Review: The Intruders
The trouble with The Intruders is that deep down, in the basement or the attic perhaps, there was a great movie waiting to be let out. A house divided against itself should be able to stand tall.
It does not hurt that the film has a winning and powerful heroine in Miranda Cosgrove, perhaps best known as the lead in the TV Show iCarly, (though she also had a memorable turn in Richard Linklater’s School of Rock a few years back). Cosgrove’ Rose is a troubled young adult, and as we start to discover why, (new house overused horror tropes be darned), the film registers more than the flicked of a beating heart.
But then we experience some extremely bizarre casting decisions and creaky screenwriting, and we feel like these Intruders should stay locked up. Tom Sizemore relegated to background scenery as a creepy neighbour? Donal Logue as a doting Dad, (we’re this far from following The Tao of Steve)? Perhaps most egregiously, is the character played by Austin Butler, Cosgrove’s iCarly co-star, (who plays the role of Jake Krandle), Here, Butler’s Noah is either given some hilariously awful lines, or his delivery is slightly off, as his totally unbelievable handyman character perhaps fares the most cartoonish in what could have been a meaty role.
And really, the biggest problem with The Intruders is that it provides a (fairly) credible set-up, with Cosgrove effectively playing our unreliable narrator, but Adam Massey’s direction or most likely, the screenplay by Jason Juravic, fails to properly stick the landing.
The final plot twist of this snowy Sudbury-shot, Illinois-set thriller is just too weird for words. It involves an epilogue with a capper meant to encapsulate the mental capacities of our heroine, who has survived pretty harrowing ordeals to come out on top. And the big reveal botches the obvious set-up and presents the audience with a “huh?” rather than a “wha?” Strange ending for sure. Could have been Enemy, instead it provoked feelings of Enmity.
Still, any film that provokes mentions of Repulsion and Amityville Horror immediately afterwards can’t be all bad, can it?