The Intruders actually isn’t a terrible movie but it should be noted that the target audience in all likelihood is the ‘tween demographic. As a PG-13 flick, it’s pretty light with the bulk of the rating being for “scary” images but remove a couple swear words, this could easily air on LMN or ABC Family with minimal edits. Miranda Cosgrove is decent as a lead actress however she’s not given much to work with.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment | PG13 – 92 min. – $26.99 | February 24, 2015
THE MOVIE – 2.5/5
The Intruders is a PG-13 rated film — and a mild one at that to the point where it could air uncut (save for language) on ABC Family or Lifetime Movie Network — squarely aimed at the ‘tween crowds and, going back further, reminds me of those R.L. Stine novels (such as his “Fear Street” line). As such, this is one of those movies that’s not very good but not so offensively bad that I regret ever seeing it. No doubt, it’s also something I probably won’t remember in a week.
The plot centers on 20-year-old Rose Halshford (MIRANDA COSGROVE) who is moving with her father, Jerry (DONAL LOGUE), to a new house for a new start after the tragic death of her mother. She’s also on leave from college due to the death for stress. Inside their new home, Rose meets one of the construction crewman, Noah (AUSTIN BUTLER), working on renovations and obviously there’s an instant attraction. Rose also quickly befriends Leila Markby (JENESSA GRANT) though at first the reception is icy especially when she meets Leila’s overbearing father, Howard (TOM SIZEMORE).
Meanwhile, Rose, being alone in this creepy home, begins hearing noises and worse yet, has nightmares seeing and hearing from what I assume is an otherworldly, supernatural origin. But something else is also going on with strange noises going beyond the normal creaks. However, is this really happened or all in her head? Also, her father isn’t exactly buying her warnings while she is resenting her father for working so much and being emotional distant.
That’s really the basic premise. The film rides the line of fantasy/supernatural and suspense/thriller, neither genre/subgenre really working that well. We also get a couple suspects for the thriller part including Tom Sizemore who makes his annual direct-to-video appearance further reminding us, especially fans of Heat, of his descent in the film business with really substandard, and in this case vastly underwritten, roles. Donal Logue plays up the generic and stereotypical workaholic father.
Miranda Cosgrove, for her part, more or less plays the more adult version of her Carly character in “iCarly,” the audience which I think The Intruders is geared more towards. That said, Cosgrove wasn’t bad and considering the material she had to work with, can’t imagine many other young actresses could do much better.
The Intruders was directed by Adam Massey, from a script by Jason Juravic (debut), following up a 2006 drama entitled A Lobster Tale starring Colm Meaney. Neither the direction or writing were particularly strong but for the target audience, I suppose it’s good enough and at least the cinematography wasn’t half bad showcasing the creepy house, although even that is taken from so many other haunted house flicks, most recently in my memory, Haunter (with Abigail Breslin) which was another Canadian film, though that one is 100% supernatural.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5
The Making of The Intruders (15:05) is your basic behind-the-scenes featurette with on-set interviews with members of the cast and crew as they discuss the characters and story.
The Secrets of The Intruders (7:48) offers more BTS footage and interviews.
VIDEO – 4.25/5 | AUDIO – 4.5/5
The Intruders comes to DVD shown with a 2.35 anamorphic widescreen transfer which, for standard def, looks clean and has decent black levels and no major signs of artifacts, aliasing or other flaws.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is actually quite strong between the clear dialogue coming mostly through the center channel to the LFE track that provides a nice boost in providing the more suspense-filled moments (such as they are) as the floor shakes giving good depth to a standard DD track.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, The Intruders actually isn’t a terrible movie but it should be noted that the target audience in all likelihood is the ‘tween demographic. As a PG-13 flick, it’s pretty light with the bulk of the rating being for “scary” images but remove a couple swear words, this could easily air on LMN or ABC Family with minimal edits. Miranda Cosgrove is decent as a lead actress however she’s not given much to work with. The DVD release by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment offers excellent video/audio transfers and two thin featurettes.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman