Directed BY Orson Oblowitz
Written by Corey Deshon
Reviewed by JP Andrika
Home invasion films got a resurgence with 2007’s FUNNY GAMES and, of course, THE STRANGERS. Admittedly, they are a favorite subgenre of mine. Is there anything more horrifying than a stranger invading your home where you should feel safe? TRESPASSERS tells the story of a small group of couples on a retreat in a rental House. The group consist of Sarah (Angela Trimbur, THE FINAL GIRLS), her old high school pal , Estelle (Janelle Parish, pretty little liars), Victor (Jonathan Howard, GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS), and Joseph (Zach Avery, FURY). The couples are enjoying a much-needed respite when a stranded visitor (Faruzia Balk, THE CRAFT) knocks on their door. Yes, It’s a familiar trope, particularly in this horror subgenre.
The setting of this film is in Mojave, California, as beautiful as it is unsettling. The Couples struggle with personal conflicts in the gorgeous modern ranch styled home. A relaxing Spa weekend this isn’t. It doesn’t take long for the illegal party favors to come out and ripples to spread.
Artist, Sarah, and her boyfriend are struggling from the recent loss of a child. Sara only wishes to forget the past and kick back, but all that changes with a knock on the door. With a simple setup, the couples have a natural and awkward chemistry. The women may be old friends, but the men are strangers who size one other up from the jump, and these couples have secrets.
This setup is important for the inevitable 3 AM entrance of our convincingly played stranded traveler. (Car trouble, it seems) With no cellular reception in the desert, the film makes proper use of its claustrophobic setting and lingering close ups and the colors really pop once the power goes out.
Slasher fans may feel underwhelmed by the 45 minutes of initial set-up for the rest of the film since it’s not a typical slasher film. Instead, it utilizes on dramatic undertone which will likely divide viewers expecting a standard home invasion film. However, I applaud the film’s creators for doing something different.
Part of me was anticipating a standard slasher film as advertised, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t surprised by it’s turns. I went with it and I’m glad I gave it a shot. It may not be very original, but it was a fun ride with impressive performances by Trimbur and Parrish in particular.