Trespassers – USA, 2018 – reviews and Blu-ray + DVD release news

‘You can’t stop what’s going to happen’

Trespassers aka Hell Is Where the Home Is is a 2018 American home invasion horror-thriller feature film written and directed by Orson Oblowitz. The 1inMM Productions -Hallivis Brothers movie stars Angela Trimbur, Zach Avery, Janel Parrish, Jonathan Howard, Carlo Rota and Fairuza Balk.

Plot:

Two dysfunctional couples rent a modern luxury desert home for the weekend hoping to sort out their messed-up lives. Just as they are about to settle in for a fun night, a woman (Fairuza Balk) turns up at their front door saying she has car trouble.

Unfortunately, this is when the murderous trouble really starts. Because without knowing it, the four friends have landed slap-bang in the wrong violent place at precisely the wrong bloody time…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …the final 20 minutes, where all hell breaks loose, is a fairly routine, filled with feverish chases, aggressive men, and moments of torture. Trespassers loses its nerve when pursuing frights, relying on the familiar to appeal to audiences when it has a golden opportunity to create a more original nightmare.” Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“Director Orson Oblowitz’s biggest hurdle is that it seems he’s not sure what type of film to make here. Just when you think you’re about to go down an interesting path, you can telegraph the end of it and it doesn’t feel like it was worth the trip. Plenty of plot and character devices are thrown in here and introduced but nothing is developed fully…” Andy Triefenbach, Destroy the Brain

” …a home invasion movie that actually offers something different for the genre. Rather than being a straightforward gore-fest, like so many films of this type, writer Corey Deshon and director Orson Oblowitz focus on character development rather than cheap thrills […] I actually cared about the characters and that made the experience of watching this all the more intense.” Pip Ellwood-Hughes, Entertainment in Focus

“The movie is just shy of 90 minutes, but it felt a lot longer to me. And that is never a good sign. But, then again, maybe I’m just not the right viewer for this movie. Watching women being tortured isn’t really innovative, and violence for the sake of violence is an old and tired trope in my book.” Karina Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror

“Director Orson Oblowitz weaves a tangled web of intrigue, slowly revealing secrets about our core characters. These revelations have the audience switching allegiances, and many will identify with different characters, and not simply the expected final person.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News

“Hell Is Where The Home Is won’t be the most claustrophobic, and scariest, home invasion you’ve ever seen, though it may be one of the most personal […] There are some good moments, for sure. Yet the film seems to follow a fragmented five act structure (“the 20 minutes when that happens”) with not enough of a throughline to connect each part.” David S. Smith, Horror Cult Films

“There are patches where the loose cannon characters – Howard, Balk, Rota – get meaty near-monologues, which are almost as destabilising and disturbing as the outright acts of violence.  […] Oblowitz makes some clever style choices – after a bit of Chekovian set-up about the iffy power supply in this earthquake zone, the lights go out at the worst possible time then the rest of the film is lit with giallo-like purple gels that pass off as emergency lighting.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Down to the core concept, Trespassers was never going to set the world ablaze with its ingenuity. Still, by the book and slight as it is, it presents a passable addition to the field. Sure, there are gaps and holes, lingering what-abouts, and head-scratching character choices, but Oblowitz shows some definite directorial chops…” Brent McKnight, The Last Thing I See

“The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous, I’m a sucker for anything that overdoses on Argento lighting, and it had enough plot twists to hold my interest. I mean, there is still cringe-inducing gore, and the story definitely is pretty messed up. I’m getting self-conscious about calling it ‘lite’ given that it is still fairly heavy, just not as heavy.” Breanna Whipple, Nightmarish Conjurings

” …the film offsets and blurs perils both internal and external, from which a chaotic clusterf*ck slowly develops between the psychological and the political, as the realities of the world, at first left behind on this weekend getaway, come crashing in to be confronted and ultimately reentered.” Anton Bitel, Projected Figures

” …the movie’s violence—both emotional and physical—is about as uninspired as the story and as visually uninspired as, well, pretty much any scene where characters talk to each other. And I can tell you that the schematic nature of the plot is especially annoying…” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

“The interplay with the police is brilliantly handled. It ratcheted the tension up and diverted me from what I knew was coming. When all hell does break loose it’s with lighting and scoring pulled from classic giallos […] Despite its early missteps, Trespassers delivers an entertaining slice of suspense and carnage.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

“It’s not at all what you’d expect from the opening moments, marketing material, basic premise, etc.. The all-important deathwave score only kicks in at crucial moments, when the action ramps up, and is used to supplement the atmosphere rather than account for it. The performances are strong across the board, it’s consistently entertaining and devilishly unpredictable right up until its final moments.” Joe Keogh, Wicked Horror

“Oblowitz successfully keeps you guessing, building suspense in the mystery of the script […] a solid addition to home invasion features with a touch more realism than you’ll find in most horror versions.” Without Your Head

Release:

Trespassers will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Scream Factory, in conjunction with IFC Midnight on January 7th 2020. The special features will be announced nearer the release date. It is available on VOD.

Cast and characters:

  • Angela Trimbur … Sarah
  • Zach Avery … Joseph
  • Janel Parrish … Estelle
  • Jonathan Howard … Victor
  • Carlo Rota … Sergeant Daniels
  • Fairuza Balk … The Visitor
  • Sebastian Sozzi … Officer Ramirez
  • Joey Abril … Intruder #1
  • Chris Gann … Intruder #2
  • Harvey B. Jackson … LAPD Officer McMahill
  • Shaun W. Loeser … Intruder #3
  • Dah-uh Morrow … Officer Cooper
  • Jose Rosete … Kidnapped Man
  • Jon Sklaroff … Detective Truman
  • Kumpan Yuliya … Kidnapped Woman

Filming locations:

Malibu, California

Image credits: Entertainment in Focus

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