Intruder (2016)

Intruder2016Elizabeth is a talented cellist living in Portland, trying to make a career-making decision.  During a huge storm, an intruder finds his way into her apartment and watches her go through life as normal.  As time goes by, his stalking progresses from mild to worse.

Written and directed by Travis Z (Travis Zariwny), Intruder is a well-crafted thriller that plays on the idea of someone being on one’s apartment without their knowledge, stalking them, watching them, eating their food, moving things around. No matter how creative the kills in a slasher or how creative a monster, a realistic situation (well mostly realistic) of something that could actually happen to anyone, that could have been ripped from the headlines, is much scarier and much harder to pull off.  The characters feel like real people and speak in a manner that could be someone the viewers know.

Granted, the lead is not someone most people encounter every day (an orchestra cellist) but she is written in a way that makes her believable and makes the viewer care for her.  The rest of the characters are good as well, bringing more reality to the story by grounding it in people that could really exist.  Most of this story rests on ambiance and on lead character Elizabeth’s shoulders so Louise Linton’s performance is crucial.  Thankfully, Linton is quite good, showing the viewer’s nuanced emotions as she goes through life not knowing someone else is in her apartment.  Once things start changing, she adjusts accordingly.  The Intruder also does very well, giving off a creepy vibe while staying hidden most of the film.  For the sake of not spoiling the film, the performer’s name is not going to be given away here.

No one in the cast here stick out like a sore thumb, there are no grating performances or bad ones which is definitely a good thing and a sign of great casting and good directing.  As effects/blood are basically non-existent in “Intruder,” the one big important aspect here is the music as it adds to story like special effects do to horror.  Having an orchestra cellist as a lead character, there had to be a few scenes of her playing.  As someone rather unfamiliar with the instrument, it’s hard to tell if Louise Linton is playing, pretending really well, or just terrible at it, but what can be said is that it sounds very good when it should.  The rest of the score adds to the creepy scenes by supporting and adding to the uneasy feeling of watching someone watch someone else without their knowledge.

Intruder is a creepy film with good performances and its music is beautiful. For anyone who’s ever felt like they’ve been watched or stalked, this one will bring back fears and make its effect much stronger.  For those who have not, the way this is shot may give you a better understanding of those fears by caring for Elizabeth and what happens to her.  This film is effective and works on many levels.  For people who tend to stop watching a movie once the credits roll, do yourselves a favor and keep this one going as it has a mid-credit sequence and a post credit scene which are the real ending to this story and bring the whole of the film together. “Intruder” is entertaining and creepy, definitely worth a watch in a dark room, possibly alone to make its ambiance work even better.