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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl, Pilar López de Ayala and Ella Purnell
Universal Pictures (UK)
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 21 May 2012

In Spain, Juan, a little boy who lives with his mother, is terrorised by a faceless hooded figure. The mother thinks her boy might be possessed, and seeks the aid of a less than helpful local priest. In England, Mia, a 13 year-old girl, finds a written story secreted in the hollow of a tree. She adopts the scary tale as her own, reading it out at school. However, the story remains unfinished. Soon after, she suffers an onslaught of disturbing dreams which very soon become reality, as Hollowface, the subject of the story, immediately begins to assault her in her own bedroom. Hollowface, is looking for the face of a child, and she fits the bill. Her father attempts to rid her of her inner fears, but she becomes hysterical to the point that she cannot speak. Is Hollowface omnipresent, or does something else connect these two chilling events...?

This is a British and Spanish joint production from the director of 28 Days Later, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. The scenes set in Spain are subtitled, as they should be, and the rest is English-speaking, utilising the stark wake-up call that is Clive Owen’s accent, somewhere between Vinnie Jones and Parker from Thunderbirds. Actually, he’s very good in this, and his protective connection to his character’s daughter is entirely convincing - even to the detriment of his wife in the film.

Intruders is very articulate in its direction. Seemingly small events have a large impact. Fresnadillo puts you on the edge of your seat several times - especially in the first quarter. The PR blurb invokes Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage; so, it’s comparing itself to a Guillermo Del Toro film. Hmm. I think not. This sort of false advertising is completely nonsensical, as Intruders succeeds on its own merits. There’s a tendency in recent years to devise plots wherein what we witness for almost the entire film turns out to be something completely different. The conclusion of this example doesn’t turn the plot on its head, but it does bring the main events together and reveal the pivotal characters to be more central to the proceedings than we originally guess.

It’s great to come across something a little different again in the horror stakes. At face value the hooded figure could be so mundane. At one point I couldn’t help thinking, what the hell is going on? But I never lost interest. The film is ultimately rewarding, and is well worth a look. I particularly like the ambiguity of the situation: is this really happening, or just a figment of Mia’s mental instability?

A satisfying array of extras includes six deleted scenes, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Two Stories. Two Cities, Directed By..., and Who is Hollowface: The Making of Intruders.


Ty Power

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