"Intruders" Is a Monster Movie Being Made Up by Its Protagonist

Clive Owen in Intruders.

Intruders sets up a clever dual narrative that shifts between Juan (Izán Corchero), a young boy in Madrid who's terrorized by the nebulous, Freddy Krueger-esque Hollow Face, and Mia (Ella Purnell), a pointedly pubescent Londoner who seems to have created the monster in an ongoing school story project but receives nightly visits from him too. The catch is that Mia's father (Clive Owen) also sees Hollow Face, unlike Juan's single mom (Pilar López de Ayala), who fears her boy might be cracking up. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) does a good job of keeping the fuzzy symbiosis of these plot lines up in the air, even if the back-and-forth grows tedious early on. There's also something daringly meta (or maybe foolhardy) in the notion of a monster movie being made up by its protagonist as it goes along. Intruders stumbles, however, by never establishing a satisfying emotional connection to its characters and events, and its climactic reveal fizzles accordingly.

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