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The Hollywood Insider Intrusion Review, Freida Pinto

Photo: ‘Intrusion’

‘Intrusion’ – Home Invasion Thriller

Intrusion’ on the surface looks like a normal home invasion film, but takes it a step further with deeper thrills. Freida Pinto plays Meera, a breast cancer surviving therapist who moves into a huge house in the middle of nowhere designed by her architect husband Henry, played by Logan Marshall-Green. After returning home from a night on the town, they come back to find their place burglarized. This inciting incident drives the rest of the film to find out who did it and why. Meera becomes paranoid and doesn’t know who to trust anymore.

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Due to this film being a mystery thriller, it’s difficult to fully discuss the film without giving away the ending. To avoid doing that, it’s much easier to discuss where the thriller went wrong regarding audiences’ expectations and lack of character development. Though the film overall shined with brilliant set design and stunning cinematography. The reviews and reactions to this film have been quite negative, but it’s hard to forget that not all films are trying to reinvent the wheel. Just because it has been done before in a slightly different way, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. Hollywood typically is good at pumping out content that is “the same, but different”. Overall the film is a good story and done well, though like any movie things could have been different to make it even better.

Audiences Are Smarter Than You Think

As a writer, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the audience can think for themselves. Catching small details and predicting the final act is natural for any viewer to do. ‘Intrusion’ plays with audiences’ expectations, but comes up empty-handed for the thrill factor. If there were less obvious clues and hints at the final ending, it may have been more shocking, but there was no red herring good enough to change the mind of the audience once it was predicted. It’s tough for writers and filmmakers to really surprise audiences overall, with classic films like ‘The Sixth Sense’ and ‘Se7en’ handing us game-changing plot twists and even recent best picture winner ‘Parasite’ thrilling audiences across the world. With these films in the back of our minds, it’s tough to top those twists. ‘Intrusion’ swings and misses because of the lack of time the writer gave the audience to really understand the characters, but also presenting the evidence too early in the film. 

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The reason for the frustration that the audience may have is because they want the element of surprise, but their brains think too quickly and grab on to the bread crumbs too eagerly that the writer puts down. With a couple more drafts of the script, it more than likely would be more effective. 

Mediocre Character Arc

Meera is the protagonist throughout the film and from the beginning to the end, there is supposed to be a huge character arc, but it falls flat with the lack of emotional development. Meera is a breast cancer survivor and the audience learns that from the beginning when she thinks it came back while she was washing her body in the shower. The paranoia begins there with the fear of her cancer coming back, but quickly grows to paranoia all around her after the break in. Her husband Henry, makes it known that he is her support system, without him where would she be. With him being the protector of her, making her out to feel weak and alone, her character arc is for her to be able to take care of herself. 

That is a strong and good goal for a character, but sadly doesn’t come off the way it should in the film. She is told over and over again that she can’t take care of herself, which was true when she was sick, but there is no showing of that time in her life in the film. She clearly looks like she is able to take care of herself throughout the film as she sneaks around to figure out why people broke into her house. By the end of the film, she is “stronger”, but there is no real revelation for her to be that way. From the start, she came across as strong which results in an anti-climatic character arc. 

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Set Design and Cinematography Shine

The story and character development may have been a bit lackluster, the visuals of the film were not. To begin with, the set design was extremely beautiful. Most of the film was shot in their home in the middle of the desert, but a majority one place location can sometimes be tough with the repetition of settings. This modern mansion was absolutely stunning, with the backdrop of being in the middle of nowhere, it also created an eerie feeling during the night. It was a perfect setting to really get the story across and served a purpose for each room and how it was set up. This film did an excellent job of making connections to everything.

The cinematography was also very well done throughout. A thriller of course is going to have its tense moments, but the director Adam Salky really took advantage of the space to visually come across as tense and thrilling. At a specific moment in the film, Meera’s paranoia was coming to a reality and the camera started to slowly turn like a dutch angle. A visual representation of her life going upside down. It was beautifully executed without it causing vertigo. There was also a tense moment during a conversation and Meera was cutting vegetables, the camera focused on each cut and the sound was turned up on the chop. It distracts the audience from the conversation and now we are focused on whether or not she is going to accidentally cut herself. 

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‘Intrusion’ doesn’t offer any new takes that other films have already brought us, but nonetheless is still a fun watch. Without looking too deep or hard into the story, it will shock audiences and make your jaw drop. 

Where to Watch

‘Intrusion’ can be streamed on Netflix here.

Look ahead for Adam Salky’s future features that are ‘Oasis’ and ‘The Ceremony’ that are both in pre-production.

Don’t forget to check out Frieda Pinto’s newest film ‘Needle in a Timestack’ directed by John Ridley and starring alongside Orlando Bloom.

By Jack Colin

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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