TV REVIEW: The Intruder
During a birthday getaway on a secluded island lodge, four best friends and university graduates — Adam, Thomas, Marion and Christine — unwind to have fun, contemplate their futures, and forget about the harsh realities of adulthood. But when their party is interrupted by a masked Intruder, they are viciously trapped and subjected to a series of brutal interrogations. A deadly game of manipulation begins. And as the friends’ disturbing secrets are exposed, the motive of the Intruder is revealed, leading to a truth they could never have imagined.
Director: Phutsachi Pipat
Cast: James Kumar, Benjamin Kheng, Naomi Yeo, Edwin Goh, Eugena Bey
Runtime: 4 episodes, 25min each
Review by Jean Wong
A mystery horror series, The Intruder (2019) is a well-blended mixture of interesting characters, great acting and a compelling storyline. Filmed in Thailand with Thai director Phutsachi Pipat, The Intruder follows four recent graduates as they go on a getaway trip but find themselves in trouble. It is an interesting imagining of what could happen when alone in an unfamiliar environment.
Something that sprang out at me was how organic their interactions are. Each of the four friends have contrasting but complementing personalities which makes their friendship quirky and fascinating to watch. Adam (Benjamin Kheng) plays a sociable and playful character, not dissimilar to the joker of the group. Marion (Naomi Yeo) is a thoughtful and supportive friend hoping to become a social worker, as is in line with her personality. Christine (Eugena Bey) is loyal and protective, while Thomas (Edwin Goh), though a little socially awkward, is the brains of the four. The characters all add their own unique flavour to the group that is clearly demonstrated when they interact, often in a jesting but caring manner.
Speaking of dynamic characters, the actors themselves managed to sell their parts well and I was majorly impressed with how in touch they were with their characters. No matter what the scenes called for, they handled it with ease and professionalism. It was fascinating watching the characters develop throughout the film. From carefree students with great chemistry as friends to hostages with emotional duress, the actors effortlessly acted out the deterioration of their characters’ emotional states. Having a strong cast coupled with great characters made the show quite engaging and easy to delve into.
As a series with horror elements, The Intruder included a satisfying amount of gruesome scenes with a handful of good fear factors. Some attempt at building up mystery was done, though it was not made clear throughout the episodes and could have been developed better. Nonetheless, it was still easy to follow the rise and fall of the events that unfolded throughout the night. The film employs the technique of flipping between the past and the present to reveal minute details that may seem insignificant to us at first, but end up being vital clues in the present. Perhaps this is what makes the plot twist at the end so unexpected yet delightful (in a horrifying way). Embedded in this technique are some great transitions that make the scenes flow in an impressive manner and adds to the visual entertainment of the film.
Produced by Big3 Productions in collaboration with Flying Tiger Film Bangkok, The Intruder is overall definitely a series worth watching. Most of us have wondered at least once about finding ourselves in a hostage situation and the series taps onto this subconscious paranoia to bring about a sensational production.