I spoke with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo by phone on March 19, 2012, and one of the things I most wanted to discuss with him was his unconventional approach to a horror film with INTRUDERS. In it, the monster has more to do with family secrets and the misguided attempts by the parents to spare their children from the past. With thoughtful insight into the psychology of children, Fresnadillo discussed what most attracted him to a story he himself hadn’t written, why he found that liberating, the secular and the religious response to the supernatural, and what was and wasn’t surprising about working in both English and his native Spanish.
INTRUDERS is a moody and atmospheric film about children processing trauma, and the trauma that results from a relentless supernatural invader that can’t be stopped. Divided between two countries, the story follows two children being haunted by a creeping phantom named Hollowface, who may or may not be the product of one child’s imagination. The parents look on helplessly as the children succumb to the fears and neither science nor religion can offer solace, much less a cure. The film itself toys with its audience about what is and isn’t real, and about which option is is less terrifying one. The film stars Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Izan Corchero, Ella Purnell, and Daniel Bruhl. Frensadillo directed from a script by Nicolas Cassariego, and Jaime Marques.