Sunday, July 1, 2012

Intruders plot explained

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's Intruders is a psychological thriller movie released on October 7, 2011. Clive Owen leads a respectable cast of performers in a twisted movie with great storytelling.

Hollowface is the new monster in horror movie space, who is a man without a face. Intruders thus executes a complex plot design to serve up an intriguing twist ending. Do you want the Intruders plot explained? If you haven't Intruders yet, avoid reading the plot explained below. 

***Movie Spoilers***

We will get right down to the details to explain the Intruders plot. Juan as a child is John as an adult. The linear narrative conveys two identical stories in different time periods. Juan invented Hollowface to deal with the mental trauma. He watched his father die on the back ledge. At the time, Juan never knew his father. 

Juan's father was locked up in jail. He sought after kidnapping his son. Unfortunately, the father died after falling off the ledge into the concrete grave. The mother realized Juan experienced terrible night terrors. She went along with Juan's storytelling to help him cope with the traumatic experience. 

The plot design is arranged in nonlinear narrative. As a result, the movie plot is told out of sequence. It is up to the movie viewer to piece together the plot. Connecting the plot dots will help to decipher the true story. If the movie followed a linear narrative, we would see the Juan story happen first. Then, the John story would follow next. Utilizing linear narrative would eliminate the need to execute a twist ending.  

Why organize the plot out of sequence? Revealing Juan is John would have lessened the impact of the film ending. The twist ending depends on withholding the truth from the audience. John discovers in the end, that there is no Hollowface. He fabricated the Hollowface character, which he learns the truth after his daughter passed him his childhood journal book.

The nonlinear narrative is a popular storytelling technique to keep moviegoers in suspense. Telling the story between two locations (Spain & U.K) and time periods (Present & 30+ years) is an effective technique to keep viewers in the dark.

Anagnorisis is another plot device to disclose facts from both the audience and viewers. For example, the main character in movies such as The Sixth Sense, The Others, Source Code, Shutter Island, Fight Club, and Silent Hill discover the truth about their existence and or condition. Intruders incorporates anagnorisis to retract evidence of John's post traumatic stress disorder, night terrors, and hallucinations attributed to sleep paralysis. The twist ending in these movies reveal the true existence and or status of the protagonist.

According to dream research Hurd (2012), "the man with no face" is seen when a dreamers mind awakens although their physical body remains in a sleep state (p. 4) The author indicates that sleep paralysis can cause "hypagonic hallucinations," a state that enables the dream and or nightmare to enter the physical world (p. 4).

Thus, the dream research supports Juan's Hollowface hallucinations as a child. Juan's night terrors and Hollowface stories open up his mind to hallucinations. We rarely see Juan sleeping. When a person fails to sleep, their sleeping schedule triggers sleep paralysis.

Hollowface is a fake monster. Mia and her father see Hollowface only because they share a psychic connection. Furthermore, lack of adequate sleep results in sleep paralysis. In more extreme cases, sleep paralysis involves hypagonic hallucinations. John's mind detected a presence in Mia's room.

In reviewing the video tape, there is no obvious sign of an intruder. We come to the conclusion that John created Hollowface as a way to cope with the traumatic event - watching his father die. Mia retrieved the mysterious book, which reading the book introduced Hollowface. As an adult, John's repressed memories cause his hallucinations. Sleep paralysis sufferers claim a hollowface entity and or another presence in the room.

The mind is a powerful tool. In the film ending, Mia went into a deep sleep paralysis state. She experienced hallucinations while undergoing extreme paralysis that restricted movement. Hollowface entered Mia's dream world through her fears. Intruders reveals the twist ending, informing the audience that hr is the tormented young boy. It is quite possible John's gene traits got passed down to Mia.

In essence, Intruders is a psychological thriller movie designed to inform people of PTSD, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, nightmare and night terrors, and how fears impact the mind. Intruders plot is arranged in nonlinear narrative to withhold the twist ending, the moment of truth that reveals Juan is John and Hollowface is a fake monster. Mia is suffering from extreme hallucinations and fear. Great psychological movie!

Enjoy Intruders!  


Hurd, Ryan, (2012). The Sleep Paralysis Report. Retrieved July 1, 2012, from


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