By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Moody, complex horror-drama has children in peril.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intruders' themes are complex and slightly dark. It talks about a special bond between parents and children that allows good things can be passed on -- but also scary things. The movie also features a subplot in which the concerned parents turn to both the church and to psychiatrists, but neither can offer help. However, the movie does show problem solving in terrifying circumstances.
Positive Role Models
The English father and the Spanish mother are both concerned parents, working tirelessly to solve difficult, indefinable problems. While the children sometimes face their fate bravely, they're mostly terrified victims.
Violence & Scariness
Violence isn't constant, but there are some strong images, including children in peril. An intruder breaks into a house, attacks two children, and tries to choke a woman. The father fights with and punches the intruder. There's some nightmare imagery, with things like dark water dripping from the ceiling (it looks somewhat like blood, but it also just looks dirty and goopy).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman and her husband are in bed together, naked and kissing. The woman is shown fully nude. There's also some innuendo.
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Language is relatively infrequent, but includes more than one use of "f--k." Characters also say "Jesus" (as an exclamation) and "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Intruders is a spooky drama with horror overtones that tells intertwining stories about a mysterious, faceless intruder attacking a young boy in Spain and a young girl in England. Intruders is more moody than violent, but it does have some scary/upsetting images of children in jeopardy, as well as some fighting and a woman being choked. There are also some nightmarish, horror-style scares. There's one scene of sexuality with kissing; a fully naked woman is shown. Language is infrequent but includes more than one use of "f--k."
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In Spain, a boy (Izan Corchero) who loves monster stories experiences an attack by a real-life monster; a faceless intruder tries to choke his mom and take the boy away. In England, a girl (Ella Purnell) finds a written story about a monster called Hollow Face, in a tree trunk. She, too, receives a visit from the faceless creature, who's apparently trying to steal children's faces to complete its own. The Spanish mother (Pilar Lopez de Ayala) and English father (Clive Owen) do everything in their power to save their children. The mother asks for help from the church, and the father installs a security system. Ultimately, though, it's a problem that can only be solved by all the characters searching within themselves.
Is It Any Good?
INTRUDERS is a moody, spooky movie. In appearances at various film festivals, it met with disappointment from horror fans who demand that supernatural horror (ghosts and monsters) and realistic horror (like The Silence of the Lambs) remain separate. But by combining the two types, celebrated Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has created a fascinating hybrid.
To that end, the movie raises issues of identity, family, and the concept of fear itself. (Where does scary stuff come from?) A "twist" ending generally seems to disappoint horror fans, but it makes sense and is perfectly acceptable. Fresnadillo perhaps keeps the movie a bit too literally dark (doesn't anyone ever turn on the lights?), and some supporting characters don't have much weight, but overall, this is an effective, unique movie.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how scary the movie is. What were the scariest parts? Is it actually a horror movie, or is it more like a drama about families in trouble?
How do the mother and son relate to each other in the Spanish story? What about the father and daughter in the English story? Do the parents believe their children's stories? How do they try to help their children? Would you have behaved differently?
Is this a supernatural horror movie or a realistic one? Is it a combination of the two? What's good and/or bad about a combination or a hybrid?
What did you think of the "twist" ending? Did it make sense? Was it rewarding?
- In theaters: March 30, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: July 17, 2012
- Cast: Carice Van Houten, Clive Owen, Pilar Lopez de Ayala
- Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
- Studio: Millennium Entertainment
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: terror, horror violence, some sexuality/nudity and language
- Last updated: January 24, 2023
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