Starring: Clive Owen, Clarice Van Houten, Kerry Fox, Ella Purnell
Working on movie sites for the last couple of years, it is rare that I come accross a film that received a wide release in theatres, but where I know next to nothing about it. Enter last year’s Intruders, about which I knew that it starred Clive Owen and was possibly/probably a thriller. Maybe it had an intruder too.
With the opening 10 minutes concerning itself with Juan, a Spanish boy and his nightmares of a supernatural being who enters his room each night called Hollow Face, I was a little confused as to whether I had put the right disc in the machine. Having checked twice, I decided to Google the film to see if somewhere I had been misled.
Nope, ok it’s definitely the movie starring Clive Owen but, ah , yes, I see, it’s a Spanish film directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, of 28 Weeks Later fame. This now makes sense. But, hang on, why are we still in Spain? And what does this kid’s nightmare have to do with our main character?
Here we go, we’re now in London, and here’s Clive Owen sat on top of a building site having a pretty forced discussion with one of his workers. This doesn’t sound like any discussion that has ever passed between two guys. Gosh darn this is bad dialogue, I hope that this is just one of those films that takes time to kick in.
Nope, half hour in and still very slow. Oh look , he’s got a family and it’s his daugher’s birthday. Now we are talking, this is where we start to see everything come together. Except, why does it seem there is no chemistry between these actors, and it looks like Clive has literally just met them for the first time in his life. And why does his daughter follow that cat for no reason? That couldn’t possibly be an unnecessary plot device that would never happen in real life, would it?
Enough with the running commentary, if you haven’t guessed by now, this wasn’t a hidden gem that surprised me with it’s original storyline, amazing acting and stunning directing.
Owen is an actor I usually like, although his technique isn’t always perfect, he has a great screen presence. Yes, there were moments here where he was pretty good, usually the parts he was angry, but overall he was lost in a sea of bad writing.
And yes, some of the scenes were well directed by Fresnadillo, using effective imagery, such as when Owen and his daughter, played by Purnell, see Hollow Face for the first time walking out of a dark closet.
Overall this was one of the dullest movie experiences I have had in a while. In fact, it is remarkable how it was a supernatural story, that actually had nothing to do with anything supernatural at all.
The story of Juan and how he connected to Clive Owen’s family did at least keep me interested until the end, but after 90 minutes of watching this, any ending would have been greated with thanks.
Filled with bad cliches, terrible plot devices and mediocre performances, this is defintely one I recommend you don’t let in the house.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5