No Way Out
by Brody Rossiter
Cautionary home invasion tales have become a sub-genre staple of the horror cinema since the late 1940s. Electing to often strip away supernatural scares in favour of a threat distinctly more human in nature, such pictures draw upon reality to present a more ‘believable’ series of events stitched together from harrowing real-life stories. A familiar formulae of rednecks subjecting a damsel in distress to untold terrors – traumas which often take the form of sexual and physical assault – has repeatedly been presented to audiences. 2015’s Intruders seemingly looks to follow in the footsteps of its depraved predecessors.
Exploitation flicks such as Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left (1972) quickly earned infamy and scorn. That particular picture was banned for decades due to its depiction of rape and abduction, yet countless films have seemingly been inspired by the video nasty, plotting similar cycles of violence and futility. Intruders could have quite easily been one such example, instead it elects to immediately turn convention on its head and empower the woman who the titular intruders intended to victimise.
Anna (Beth Riesgraf ) suffers from severe agoraphobia. Following the death of her terminally-ill brother she is unable to leave her childhood home to attend his funeral, forcing her into a murderous game of cat and mouse with the men who intended to burglarise what they believed would be an empty home. Events quickly spiral out of control and the house’s disturbing past presents itself – a revelation that holds nothing but misery for the ill-fated opportunists.
A welcome twist on the horror trope of unwelcome guests making themselves at home, Intruders‘ claustrophobic narrative drips with menace and suspense as characters’ true natures emerge from beneath the surface. Director Adam Schindler repeatedly forces the viewer to confront their own sense of morality as it defies convention with a house that holds many secrets, and a damsel with a taste for sadism. If you had the chance to inflict revenge, would you take it?