There is something really eerie about watching someone perform a voice-over. Inés is a voice actor who is first seen, mid-session, dubbing a porn film. Listening to the emotions coming from Inés’ voice, in contrast to the vacant expression on her face, is a deliberately off-setting introduction. It establishes a strange tone which The Intruder tries but fails to maintain throughout the film.

Director Natalia Meta creates moments which evoke the central relationship in Midsommar, the off-kilter main character in Beast and the surrealism of Berberian Sound Studio. Importantly, these films either get their balance of the uncanny and reality perfect, or they go off the rails, over the cliff and explode into psychedelic oblivion. Whereas The Intruder doesn’t elicit any major reaction – good or bad. There are interesting ideas, and it’s at its best when it approaches them with ambiguity. Inés is treated with kid-gloves, constantly described as stressed or anxious. Yet there’s some doubt about whether she genuinely is, or if she is only because that’s what people tell her.

The film floats in this nether space, undecided if it’s a story about paranoia, concern or gaslighting. It has some genuinely creepy moments; Inés worries that the titular intruder may be some Thing inside her throat. This leads to a scene which could only be described as psychological body horror, which is fascinating, but it’s just spice on a fairly bland offering. Despite its teasing use of genre, the film remains stubbornly in the middle-lane.

The Intruder begins with a mountain of good ideas but it seems to prefer the view at the half-way point, remaining ambiguous throughout, unfortunately not in terms of story, but in terms of enjoyment. The film is much like its own intruder; we’ve no idea what it is, we just know it exists.



CAST: Erica Rivas, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Daniel Hendler

DIRECTOR: Natalia Meta

WRITER: Natalia Meta (from a novel by C.E.Feiling)

SYNOPSIS: Following the strange and abrupt death of her boyfriend, Inés finds her life growing increasingly strange. Worried that she may have an infection, or some other intrusive presence, in her throat she tries to cling tightly onto her professionalism while her grip on reality starts to loosen.