‘Intruders’ Masterfully Invades But Overstays Welcome


They should have left her alone.


While taking care of her cancer-ridden brother, a woman must fight personal demons in the form of agoraphobia in an attempt to stay sane. But when Anna’s house is invaded by three men, looking to rob her of a passed-down fortune, she must brave the odds if she hopes to stay alive. Only things are never what they seem. Once the game of cat and mouse commences, the line between who’s predator and who’s prey begins to blur and before long, it becomes clear maybe no one’s getting out alive. Being forced out of your home is hard. Being forced to stay in your house can be murder. Welcome to Intruders.

‘Of Course. This Is My Home.’- Anna Rook


Like a passionate math teacher inflicted with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the performances in Intruders are complex and highly-executed across the board. Acting is a major piece of the cinematic puzzle and the players of Intruders truly help paint its picture.

Beth Riesgraf(Criminal Minds, Leverage) is simply stellar as Anna, the unfortunate victim of a methodical, greed-driven, home invasion. Stricken with agoraphobia, a debilitating disease causing the wreaked to fear the outside world, Anna is a complex character which would task any actor. Luckily for us, Riesfraf proficiently aces the test. Without ruining any of the narrative twists, Riesfraf is put through the emotional ringer throughout Intruders, but, like any professional, handles the difficultly like a 20-year veteran. Anna goes through about three or four changes in the film and I never once thought the emotions were inorganic. Contrast the scenes between Anna’s brother, Conrad (Timothy T. McKinney), occurring at the beginning of the film, with her interacting with Charlotte (Leticia Jimenez) at the tail end of Intruders for proof.

Rory Culkin(Scream 4Mean Creekis also bring the goods to Intruders. Playing Dan, the too-nice-it’s-suspect delivery guy, Culkin does amazing work with something a lesser actor would have easily made cheap and obvious. Culkin, brother of early 90s child-sensation Macaulay Culkin, really takes Dan to places that had me on the edge of my seat. Every emotion the actor desired the audience to feel, I felt. Every intention deliciously deliberate. Every ounce of empathy earned. I’d never dare ruin the film, so I’ll allude no further. Just know, Culkin has made a true fan of me.

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Which brings me to Martin Starr(Silicon Valley,Knocked Up). Starr, known for roles of the socially-awkward and repressed, really rocked the foundation of personality traits I believed the actor could portray. Playing Perry, the wild-card lunatic of the treasure-searching trespassers, Starr is legitimately frightening in Intruders. Read that again, Horror Heads. Martin Starr generated genuine unease from me and to that I say congratulations sir. You are truly a performer of many talents, and to call myself a fan gives me immense pleasure. His gifts are evident in every involved scene, with each being more exemplary than the last. B+

Official U.S One-Sheet


Adam Schindler directs Intruders with drive, passion and purpose. From the film’s openings, it’s starkly apparent that Director Schindler knows his way around a film camera. With Schindler, Intruders is in great hands.

Moving his camera like a proficient, maniacally mad,  pilot of a cinematic 757, Schindler is never stilted when shooting the ever-fast pace of Intruders’s mostly stellar script. Schindler, whose only other directing credit is the 2014’s short Killing Floor, really shows his camera-competency when the markers are down. While Intruders features many fine examples of amazing camera-work, a few examples stand out. Those instances include, but aren’t limited to, the scene when Anna’s brother is found to no longer be with the living and the briskness of the camera when the thieves break into the Rook home.

Composition is also sharp in Intruders. Great composition often is the work of a filmmaker trying to restrict chaos within the frame-to calm the viewer-while giving a shot multiple layers of suspense and information. This definition isn’t the only reason for accomplished, thought-out composition, but it’s often the case. Smart filmmakers use the frame to give as much vital information as possible without over cutting, thus making their film less choppy. Schindler does this extremely well in the film, and examples include the shot of Anna standing in-front to her brother’s hospice dwelling(with Conrad in bed), and of course, the shot to the right and at the top of this article. Just look at it, it’s amazing and indicative of a much more experienced filmmaker.

For essentially a first-time director, Schindler truly makes the most of celluloid with Intruders. B+


This is where Intruders showcases its eventual down fall: at the script stage. While the narrative does work extremely well, it eventually devolves into every cheaply made thriller we’ve seen far too many times before. Which is truly sad, because two/thirds of the script is exquisite .

Written by T.J. Cimfel and David White, Intruders begins at a brisk pace, inviting the viewer into a world relatable, comfortable, and fully emphatic. Taking care of a sick sibling may not be the most ideal situation, but the viewer doesn’t feel uninvited. In fact, the first act perfectly introduces us to Anna, Dan and Charlotte. The trio is interesting, kind(Dan is still a little too nice for comfort but approachable), and perfectly emphatic fodder for Director Schindler to manipulate his audience with. The first act lasts just enough time, never straying its course, and gets to the home invasion seemingly instantaneous. Then came the mind-blowing second act.

With Schindler, Intruders is in great hands.

In a script originally titled Shut In, Intruders’ second act is the stuff of magic. When the invaders finally hit the Rook home, the pacing goes from steady to breakneck. Then we not only have extremely well-written intruders, but guys that feel like real individuals with authentic motives and whole, organic, past lives lived. I was taken back by how well the “bad” guys were drawn out. In another writer’s hands, the trio of bruiting burglars would have been simply plot devices, objects to get the plot from A to B. Not here. The decision makes the story feel so much more alive than it would have otherwise been.

Not only that, but the second act features shocking character revelations, high-octane plot twists, and stellar dialog. But then the story begins to lose its solid foundation.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film fall as clumsy as Intruders eventually does. The third act takes all the well-earned hard work of the opening acts and creates something that to call lazy would be a kindness. The character motivations become absurd, almost to the point of parody, and the film goes from an amazing take on a simple story to stupidly-convoluted and highly-disappointing. It felt like the work of inept producers, coming in to “rewrite” the script to give it a more, or so they thought, interestingly deep appeal. I have zero proof, but I’ve been at this a while, and my gut tells me the script’s third act had too many drivers behind the wheel of the movie bus. It angers me because Intrudes became close to being one of my favorite horror films of the last decade, but the last act ruins that notion. C


Intruders is an amazing modern horror film… until it isn’t. It honestly saddens me, and often causes me anger, when thinking about how the ball was dropped so hard in the third act. It’s a film I recommend due to how magically magnificent the first and second acts truly are. In a perfect world, the quality would have sustained but unfortunately that isn’t reality. That said, Intruders is still worth your time. It features solid performances and masterfully-disciplined direction. So next time it’s movie night, stay in and catch Intruders on VOD. Just be sure to lock up, you never know who will break in and try to watch with you.


Intruders is currently available on Amazon Instant Video, and other VOD platforms, from Momentum Pictures and Phase 4 Films.