Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo brings new meaning to the term “nightmare fuel” in “Intruders,” his latest thriller about two young children being terrorized by a hooded humanoid creature without a face — appropriately dubbed Hollow Face — with one man, played by Clive Owen, to link them all together.
“Intruders,” a fascinating examination of the power of fear and the consequences of losing control, was a deeply personal film for Fresnadillo, who looked inward before bringing the horror out to the big screen.
“I was trying to explore the idea there are some fears, some nightmares, that come from a very personal and human side,” the filmmaker told MTV News about the film’s origin. “To know how the family, sometimes, they create nightmares in a very unconscious way. The beginning of that nightmare comes from the people you really love, when you’re a kid.”
“That was the investigation I was driven to, to go deep and explore my own childhood,” he continued. “[I wanted] to discover if there were some secrets in my family effecting me on many levels, putting me in a place that was very scary to be in.”
Through his exploration, Fresnadillo created Hollow Face, a flowing, hooded creature that haunts two children — Owen’s daughter, Mia, and a young Spanish boy named Juan — throughout the film. Lacking an identity of his own, Hollow Face turns to victims to steal their faces and features, creating some incredibly unsettling sequences in the process. Haunting though he may be, Hollow Face is also a surprisingly sympathetic character, thanks to Fresnadillo’s decision to focus much of the movie on the enigmatic figure.
“I thought it would be good to introduce the point of view of the monster in the movie, to make it more real, to make it more human,” said the director. “That’s why the monster is looking for his identity: he’s keen to grab and steal faces. He was a very crucial concept at the beginning of [developing ’Intruders’]. It was key to humanize the monster, to make you feel that he’s close to you, because he’s human in a way as well.”
Fresnadillo’s “Intruders” invades theaters next Friday (March 30). Fans living in or near New York City can see MTV’s Josh Horowitz interview Fresnadillo and Owen at the SoHo Apple store at 6PM ET tonight (March 20).
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