Sunday, 23 September 2012

Intruders, dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, wr. Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques, st. Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl, Pilar López de Ayala, Ella Purnell

Fresnadillo, director of the notable Intacto in 2001 and the slightly less memorable 28 Weeks Later in 2007, here gives us his take on the Horror Weepie - a deviation from the classic genre which embraces an emotional rather than an explanatory payoff. Just think Alejandro Amenábar's The Others from 2001, or Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage from 2007. The film sets up two storylines that run concurrently. In one, a young boy's creative writings give presence to a physical manifestation of the monsters he has created, whilst many years later, a young girl discovers the very same novella, stashed within a knot in a tree, and the hauntings begin again in earnest. Sadly, a cathartic finale we may be due, but that doesn't stop Fresnadillo treating his film with the same tired conception of the hundreds of other one-word chillers out there (we've had Insidious and Sinister, I'm waiting for Lugubrious). The way the flip-flopping of the dual narratives is orchestrated sets up the promise of a connection far too early on in the film to make the climax that much of an effective reveal, and although the cast perform solidly, the prestige is underwhelming.