to be going out of its way to feel familiar. Let's list the well-worn ideas on display here; family moves due to the death of a loved one; a character discovers a clue (like a diary) in the new house which gives them an idea of what had gone on there before; person who is supposed to be on medications sees things and no one believes them; character who clearly needs monitoring is left alone due to another character's work schedule; Rear Window calls and character witnesses something next door which looks like murder; things which are there one minute, aren't there the next when character attempts to show them to someone; and females gets victimized. I'm sure that there are more, but as it feels that every frame of The Intruders is a cliche, it's difficult to remember. Oh, I thought of another one -- character goes to Stanford, as it's one of only three or so colleges which exist in the world of movies.
It may not be a big deal that The Intruders is loaded with things which we've seen before -- it can be argued that many movies are. The bigger issue here may be that the movie in mind-numbingly boring. This is Director Adam Massey's second feature film, but one could easily assume that he'd never been behind the camera before, as the movie moves at a snail's pace and the time between significant events feels like a millennium. The slack pace is kept company by a certain redundant nature, as we are treated to shot-after-shot of Rose wandering the house or looking out the window. The editing is also odd, as the story seems to jump around at times. There is some action during the finale, but the "twist" in the third act seems to come out of nowhere, and not only is it unoriginal, it rings terribly hollow.
Miranda Cosgrove joins a long list of TV child stars who have wanted to graduate to more mature material. Compared to some of things her peers have appeared in, The Intruders is fairly tame, especially for a modern horror film. (For once, the PG-13 feels accurate.) However, this once up-and-coming actress (iCarly was huge, right?) should have picked a better vehicle for her leap to adult roles. Boring and predictable, The Intruders will appeal only to those who have never seen a suspense film or for those who hate surprises.
The Intruders will make you think twice about moving into an old house or watching movies on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the transfer has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing no distinctive grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fine, and despite the fact that the movie is dark, it's never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is pretty good for a DVD and the image is never soft. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 track which delivers clear dialogue and sound effects. This movie is built on "is something in the house?" moments, so we get some nice stereo and surround effects which represent noises coming from all over the house. The subwoofer effects in the "shock" moments are palpable.
The Intruders DVD contains two extra features. "The Making of The Intruders" (15 minutes) offers interview with the cast and the creative team who discuss the story and its themes. The piece also look at the cast, the production design, and the look of the film. What's odd is that these interviews were clearly done on-set, but we don't get any behind-the-scenes footage of the movie being shot or anyone at work. We get this in "The Secrets of The Intruders" (8 minutes), which opens with a "fly-on-the-wall" look at a scene being shot. This then transforms into a discussion of the story and the deeper meaning of the film's title.
Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long