Dylan Moran once said that turning out all of the lights and leaving your kids in the dark to go to sleep was probably not the best parenting skill. This is because children have great imaginations, often unsullied by the normalities of reality, the day-to-day, the hum-drum.
And because of this, kids imagine all kinds of things that are equally real, as they have no frame of reference for what is possible and what isn't in a world where we, the grown ups, allegedly know better. Intruders plays on this time-honoured fact of growing up, delving into childish insecurities and fears; the boogeyman, the monster in the closet or under the bed and so on.
The film goes one step further by fleshing out these monsters, however, giving them form that even the parents can see themselves, making the nightmares real for almost everyone concerned. Additionally, the story involves not one child but two, separated by country and language, one based in England and one in Spain (so bring your glasses for the subs) each with one especially loving parent that is particularly close to their respective child.
Clive Owen's aforementioned parenting skills here are bordering on the obsessive, and he makes a very convincing distraught father, loving and confused, helpless and estranged in that order and his performance is what you would expect for an actor of his talents. He works well with the sometimes pedestrian script and leads the movie skilfully enough.
The film suffers from a tepid second act, spewing the back story which explains everything for the viewer into the last twenty minutes. The tale is intriguing enough and gives the viewer enough closure, albeit only satisfactory enough to finish the film. The plot is regularly twisted, however, and this leaves the conclusion somewhat unconvincing. The acting by all is acceptable and in places, above average, with the Spanish counterparts being very effective.
In all, an interesting take on nightmares, with a shortfall on lucidity that never really convinces the audience. This is fairly light on jumps and scares and often the emphasis is, not surprisingly, what can be imagined and not seen.