film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Trespassers 2018 * * * Stars


"Don't answer the door". Hey, you heard him, don't freaking answer!

Released in 2018 and distributed by IFC Midnight, Trespassers is a home invasion thriller that secretes itself in sanguinary mystery. We don't know much about the couples being invaded (except that two of them swung), we don't know a whole lot about the antagonists doing the invading (or their motivations), and the cameo by actress Fairuza Balk is well, a loose end red herring. What we do know is that almost everybody is in some way, no saint. There are no victims in this ode to "purging" (hint, hint).

Trespassers is directed by the unseasoned Orson Oblowitz, a guy who commits to every shot that is timed to some music of the 80s synth flavor. His film might be the first home invasion endeavor that attempts to be Hitchcockian, what with all the MacGuffin-s, plot twists, and building tension. I mean this is "more than meets the eye" stuff, clouded in a black comedy-less version of Very Bad Things. I dug the first two acts until the last one felt the need to um, keep digging.

Trespassers stars Balk (mentioned earlier), Angela Trimbur, Janel Parrish, Jonathan Howard, and Zach Avery. Heard of most of these actors? Me neither but I liked their smarmy characters for some reason. Yes they come off as stereotypical, horror thriller tropes but hey, they're more defined here, like naive, thirty-something upgrades cruisin for a brusin. Coke, sex, liquor, and paranoiac fear oh my!

Nookie and illegal stimulants aside, as something about four people who rent an abode in the Mojave desert only to have their weekend tarnished by the addition of masked ruffians, Trespassers could've been more tightly wound had it not descended into rote violence and flummoxed plot threads. Oh well. See it anyway, "entering without permission."

Written by Jesse Burleson

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