HKAFF: Intruders 誰誰誰是兇手 조난자들 (2013) – South Korea

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA FIPRESCI
Review Date: 21st November 2013

Directed by: 盧勇石 Noh Young-seok
Starring: Jun Suk-ho, Oh Tae-kyung

Reviewed at 10th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival 2013

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To truly empathize with the situation, one must not take this movie too seriously, but at the same time enjoy for what it is worth. “Intruders” is essentially a Hollywood style gore, slasher, murder thriller that contains the plot of a “Jason X” movie, while being filmed with plenty of cinematic flair and style. What I liked about this film is that indie director Noh Young-seok is never pretentious and provides plenty of laughs and thrills along the way. In fact, Noh Young-seok even manages to add the political undertones by getting North Koreans involved in the process. However, Intruder despite being largely entertaining, it really doesn’t have something to say or intriguing message to behold. Sometimes, it doesn’t really need to be, as in terms of those 80s slasher flicks in the reins of “Freddy” and “Jason”, Intruder is like a perfect homage to those.

Jun Suk-ho plays an aspiring screenwriter who goes to the remote countryside in order to complete his script in uttermost piece. Jun Suk-ho looks vulnerable and insecure type of characters, as a result, when bad things happen, it is relatively easy for the audience to identify with him. When he is scared, you can feel that he is genuinely scared. Oh Tae-Kyung plays the slightly haunting former jail inmate who tries extremely hard to befriend Jun Suk-ho, only to be on the opposite side of the fence. Jun Suk-ho is perfect as the guy you just never want to trust and probably the only character in the film, where the audience just cannot exactly read. This is a good thing, as it adds to the suspense factor to the film. The only screaming girl in the movie, is outright annoying and probably set out to achieve exactly that.

All in all, “Intruders” is not entirely ambitious, it is essentially a payback to all those 70s and 80s Hollywood slasher flicks which populate the Halloween factor. The North and South political conflicts is never truly explored, apart from being sounded out at regular intervals. Director Noh Young-seok does not entirely succeeds, but managed to produced enough thrills, laughs and slash to make Intruders an enjoyable experience. As for “Jason” or “Freddy”, they are tame in comparison. (Neo 2013)

I rated it 7/10

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