Review: Intruder

Synapse Films (Blur-ray)

A mysterious killers is stalking the aisles and storage rooms of a second-rate, small town grocery store.  The unusually large night crew, which includes two cashiers for some reason, falls victim one by one in a series of bloody, gory death scenes.

This film is most notable for the fact that it stars, amongst other people, Sam Raimi (Director of Evil Dead, Spider-Man), and Ted Raimi (Joxer the Mighty from Xena: Warrior Princess), and has a brief cameo from Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Burn Notice).  None of them are the actual stars, of course, (they were just friends of the director, Scott Spiegel), but their inclusion does give this film a ‘get into cult-fandom free’ ticket.

Intruder is pretty by-the-books are far as slashers go.  We start with our red herring, a biker-guy ex-boyfriend of a cashier who shows up at closing time to cause trouble.  He’s the too-obvious suspect when things start going wrong.  After the excitement of biker-guy’s visit, the night crew spread out to their own distant corners of the store, where they can be killed an dismembered at leisure.

The murders are very good.  There’s a lot of variety, as the killer uses the tools and industrial equipment found in the store to handle his victims in gruesome and graphic ways.  The cut-up body parts are very realistic, and despite the whimsical nature of the kills, don’t come off looking comedic.

The killings continue until only one person is left.  Of course, he or she hasn’t noticed anyone dying up till this point, but the bodies are discovered in rapid succession, leading to the final reveal of the killer.  I’m not sure I buy the killer’s motivation.  That’s the risk you run with a slasher movie when you try to explain why the killer killed.  Given the nature of their crimes, the reasoning has to be pretty extreme; but that’s not the case here.  I do give it credit for trying; and even if it’s not totally satisfying, the explanation at the end does give it a sense of closure.

Unlike most slasher movies, the teenage cast doesn’t spend most of the movie having sex or drinking, maybe because they’re at work, I don’t know.  While not very deep, at least they aren’t faceless cannon fodder.  They all have very distinct character traits and mannerisms, some more likeable than others, but at least it’s something.  You care when they die, either because you miss them, or from relief that you won’t have to hear their awful voice any more.

Intruder doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, but it plays the cliches well.  It has a decent cast, and the super market setting allows for some fun and interesting kills.  If you like ’80s slasher movies, you’ll probably like this one as well.

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