October 15th -- Intruders
There are times when the very presence of a particular actor in a movie will draw my attention, regardless of the film itself. Ron Perlman is a good example of this: I love the guy to death and will see anything he's in, regardless of potential quality. Same goes for Bruce Campbell and Clint Eastwood. Another actor that fits on that list is Clive Owen. I don't know what it is about the guy but I find him a fascinating actor to watch and always enjoy his films, to one extent or another. He was definitely my main draw in screening "Intruders."
"Intruders" is Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's followup to "28 Weeks Later," although it has no relation to anything in that series. The film hinges on a split narrative, divided between a young girl and her father (Owen) in America and a young boy and his mother in Spain. Both children are connected, though they've never met, through their shared fascination with a made-up bogeyman named Hollowface. The children have become obsessed with the notion that the creature is coming to steal their faces and the terror begins to bleed into the "real" world. Soon, Owen sees enough to completely believe his daughter. When evidence comes up that she and him may share a psychosis, however, Owen must confront his own childhood demons and figure out who Hollowface really is.
Perhaps the biggest issue with "intruders," at least initially, is the split narrative. Until the two stories are connected later on in the film, the Spanish portion only serves to draw focus from the stronger part with Owen and his daughter. There's also a tendency to over-rely on CGI shock effects, particularly towards the end of the film. This gives the action a much more cartoonish feeling than seems warranted.
On the plus side, Owen and Ella Purnell (his daughter, Mia) are quite good in their roles and the "twist" that ties everything together is pretty decent, as well. There are a few genuine scares and some nicely emotional material at the end. All in all, "Intruders" isn't a classic, or even amazing, but it is a well-made, entertaining bit of suspense. Just don't go in expecting a masterpiece and you shouldn't be disappointed.