December’s icy grip is already taking hold, and what better way to welcome the cold this Horror Short Sunday than with writer/director Santiago Menghini’s melancholy short film Intruders (2014). This chilling piece stars Joshua Young, Charles Sirard Blouin, Sarianne Cormier, Alain Gendreau, Lynda Lapierre, and Tristan Gabriel Chaput. The film was produced by Katerine Lefrançois.
Here is the official synopsis:
“In the aftermath of a deadly haunting in a small suburban home, a sinister omnipresent entity proceeds to cause havoc in the private lives of a young boy, an unsuspecting teen, and an absent minded inspector.”
Intruders plays out like an episodic horror story told in three parts. The first two segments of the film are adapted from short comics titled 5:45 A.M. by Al Columbia and Jacov by Uno Moralez, while the final segment titled Inspector is an original creation.
Here is a breakdown of Intruders’ three segments:
We open on a suburban home now still and quieted in the aftermath of something terrible that occurred. The interior is left in disarray, as an older woman’s lifeless body sits with eyes wide open on the living room couch. But there is someone else with her. We hear a ruckus outside as eggs pelt the windows, and two young vandals are seen making a run for it into the cold night.
One of the vandals now sits alone in the bedroom of his high-rise apartment drawing at his desk. As the snow falls softly outside, Jacov suddenly pauses sensing a strange presence. Something has followed the boys home from the sleepy suburban house they antagonized.
An inspector wanders into the disheveled home seen in the first segment to investigate what occurred. He makes his way from room to room, snapping photos of the scene. As he continues searching for clues, he suddenly feels he’s not alone.
Intruders is a unnerving experience, as we drift in and out of each ambiguous segment like a bad dream. Jacov’s story is terrifying in such a surreal way. The monstrous woman inexplicably spots Jacov from the window, makes her way to him at impossible speed, and somehow knows exactly where he is in a large building. The pacing and tone feels like it was pulled directly from someone’s nightmares. It’s a horrifying call-back to Hitchcock’s Rear Window that absolutely stands on its own.
Director of photography Ray Lavers does a gorgeous job bringing the panels from the comics to life. The disheveled interior of the suburban home sits undisturbed and bathed in shadow like a mausoleum, with outside streetlights and headlights revealing the horrors within. The short has rich visuals with many stunningly lit shots resembling classic chiaroscuro paintings. The visual storytelling in Intruders is so strong you may not even realize until after you watched it that there is no actual dialogue.
Intruders has an eerie peacefulness to its snowy winter aesthetic. The sound department lends a delicate subtlety to the cold atmosphere with soft wind blowing outside, and no stinging jump scares breaking the mood. The score by Hugo Mayrand is subdued, creeping in and out of the silence during key moments.
Santiago Menghini’s Intruders is a dark force to be reckoned with that will keep you unsettled long after it’s over. This ominous film would pair well with the heavy atmosphere of Ju-On and Let the Right One In. Check out the full short film below!
Be sure to curl up on the couch and take a look at some of our other Horror Short Sunday picks! We’ll be back next week with another great short film for you to enjoy!