ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 18, 2015
By Steve Newton
Horror movies featuring actors who are also pop stars are often nothing to scream about. J.Lo in Anaconda and the mostly naked Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned come to mind as good examples. And it looks like that trend will not change with the new Miranda Cosgrove vehicle, The Intruders.
After a nasty pre-credits scene in which a bound woman is suffocated with a plastic bag, we see college student Rose (Cosgrove) and her architect father (Donal Logue, resembling Jeff Lebowski after a trip to the barber) move into a big old furnished house undergoing a reno.
Rose has suffered a mental breakdown in the wake of her mother’s death, and she repeatedly watches a scene from a home video in which her mom blurts out, “What would you two do without me?” “Probably kill each other,” quips Rose into the camera wielded by her dad.
But if there’s going to be any murdering done in The Intruders, it appears as though it will come from outside the family unit. Rose spies suspicious activity at the house across the street, where a teenage girl (Jenessa Grant) lives with her weirdo dad (Tom Sizemore). When Rose learns that a former tenant in her new home has mysteriously disappeared, she starts Googling around for clues, at the same time getting freaked out by strange noises in the house and that old standby, the detached head of a plastic doll.
While we’re left to wonder whether the place is haunted or if it just seems that way because Rose is off her meds, director Adam Massey does little to ramp up the tension, instead putting most of his efforts into capturing close-ups of Cosgrove’s pretty face.
Unfortunately, the iCarly star’s photogenic qualities far outweigh her acting chops here, which aren’t aided much by rookie screenwriter Jason Juravic’s cliché-ridden, phoned-in script. I hardly see the need for this watered-down twist on that ’70s TV-movie Bad Ronald.