Here’s the thing about scary movies; there is a right and a wrong way to do them. Many horror movies go too far and by that I mean, they start with scary and then push it too unbelievable. Once something exits the realm of “Possible” it no longer retains the scary factor because our ability to suspend disbelief is compromised. You can’t plant a story-line in the real-world and then part way through switch to fantasy or supernatural and expect the audience to stay with you.
Good examples of this would be, Jeepers Creepers, the first one has you believing that this sadistic very creepy man is chasing down two teens. It’s very scary because it’s possible, completely plausible in our every day lives – there are murders everywhere. However, half way through the film you discover that it’s not a man but a winged demon. This ruins the initial fear the film instills because it just exited real and became supernatural so we no longer feel that we are actually in danger. This does not apply to the second installment of Jeepers Creepers because we know he is a demon and the film is based around that supernatural concept – it does not flip-flop between two different planes.
Another film that blows it in this way is Insidious. Insidious had the potential to be a very scary movie but once they crossed over into the unbelievable insanity of the dream world or “The further” the movie began to skirt the borders of ridiculous.
The key to a brilliant and effective scary movie (horror/thriller) is to make the audience feel like it could happen to them. This is where Intruders really hit the nail on the head. The film focuses around a little boy and a little girl in two different parts of the world but both are dealing with the same scary figure named “Hollowface.” Depending on the copy of the movie you see there may or may not be subtitles; the little boy’s story is told in Spanish but what I came to appreciate was that the conversations going on in Spanish are not relevant. The movie wants you to focus on the atmosphere and the scene its self – not the dialogue. It is easy to determine what is generally being said anyway, so don’t fret when you find that you cannot keep up with the dialogue.
This film sort of plays on your typical imaginary boogeyman figure, which may not seem scary, but the fear really comes into play when you realize that adults see it too and you start to wonder if Hollowface is a real person or not. This film never gets too crazy, although there is plenty of spooky imagery and it plays on many natural fears; like being afraid of the dark, having your home burglarized while your in it, losing a child or having a child attacked etc. This film consistently keeps it’s feet planted in reality which, in my opinion, makes the film actually scary.
This film deserves more recognition as a horror-masterpiece and I really recommend it to those horror film skeptics out there – like myself. The film stars Clive Owen and he always delivers an impeccable performance; this film is no exception, so buy it, rent it or eh um – download it 😉