TRESPASSERS is a new IFC Midnight horror movie. At first, it’s a strong psychological horror-thriller with interesting characters. However, by the ending, it’s a full-on slasher gore movie. Honestly, I much preferred the first half. Read why in our full Trespassers review here.

Trespassers is a new horror movie from IFC Midnight. When it started out, it was a pretty awesome psychological horror-thriller. The plot was built on fascinating characters that you wanted to know better.

However, it does take one hell of a twist along the way. This is when the really gory parts start and we end up with something that felt like torture porn. After a while, I was numb to both the story and the characters, which is a damn shame. Especially with three strong and capable ladies in key roles.

Continue reading our Trespassers review below.

Trespassers (2019) – Review | IFC Horror Movie

The 3 awesome ladies of Trespassers

Before Trespassers became a full on torture fest, I was really enjoying the characters. Actually, I need to be more specific because I was primarily enjoying the very diverse (in terms of personality) female characters.

Horror movies have always been good at building awesome female characters while the male characters are either villains or meek background characters. In some ways, this is also relevant to Trespassers. Even though there is a coked-up guy that was a trainwreck to watch a well. 

The three awesome ladies of Trespassers are portrayed by Angela Trimbur, Janel Parish, and Fairuza Balk.

Especially Fairuza Balk – who most of you will probably know from the horror movie The Craft – was brilliant. Janel Parrish plays a character that is quite different from her Pretty Little Liars role. She’s still feisty but not as whip-smart, which does influence the plot quite a bit.

Finally, Angela Trimbur is the main protagonist but her character in Trespassers is ultimately pretty boring. We’ve seen Angela Timbur in movies like The Final Girls and the horror anthology XX. Basically, we know she is a lot better than this.

In fact, it seems like they wasted her talent with this one.

Trespassers (2019) – Review | IFC Horror Movie

Impersonation of an S. Craig Zahler movie

Trespassers feels like it’s copying the style of other directors. When it comes to the bloody and gory parts, it’s reminiscent of a movie by S. Craig Zahler. However, the characters and plot don’t come close to having the intelligence of his movies. In fact, the overall plot is kind of boring.

You might like: Read our review of the S. Craig Zahler movie Brawl in Cell Block 99 here >

With an S. Craig Zahler movie, the blood and violence is an end to a means. It’s never the actual goal in itself. With Trespassers (which was previously titled Hell Is Where The Home Is), it does feel like it’s for shock value.

Also, there is a use of colored light that feels downright inappropriate. Oh, I get it, Argento used colors a lot in Suspiria and many other directors have done the same. But with Trespassers, it happens rather suddenly and feels like it’s due to a filmmaker wanting to do something “cool” rather than it having a point.

The last time it did work for me, was when it was used in the Netflix movie Ánimas. Now that was a use of colored lights that made sense. Check out our review of Ánimas here! 

Trespassers had definite potential

Maybe I’m just not the right audience for Trespassers. I thought it had so much potential during the first half. I enjoyed the characters and like trying to figure out what the hell was going on. But once it became a violent gore fest, I was just disengaged. It felt like something I had seen a thousand times before. And much better!

I don’t know if maybe that’s what director Orson Oblowitz was going for. To get us interested only to add violence to the extent that I would lose interest in the characters. I haven’t seen Orson Oblowitz’s previous movie The Queen of Hollywood Blvd so maybe this is just his style.

Corey Deshon wrote the screenplay for Trespassers –or Hell Is Where The Home Is which is a title that makes no sense in terms of the story. It’s the second screenplay for Corey Deshon and my first time watching anything by him.

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.

Trespassers will be out in the US in select theaters and VOD from July 12, 2019.


Director: Orson Oblowitz
Writer: Corey Deshon
Cast: Angela Trimbur, Janel Parrish, Fairuza Balk, Jonathan Howard and Zach Avery
Release Date: July 12, 2019 in New York/Los Angeles/On Demand


Two couples, each working through relationship issues, rent a gorgeous house in the desert for a sex- and drug-fueled escape from reality. Sarah (Angela Trimbur) and Estelle (Janel Parrish) are longtime best friends looking forward to reconnecting after a period apart; their boyfriends, Joseph (Zach Avery) and Victor (Jonathan Howard), however, are immediately wary of one another. As tensions escalate over the course of a debaucherous night, things take an unexpected turn when a woman (Fairuza Balk) claiming to be a neighbor with car trouble shows up at the door. She seems harmless enough…or so they think. As the twists and turns pile up so does the body count in this stylish, blood- and neon-soaked thriller which hits with the furious force of a machete to the skull.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard