Director Adam Salky and writer Christopher Sparling tell an old story in new ways. But they don’t expand much beyond the familiar fright found within its familiar confines. This is not a horror movie. It’s a thriller, and it’s a relatively effective one at that. Unfortunately, there aren’t many thrills to be had in Intrusion, streaming on Netflix as a forgettable piece of work from Salky and Sparling.
– Intrusion Review does not contain spoilers –
Intrusion Movie Suspends An Adequate Number of Plots
The first thing you might notice about Intrusion is the overall lack of polish. The script doesn’t rely on twists and turns but instead on some reasonably obvious stuff. As a cancer survivor, Meera (Freida Pinto) gets carried off by her husband (Logan Marshall-Green) who is constructing their dream house.
Even though the plot was meant to be governed by thriller elements, the movie turns on this character’s resistance to allowing her life to become entangled. The movie’s action is driven by the character’s desire to separate her angst and constant fear, even as she becomes more entwined, like the crisis.
The film makes its money by playing up the dread-inducing potential of its premise rather than drawing attention to its genre trappings. The screenplay by Sparling and Salky leans heavily on devices designed to unnerve viewers — whether it be a hauntingly foreboding soundtrack or a scary scene. This isn’t a movie about jump scares or cheap one-liners; it wants to make you feel weird and alone in a suburban nightmare.
Frieda Pinto’s Character Depiction in Intrusion Remains Vague
As for Pinto herself — well, her performance is far less influential than the rest of the characters. She gives us little through facial expression or physicality that registers as genuine; she looks like she doesn’t want to be there. Her only real contribution is her intelligence, which is frequently displayed in her awkward approach to interpersonal interactions.
But without any ability to make us care about her character — or even understand what she might be thinking — what could turn out to be a fascinating story comes off as blandly predictable.
The film follows them as they settle into their new life together, but it also deals with more significant questions about the relationship between people and the modern home. What’s not to like? The stakes are high enough that it’s hard not to care about what happens next, even if some of those questions are never fully answered or answered clumsily.
Why do we expect so much detail in the Intrusion plot?
Because it completely encapsulates the experience of watching Intrusion — one that begins slightly off-kilter but gradually builds into something far more intriguing than its modest premise might suggest. It lacks the self-awareness and punchy script writing required to deliver on its promise as a provocative thriller. However, it still provides enough atmosphere to keep you intrigued throughout its brief running time.
The movie’s biggest flaw is its focus on story over character development. The film falters whenever it shifts focus, forcing us to ask ourselves, “Why did this person do this? Why would someone do that?” Without a good reason for someone acting a certain way, we have no reason to care about them or root for them when things get nasty. They seem pretty flimsy with their interactions not handled well enough.
The film’s structure doesn’t break new ground, but it’s filled with enough scares to keep you from falling asleep. It doesn’t make it less unpleasant or less effective, but it is decidedly less enjoyable than it might have been otherwise.
How Intrusion Resonates the Conventional and Contrived Genre?
Intrusion does not entirely squander its premise, but the script suffers from shortcomings that plagued the cast. Instead of creating compelling characters in Frieda and Logan, the screenwriters rely on their actors’ ability to deliver dialogue that is essentially filler. It’s almost disappointing that neither actor has much of an opportunity to shine in the film; Logan, in particular, instead drags his performance.
For the most part, the film is an enjoyable little yarn with a few predictable twists that can be seen coming miles away. The main problem with Intrusion is that its script falls into the same trap that has become too common in genre films over the last decade. It plays it too safe, relying on an overly familiar formula to tell its story.
Intrusion Remains Inexplicable with its Bland Personification
But if you see Intrusion as a potentially important piece of art, you might be asking yourself why it didn’t take off in the way that Sparling’s previous works did.
It didn’t take off because it wasn’t seen as art. Or rather, it was seen as art, but not art worthy of being seen. It was the story of an intrusion, which was thought to be polite fiction for the masses. But there are two problems with this approach to criticism.
The first is that the very idea of an “intrusion” is based on a mythos that was itself based on the artistic achievements of others. The great masters of cinema have always stood apart from their work, embracing its genius instead of apologizing for it or explaining away its flaws. The second problem with the intrusions mythos is that it has become so widespread that it has lost the ability to unseat its assumptions and construct an alternative language through which we can build our interpretations.
Stream It or Skip It?
A decent movie. The plot is decent enough, but it seems like it could’ve been fleshed out more. Maybe if there was more room for character development and the plot could be explored further, this would be a much better film. It’s better than your average thriller but not as good as its genre could be.
Intrusion is streaming on Netflix.