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Film Review: “Intrusion” Is a Cheap Thrill That Awkwardly Aspires to More

Written by: Hannah Tran | September 23rd, 2021

Film poster: “Intrusion”

Intrusion (Adam Salky, 2021) 2 out of 4 stars.

There are very few elements that set Adam Salky’s Intrusion apart from all the other movie-of-the-week thrillers that streaming platforms carelessly pump out. Its intriguing setting and equally intriguing cast are unable to save this dull script about a woman who starts to suspect, after a home invasion, that her husband is involved with something sinister. Intrusion has all the twists and turns one might expect, but if you’re simply looking to know the answers to the familiarly enticing description, it’ll entertain you just enough so you can.

Essential to a home invasion is an interesting house. This is one thing that Intrusion does well. While it may not make full use of its space to amp up the tension, the concrete edifice in the middle of a desert wasteland is certainly a fresh approach, design-wise. The small-town vibe it tries to create, however, could use a bit of work. Scenes within the community paint their new town as entirely characterless, and the social and financial lines dividing the subgroups within it feel far too simplistic.

l-r: Logan Marshall-Green and Frieda Pinto in INTRUSION. @Ursula Coyote/Netflix

It doesn’t help that most of this community is made up of weak supporting characters with ham-fisted dialogue and performances by the actors who play them. Frieda Pinto (Only) and Logan Marshall-Green (Upgrade), however, are two often-underutilized-by-Hollywood actors who feel once again let down by this lackluster story. Pinto’s character is a worthy heroine with a driven willpower and a problematic fearlessness, but the rushed pacing and short length of the film fails to give her or Marshall-Green the time to really develop.

So much of the rising tension throughout the first half of the film feels repetitive and unnecessary. So, once it finally delves into its dark secrets, the story has already lost much of its steam. It wraps up its mysteries with too neat of a bow, and it somehow manages to make the most predictable possible ending feel nearly nonsensical. The sudden shift is indicative of the larger issue with the filmmaking beyond the narrative. Because every moment already feels so convenient, they resort to forced dramatic measures by using imposing music cues and frilly camera movements to make up for the lack of suspense. Intrusion leaves you wishing it would have gone in stranger, more shocking directions.

Frieda Pinto in INTRUSION. @Ursula Coyote/Netflix

Hannah Tran is a film critic and filmmaker from Las Vegas, Nevada. Hannah works as a film screener for the Las Vegas Film Festival and publishes an independent zine focused on highlighing Asian American filmmaking.

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