Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Intruder: Wake Up and Smell the Stalker
Elizabeth is a classical symphony musician rather than a jazz improviser, but
you would still expect her to be sensitive and attuned to the presence of
others around her. Instead, she has the intuition of canned spam. Unfortunately,
that will cost her dearly in Travis Z[ariwny]’s Intruder (trailer
which opens tomorrow in New York.
not being sexually harassed by Vincent, her misogynistic conductor, Elizabeth
(judging from the press notes, women don’t need last names in Portland. You can
just refer to “Elizabeth” and people know you mean the mousy cellist) withdraws
into her rather spacious duplex cocoon. However, unbeknownst to her, someone
has violated her space. He creeps around spying and prying and leaving his
germs in disgusting places. Clearly, escalation is steady and increasingly
perilous, but the only one who tweaks to his predatory behavior is the
unhelpful cat Elizabeth is sitting.
a difference an “s” makes. Adam Schindler’s Intruders
with an s, which hit theaters in January, was a subversively inventive home
invasion thriller that delivers plenty of vicarious payback. In contrast, there
is absolutely nothing cathartic about Intruder
(singular). Frankly, Travis Z’s climax could only be considered a pay-off
by stalkers and registered sex offenders, which makes you wonder what sort of
target demo he had in mind.
thing is for sure—this film isn’t much fun to watch. That is because there are
no reversals of fortune or any kind of arc to it. Elizabeth’s prospects simply
slide down a flat, steeply declining straight line. There isn’t even any
suspense, since she is so staggeringly oblivious to her situation. Seriously,
most coma patients are better attuned to their surroundings than she is.
least Moby, the pretentious dance music guy, is absolutely convincing as the odious
Vincent. For what it’s also worth, probably no one else ever worked so doggedly
hard at finding ways to look in the wrong direction than Louise Linton’s
Elizabeth. Of course, the invader’s identity is blindingly obvious due to the relatively
few named characters. It is either the suspiciously creepy guy or the
There is really nothing going on with Intruder, but it makes one perversely
curious how Travis Z pitched it: “…and then this spoilery violence happens—the end.”
Not recommended, Intruder screens
after midnight this Friday and Saturday (6/24 & 6/25) at the IFC Center in
Labels: Horror Movies, Stalker movies