blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Intruders (2015, Adam Schindler)

Beth Reisgraf stars in INTRUDERS, directed by Adam Schindler for Momentum Pictures.

Should Intruders be good? It should be better, no question, but should it be good. It’s about an agoraphobic (who’s an agoraphobic solely as part of the film’s gimmick) who has to fend off intruders into her home. Beth Riesgraf plays the agoraphobic. She’s quite good in the first act, then she loses her own movie to one of the villains. Because it turns out Riesgraf isn’t a damsel in distress and is able to return the intruders’ ferocity.

I’m trying to give the spoilers a wide berth, but Riesgraf doesn’t whether their reveals well. Partially because it’s terribly written and terribly directed, partially because she just doesn’t. At the same time, writers T.J. Cimfel and David White–along with director Schindler–give Jack Kesy a whole bunch to do. He goes from being “vicious redneck #1” to Sherlock Holmes Jr., complete with qualifications to his attack on Riesgraf and her response. It’s exactly where Intruders shouldn’t go. It isn’t capable of asking big questions. It’s capable of offering working television actors a nice change of pace in a reasonably well-directed thriller. And I don’t think Intruders necessarily wants to ask big questions, but shutting Riesgraf out of her own movie to showcase Kesy’s acting? It defaults and becomes a pain to watch.

Vaguely amusing support from Martin Starr as a psychopathic thug (with what appears to be a glued on lumberjack beard). Rory Culkin’s good as Riesgraf’s flirtation, though he eventually just becomes the film’s damsel in distress (which it probably could have gone further with, but didn’t). Kesy’s fine. Riesgraf ranges from great to weak. But there’s nothing she could do after a certain point. The script breaks both Kesy and Riesgraf’s characters, his for the better, hers for the worse. Neither move helps the film at all. It’s just to drag out the narrative.

Schindler’s got some solid directorial moves on Intruders. He knows how to make a limited budget seem bigger, he does fine with the actors. Bad music by Frederik Wiedmann. Eric Leach’s photography is competent but lacks any personality.

Some of Intruders is pretty good, but when it goes bad, it doesn’t stop. Is that a saying? It is now, I want to be done with Intruders.



Directed by Adam Schindler; written by T.J. Cimfel and David White; director of photography, Eric Leach; edited by Brian Netto and Schindler; music by Frederik Wiedmann; production designer, James Wiley Fowler; produced by Lati Grobman, Erik Olsen, Jeff Rice and Steven Schneider; released by Momentum Pictures.

Starring Beth Riesgraf (Anna Rook), Martin Starr (Perry Cuttner), Jack Kesy (J.P. Henson), Joshua Mikel (Vance Henson) and Rory Culkin (Dan Cooper).


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