Intruder (1989)

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Intruder, 1989
directed by Scott Spiegel
starring Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks

Plentiful amounts of blood is spilled in Intruder, one of the better and underrated slashers that incorporates some of the standard genre aspects, but adds a fair bit of creativity and cleverness. Intruder features a small cast and only a single location, with the plot being simple enough as well: the closing crew at a local grocery store is harassed by the ex-boyfriend of an employee, and then the bodies start to pile. While perhaps it moves a little slow at first, Intruder is well worth waiting for the action to start because once it does things are almost non-stop from that point. Intruder is frequently tense, being often quiet or accompanied by a subtle score, and the dark, empty grocery store is a great, isolating setting.

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For anyone that has seen a fair share of slasher flicks, you’ll start to see victims killed in similar or even the exact same ways. And even though it sounds oddly insensitive to say, it’s almost dulls the effects a horror movie is supposed to have. Being as sick as any other slasher fan, it’s refreshing to see Intruder deliver with some pretty memorably gruesome kills. The practical effects are very well done, showing very little age to them, and there are a few moments that had me squinting and cringing a little bit.  Everything is also presented rather nicely. While there are commonly seen slasher shots such as the first person view from the mysterious killer, there are also plenty of well composed, clever shots often taking advantage of reflections and shadows.

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Intruder strongly promoted Bruce Campbell, Sam & Ted Raimi as cast members of the film, despite none having major roles. This trend has for some reason continued through the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of the film. Maybe initially it made marketing sense, with the film being Scott Spiegel’s directorial debut, but it feels pretty cheap and unnecessary (especially now) since the movie really holds up by itself without the supposed star power. Because Intruder really is a great example of a solid slasher. It’s creative and fun, nice and bloody, and while it doesn’t reinvent the genre, it’s a very polished addition that is well worth a viewing. Even though the mystery of the film and the ending might not surprise, this one is all about the gory ride there.

8.0

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