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Intruder (1989)

I particularly enjoy when horror films are set in one single location. Having one location or building to associate a certain type of fear to makes for a longer lasting and more memorable experience once the credits start to roll. Here, we have the use of a grocery store. To me, this is a rather unusual place to set a slasher and something I had never seen before. Yet, the uniqueness of its set location definitely works in its favour, providing the opportunity for some clever kills and creative story telling.

I also appreciated the time that went into the character development in the opening act of this film. It takes just the right amount of time to set up relationships and exposition for each individual character, without focusing too heavily on any specific character. By doing this, I found it quite difficult to establish who was our main protagonist, something I personally have found makes for a much more enjoyable experience with slasher films. Once these character introductions were done, I was in awe of how this quickly goes from kill after kill, wasting little to no time on showcasing what the visual effects team have in store.

I must admit that I wasn't overly optimistic about watching this film and it wasn't until I noticed Greg Nicotero's name as the practical effects artist in the opening title sequence that my optimism grew. Taking inspiration from the ever-growing in popularity Giallo horror of Italy, Nicotero uses a very bold red blood through this production, something I find very pleasing to watch. With multiple outstanding kills throughout, for me it has to be the hydraulic press and the bandsaw kill which by far the showcases the outstanding creativity of his talent. The only real big mistake this film makes is by having such a talent, and allowing even just one off screen kill.

The casting is as expected from a horror film of the late 80's, with each character fulfilling their own standard young adult stereotypes of that era. The most noteworthy performances of the group being Dan Hicks, as Bill, and Elizabeth Cox as Jennifer. There are also a surprising amount of recognisable faces from within the world of horror (more so the Evil Dead), such as a very young Sam and Ted Raid and even a small cameo appearance from Bruce Campbell himself.

I'm a big fan of the "who-done-it" style of slasher, in fact is probably my favourite given it's done correctly. This is by no means the worst one I've seen in terms of plot revelation, I was just pretty confident early on that I had worked out who the killer was going to be. That being said, I do think that there are more than a few good uses of the red herring troupe, and had I not been such a fan of this subgenre and seen ample variations of these films, I'd like to think that I would have been sold by this films reveal upon release.

It has been a while since I have found a slasher film that not only I haven't seen, but found to be a truly enjoyable watch from start to finish. 'Intruder' now sits firmly in my top tier slasher films and if (like me) you have seen this film on various streaming platforms and given it a miss, I strongly recommend that you give it a try.



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