Intrusion Movie Review: Freida Pinto tries to lift some lackluster writing
The viewer is always a step ahead of the writer in this underwhelming Netflix thriller
We have all experienced the exasperation of seeing horror movie characters make bizarre choices that push them deeper into harm. It’s perhaps this emotion I felt the strongest while watching Intrusion, which despite not necessarily being a horror outing contains many troupes we are familiar with in the genre.
Starring: Freida Pinto, Logan Marshall-Green
Streaming on: Netflix
Directed by: Adam Salky
Freida Pinto plays Meera, a therapist who has overcome cancer with her husband, Henry (Logan Marshall-Green), who has been a pillar of support. When the couple shifts base from Boston to the serene countryside to avoid the rat race in the concrete jungle, everything appears hunky-dory… for a brief period, before their safety is threatened by masked men. The eponymous intrusion, which takes place roughly 20 minutes into the film, ends with Henry gunning down the uninvited guests, setting the stage for a conflict as Meera grows increasingly suspicious of the motives behind the act of violence.
It’s a rather dark premise exploring the visceral depths of two flawed individuals, but it’s treated with painful simplicity, even if the narrative structure feels largely cohesive. The issue, however, is how you are always ten steps ahead of writer Christopher Sparling. The clues and potential red herrings give away way too much, and this means that we have discerned the problem long before Meera does. This predictability is a big problem in this film, which has some moments of real tension. However, there’s little inventiveness in the writing, even if the gorgeous visuals try to distract us from the problems by capturing all the emptiness, both emotional and physical.
The editing pattern, too, corroborates this void by periodically nudging the desolation of this massive and glossy villa that houses an unpleasant mystery. I particularly liked the idea of representing Meera’s disarrayed train of thought—while Henry tries to convince her to let go of the trauma—with quick oscillation between shots of her face and the knife on hand. Intrusion also leverages tension to keep us invested in the proceedings and works. A jumpscare early in the second act is particularly well done, with smart use of sound design. Pinto does a fine job internalising her perplexed character, but the same cannot be said about Marshall-Green’s Henry though. His performance does little to subvert our suspicion.
It’s a premise that allows us to peek into the gritty corners of the human mind, but the intensity of the subject matter doesn’t do justice with the film settling instead for simplistic upshots. Intrusion may be reasonably effective, but it feels like a missed opportunity.