1/15/16

TRESPASS - REVIEW


This thriller from 2011 sees Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman play a couple who are taken hostage in their own home by a group of thieves. Most of the action takes place in one location in a somewhat gimmicky outing from director Joel Schumacher.

This isn't the first time Schumacher has worked with Cage as they collaborated on 8MM some time back and the actor is given a decent challenge with Trespass since he is portraying a victim but one who is a smug rich dude on the surface while in fact being a rather brave father and husband and a loser a little bit on top of it. That's actually the interesting thing about this film: it seems like the usual predictable home invasion B-movie with bland, clich├ęd characters but it does go out of its way to flesh out those family members (and their captors) as the story develops. Both the diamond-dealing husband Kyle (Cage) and his wife Sarah (Kidman) seem to be hiding something from each other, their daughter Avery (Liana Liberato) has sneaked out to go to a party and the criminals they're having to deal with don't exactly get along either which makes for a consistently suspenseful film.

Unfortunately, everyone acts like they would in a typical slasher horror film for some reason: not escaping or alerting the authorities when they totally could, not picking up weapons at key moments, that kind of thing. The cops are, of course, portrayed as being mostly useless and there doesn't seem to be any neighbours for miles around so the setting is pretty cinematically convenient. Nicolas Cage's character is, in fact, the smartest of the bunch since he is constantly confusing the leader of the baddies (played by the underrated Ben Mendelsohn), screwing up their plans since he believes his family's dead meat if he simply opens the safe for them. There are some genuinely clever little twists and turns in Trespass and even the least believable ones (someone turns out to be a complete psycho) work quite well.

Trespass may, on the whole, be a relatively forgettable watch but it's a well made thriller of its type and it's Joel Schumacher doing what he does best: taking a simple idea for a movie and making the most of it (The Number 23 was, thankfully, a fluke).

By no means essential viewing but if you catch it on Netflix, you'll likely have a good time with it.

Slight yet enjoyable.

Ghastly poster, though.

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