Actors: Martin Starr, Beth Riesgraf, Rory Culkin
Director: Adam Schindler
Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
Region: Region 1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Entertainment One
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2016
Run Time: 90 minutes
Although it attempts to add a new twist to home invasion horror, the revisionist ideas in Intruders aren’t even original to this recently popularized sub-genre. The blurring of lines between victim and villain is a familiar trope in nearly all revenge films as well as sharing similar space in recent confinement horror such as
10 Cloverfield Lane
and the upcoming Fede Alvarez home invasion horror, Don’t Breathe. The latter even involves a homeowner suffering from
a disability, not unlike the crippling agoraphobia that the protagonist of Intruders suffers from. Of course, these
handicaps may very well serve as the film’s red herring, giving the intruders a
false sense of confidence until the tables are turned and they become the
Anna (Beth Riesgraf) has lived alone with her ill brother for years, deathly afraid to leave the house and reliant on food delivery from hospice care. When her brother finally passes, a group of thieves make the assumption that Anna will be out of the house during the funeral and takes this opportunity to break into the house. Hiding in the many corners of the home she has spent all of her time in is the only option Anna has, unable to flee out of fear of the open spaces beyond her front door. It isn’t until the intruders discover Anna’s hidden secret in the basement of the home that this shifts away from typical home invasion tropes.
Though the film’s twists are not nearly as satisfactory in the revelation as the suspense leading up, there is some enjoyment to be found in the committed performances from the cast. This is clearly Riesgraf’s film, Anna’s character providing the most depth in the cast, but it was Martin Starr’s surprising turn as a villain which had me most engaged. Primarily known for his comedic work, Starr is cast against type with fantastic results. Disguised by a full beard, it was Starr’s voice that I first recognized among the collection of thieves. While many of the other intruders are merely opportunists, there is a sick satisfaction in the way Perry (Starr) carries out the task.
Intruders never fully drops the ball, but it is also far from being a home run. The problem comes more from the over-saturated market than content in the film itself. Perhaps without having viewed an assortment of other films in this sub-genre, Intruders would be shocking to some degree. The home invasion films of the past have been notoriously graphic and suspenseful in ways that this film can’t quite compete with, so that the resolution and climactic sequences are far less memorable than the premise itself.
The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, as well as a cast and crew commentary track.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 2/10