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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 01.16.16] horror thriller

The home invasion sub genre has seen some inventive takes in recent years and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. From the under-seen Replicas, to sci-fi tinged The Purge, to You're Next and onto this year's feminist Civil War film The Keeping Room and even, yes, Eli Roth's Knock Knock, it's certainly been a good time to be a fan of those kinds of stories.

Enter into this group Adam Schnider's confident feature film debut, Intruders (Formerly "Shut In"), which manages to offer an entirely new and nasty twist on the standard home invasion thriller that keeps you guessing through its entire run-time.

Since this is one of those films that you want to enter into without knowing too much about the story, I'll just give you the logline: an agoraphobic woman mourning the recent death of her older brother, finds herself at the mercy of a group of men who break into her house looking for something. And, as if the concept of an agoraphobic person trapped in a home invasion scenario wasn't a good enough concept already, Schnider and writers find a way to turn the screw again in a big way that makes you sit up and take notice.

As Intruders starts, it lulls you into making certain assumptions about the movie you're in and the nature of the characters and relationships you think they have with one another. Our female protagonist, Ann (played by Beth Riesgraf), is set up as emotionally drained and broken and unable to move on after her brother's death. In movie terms, she's the perfect kind of character to put into a horror scenario; one that she'll need to fight through and survive to symbolize dealing with grief and transending it by the end of the film. But, as we (and the titular intruders) discover, to assume is to make an ass out of u and me.

Some viewers may find Intruders a little too engineered, or the ultimate revelations unsatisfying in some way, but I can guarentee no one will walk away saying been there, done that. The film is taught and fast paced and if you're a fan of home invasion films in general I think you'll appreciate the ultimate subversion of the genre.

Intruders is out now on VOD and in select theatres.

Recommended Release: You're Next

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